Lost in last week’s coverage and commentary of the unfolding Osama bin Laden story was the discovery of yet another drug tunnel on the U.S.-Mexico border, this time in Arizona. Border Patrol agents working in conjunction with the Government of Mexico confirmed the existence of an illicit tunnel on May 5th, three days after U.S. agents discovered evidence indicating a cross-border drug tunnel.

Chiseled right through solid rock in some places, the sophisticated drug tunnel traversed 250 feet across the border, fifteen feet below the surface. It was three feet wide and five feet in height. Chief Patrol Agent Randy Hill said:

“This tunnel is more sophisticated than other recently discovered tunnels. They chiseled through solid rock and then installed electricity, lighting, water pumps, and ventilation. It is a prime example of the risks traffickers will take and the lengths they will go to smuggle contraband into our country.”

Why would gangs and drug lords go to so much effort? Ironically, the press release issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection may have unwittingly summed up the nature and fundamental causes of the problem on America’s southern border:

“Illicit tunneling attempts indicate that the combined efforts of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the GoM [Government of Mexico] to reduce illegal activity above ground are driving smugglers underground.”

Source: W. E. Messamore for

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