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Below this defunct Arizona KFC restaurant, a nearly 600-foot long drug-smuggling tunnel to Mexico

On the left, a former KFC restaurant. On the right, a drug-smuggling tunnel found beneath the restaurant. Courtesy / Homeland Security Investigations

SAN LUIS, Ariz. — A 22-foot deep, 590-foot wide drug-smuggling tunnel with one exit underneath the bed of a Mexican home and the other underneath a defunct Arizona KFC restaurant was discovered last week following the execution of a search warrant, according to a report by KTVK-TV, a Phoenix TV station.

Investigators say the drug tunnel was discovered following a traffic stop on Aug. 13, that resulted in wide range of drugs being found in the trailer of a truck driven by Ivan Lopez, who owned the former KFC restaurant that housed one entrance to the drug tunnel.

Arizona's Family

Police say Lopez had over 118 kilograms of meth, over 6 kilograms of fentanyl, over 13 kilograms of white heroin and over 6 kilograms of brown heroin. The 3 kilograms of fentanyl alone translates to over 3 million dosage units, according to police.

Scott Brown, a Homeland Security Investigations special agent, said Lopez had been seen removing tool boxes from the former KFC restaurant earlier in the day. That tip lead police to conduct a search warrant at the location, which revealed a tunnel entrance approximately 8 inches in diameter.

Police say the tunnel was used to smuggle illegal drugs across the border and that the drugs were being pulled from Mexico into the U.S. with a rope.

The tunnel is still under investigation.

Ross Torgerson

Digital Reporter for Forum Communications. Native of Moorhead, Minn. Have a question or story idea? Email me at rtorgerson@forumcomm.com. Follow me on Twitter @RossTorgerson

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