SAN LUIS, Ariz - Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol held a press conference Wednesday morning disclosing more details of the cross-border found in San Luis, Ariz. believed to be used for drug smuggling.
HSI said a traffic stop conducted Monday, August 13, by the San Luis Police Department led to the discovery of narcotics that were removed from the former Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant located at 552 San Luis Plaza Drive in San Luis, Ariz.
San Luis police stopped Ivan Lopez, a resident of Yuma, Ariz. and a canine unit alerted officers to two toolboxes that were found in the trailer of the truck Lopez was driving. Authorities said they found 168 kilograms of hard narcotics inside the toolboxes.
HSI's Special Agent in Charge Scott Brown said authorities found 118 kilograms of methamphetamine, six grams of cocaine, three kilograms of fentanyl, 13 kilograms of white heroin, and six kilograms of brown heroin inside the toolboxes. The fentanyl alone could supply three million dosage units.
Brown said Lopez, who is also the owner of the building that formerly served as a KFC restaurant, had been seen removing the toolboxes from the building earlier that day.
Agents executed a search warrant at both the former restaurant and Lopez’s residence. The entrance of the tunnel was found in the kitchen area. It is only eight inches in diameter.
HSI officials said the tunnel was 22 feet deep and extended to 590 feet long towards its end point at a residence in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico.
At the Mexican side, a trap door was found underneath a bed. Authorities believe the narcotics being smuggled through the tunnel were being pulled up with a rope.