First El Paso Tunnel to Mexico Found

July 8, 2010 Updated: July 8, 2010

US Border Patrol agents discovered the first ever man-made Mexico-U.S. tunnel in El Paso, Texas. It was near the Bridge of the Americas Port of Entry. The roughly fashioned border-crossing tunnel was discovered June 25. The tunnel ran under the concrete-lined Rio Grande River and was only about two feet high by two feet wide. The tunnel opened into a storm drain on the river levee in El Paso.

Border Patrol agents heard suspicious activity in the city storm drain system early in the morning of June 25 and around 1:30 a.m. the agents arrested a 17-year-old illegal alien transporting more than 200 pounds of marijuana.

El Paso Sector Chief Randy R. Hill said in an official statement, "This is another example of smuggling organizations actively recruiting juveniles to smuggle narcotics and humans. These organizations are exploiting the youth of Mexico and putting their lives in danger." It was in making the arrest that the agents found the the tunnel entrance in the storm drain system.

Mexican authorities have identified the tunnel’s entry point in Mexico. Authorities plan to seal the tunnel on both sides of the border.