Gov. Ducey Visits Site of Drug Tunnel in San Luis

Aug 24, 2018

Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday toured the site of a drug tunnel found inside an empty fast food restaurant in San Luis, Arizona. Ducey met with local law enforcement officers and elected officials and toured the area leading into the tunnel, which Yuma Border Patrol says is the fifth tunnel found in the Yuma sector since 2007.

The tunnel was discovered after the Aug. 13 arrest of Ivan Lopez, who was found in possession of more than 300 pounds of drugs, including methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and 3 million doses of fentanyl. An 8-inch hole in the kitchen area of the restaurant, which was once a Kentucky Fried Chicken, dropped down about 20 feet to the tunnel, officials said. It stretches more than 500 feet under the U.S.-Mexico border and led to a residence in San Luis Rio Colorado.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and that no further arrests had been made as of midday Friday. Ducey praised the work of all levels of law enforcement involved in the discovery of this latest tunnel.

"This is an example of what the Border Patrol and ICE go through every day," Ducey told reporters in San Luis. "We were able to... keep these drugs out of American schools and off the streets. It is the reality of the border here in Arizona."

Recent reports have said the once secure Yuma Sector may not be as safe as it was. Law enforcement officers and San Luis Mayor Gerardo Sanchez say San Luis is still safe. Friday was Ducey's fifth visit to San Luis, Sanchez said.

"We're still considered one of the safer points," Sanchez told KAWC. "This is an example that we're vigilant."

"We continue working for the safety of our community," he said.