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Sophisticated drug-smuggling tunnel found under old fried chicken joint in Arizona

Federal authorities have discovered a sophisticated drug-smuggling tunnel that went from a home in Mexico to an abandoned fast-food restaurant in Arizona.

The Homeland Security Investigations division of the Department of Homeland Security says it got word in April that there was a tunnel leading to an old Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant that’s not in operation in San Luis, Arizona, just about 200 yards (180 meters) north of the border.

Police began trailing the owner of the abandoned building, Ivan Lopez, and arrested him this month after finding several packages of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl in the back of his truck.

That arrest led to a search at his home and the old restaurant, where agents found a hidden tunnel that led to a house in Mexico and was large enough for people to freely walk through.

“One of the things that tunneling does tell us is that as we increase infrastructure, resources, patrol, that’s forcing them to go to more costly routes into the U.S.,” Scott Brown, the special agent in charge for HSI, told the Associated Press on Thursday.

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