Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and that saying certainly rings true for resourceful drug smugglers. One of the most effective and difficult to detect methods of moving illegal drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border has been the use of drug tunnels. In recent years, tunnel detection technology has evolved, and Border Patrol agents have focused on leveraging human sources to determine tunnel locations. However, smugglers keep managing to stay one step ahead of law enforcement officers, and tunnel construction methods are evolving to keep them there.
A recent report by KPBS outlined the three different categories of drug tunnels as identified by U.S. Border Patrol: rudimentary (cheaply made and stretch short distances), interconnected (exploit existing municipal infrastructure), and sophisticated (often equipped with lighting, electricity, ventilation, water pumps, railways and more). Of the 197 drug tunnels that have been discovered along the southwest border, one third of them were found in the San Diego sector, as well as roughly half of the tunnels classified as sophisticated.
Read the complete report here.