Yuma, AZ- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is speaking out to the media for the first time regarding the discovery of a drug tunnel over the weekend leading from San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico to a shopping center in San Luis, Arizona.
According to DEA, 3 people, are under arrest in connection with the tunnel. Mexican and U.S. Officials conducted the raid on both sides of the border at the same time.
DEA believes the drug tunnel may be related to one of the world's largest drug trafficking organizations.
Arizona is predominantly the area of responsibility of the Sinaloa Cartel. The cartel is headed by "El Chapo Guzman". I think that would be a fairly educated guess to assume this tunnel is related to EL Chapo Guzman and his organization," says Doug Coleman a DEA Special Agent.
The DEA revealed today that they have been watching the business located at 508 Archibald Street since January. Arizona agents say they discovered the tunnel's entrance in a storage room hidden beneath a large water tank.
DEA says the drug tunnel is one of the most sophisticated they have seen. It has a 240 yard passageway equipped with lighting and a ventilation system.
DEA says this is the first complete and operational smuggling tunnel seized in the Yuma area.
"The tunnel cost total estimate 1 to 1.5 million dollars to complete it and it probably took from upwards to a year to finish and based on what we discovered we believe the tunnel was not operational for a long time," says Coleman.
They say they got a break on July 6th when they learned DPS had stopped a black pick-up truck on Highway 95 for a traffic violation.
Inside the truck they found 40 pounds of meth. The information they picked up from this stop tied the truck back to the location of the business and the tunnel they would discover.
DEA says this is an ongoing investigation and they will continue to work with law enforcement and Mexican officials.
"Eventually everybody gets caught and we're going to keep doing what we do. We're going to keep trying to find these guys and keep trying to put drug dealers out of business because that's what we do and we will never stop," says Coleman.
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