Cross-Border Smuggling Tunnel Discovered Under KFC in Arizona
ARIZONA — August 23, 2018
The tunnel spread from a former Kentucky Fried Chicken in Arizona all the way to a home in Mexico. Investigators believe it may be a secret passageway which was used for the drug smuggling.
The story started when San Luis police stopped Ivan Lopez to check his documents, and the police's dogs alerted officers to two toolboxes that were found in the trailer of the truck Lopez was driving. Authorities later said they found 168 kilograms of hard narcotics inside the toolboxes.
During the investigation, Lopez led the police into the tunnel on August 13, where they discovered 118 kilograms of methamphetamine, six grams of cocaine, three kilograms of fentanyl, 13 kilograms of white heroin, and six kilograms of brown heroin, which were in sealed-up boxes. The entrance of the tunnel was found in the kitchen area. It is only eight inches in diameter.
"I would particularly note that just the three kilograms of fentanyl translate to over three million dosage units," HSI's Special Agent in Charge Scott Brown said.
Earlier that day, Lopez was seen removing toolboxes from the old KFC. He is the owner of the building that once served as the fast food restaurant.
HSI officials said the tunnel was 22 feet deep and extended to 590 feet towards its end point at a residence in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico.
On the Mexican side, the entrance was through a trap door was found underneath a bed. Authorities believe the narcotics being smuggled through the tunnel were being pulled up with a rope.
The tunnel is currently under investigation.