Feds find cross-border drug tunnel under KFC restaurant

Homeland Security Investigations

Video showed the tunnel walls lined with wooden planks

Police say the tunnel was used to smuggle illegal drugs across the border and that the drugs were being pulled from Mexico into the US with a rope. It was a drug-trafficking tunnel found on August 13, 2018.

A canine unit alerted officers to two toolboxes in Lopez' truck.

Homeland security agents said the boxes contained over 168 kilograms of narcotics.

Mr. Brown noted that the three kilograms of fentanyl seized during last Monday's traffic stop amounted to "over three million dosage units" of the deadly synthetic opioid.

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The tunnel was discovered when suspect Ivan Lopez was pulled over by police, and sniffer dogs found 118kg of methamphetamine, 6kg of cocaine, 3kg of fentanyl, and 19kg of heroin in his vehicle.

Video of the tunnel showed it was 22 feet deep and 590 feet long with wooden planks lining the wall. However, unlike the substances believed to be smuggled through the abandoned KFC, the San Diego tunnel was primarily used to transport "multi-ton quantities" of cocaine and marijuana, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said at the time.

They then searched his home and his old KFC restaurant, discovering the tunnel's entrance in the kitchen.

A routine traffic stop in San Luis, Arizona, led to a major drug seizure, which in turn led to the discovery of a cross-border drug tunnel.

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The longest tunnel ever found along the US-Mexico border, which measured 905 feet, was discovered in 2015. In 2016, a tunnel almost half a mile long was found running from San Diego to Tijuana.

It was reported Lopez was seen leaving the KFC with the toolboxes earlier that day, which lead to police raiding the empty fast food joint.

In 2012, police found a "sophisticated drug smuggling tunnel" that began inside an ice plant in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico, and ended inside an one-story, nondescript building in San Luis, Arizona.

Police made a decision to investigate and were amazed to find a 600ft drug-smuggling tunnel.

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