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Homeland Security Discovers Drug Tunnel Between Abandoned KFC And Mexico

Ted Wathen/KYMA-DT, Border and Customs Patrol

If you've ever seen an adventure movie, the appearance of a mysterious tunnel doesn't stray from the norm.

Although the exit of a real-life tunnel isn't typically as exciting as we'd see on the big screen, federal authorities have discovered a passageway from a home in Mexico all the way to an abandoned KFC in San Luis, Arizona.

According to Homeland Security, they began tailing Ivan Lopez, the owner of the deserted building and arrested him after they uncovered several packages of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl in the back of his truck.

Authorities then searched his home and the KFC, where they uncovered the tunnel, which is about 200 yards north of the US-Mexico border.

"One of the things that tunneling does tell us is that as we increase infrastructure, resources, patrol, that's forcing them to go to more costly routes into the US," Scott Brown, the special agent in charge for the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division, told the Associated Press.

Brown said that despite the fact the construction of a tunnel is a long and pricey (think in the six-digit range) endeavor, drug cartels are building these elusive passageways.

“Tunnels are a time-consuming venture, but it has definitely increased since the border security measures have ramped up,” Brown explained.

Authorities said they have evidence that Lopez is a "well-trusted" cartel member, and although they don't know how long the tunnel has been in use, he just recently purchased the dwelling in April.

Court documents reveal authorities have seen Lopez take packages outside of the abandoned KFC before he was arrested on August 13.

It also confirms Lopez will remain in federal custody, as he poses a flight-risk.

Cross border tunnels have been a major avenue used for drug trafficking, and since 1990, close to 200 have been discovered.

In 2016, authorities found a tunnel running nearly half a mile between Otay Mesa, California, and Tijuana, Mexico.

And while President Donald Trump has proposed a border wall since his presidency campaign in 2016, opponents have suggested more tunnels would be built instead.

However, this doesn't mean measures haven't been taken to detect these illegal underground passageways.

According to the Independent, the HSI has a tunnel task force and the Customs and Border Protection agency has a tunnel detection and technology program.

[H/T: CTV News, Independent]

What's the most extravagant tunnel you've ever heard of? Let us know in the comments!

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