A tunnel was recently discovered underneath a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in San Luis, Arizona. The tunnel was reportedly used to smuggle drugs between Arizona and Mexico.
Ivan Lopez, the owner of the since-closed KFC location, was arrested on August 13th after several drugs were found in his truck. A K9 police team found the drugs hidden in tool boxes.
According to a Homeland Security Investigations agent, Lopez possessed substantial amounts of various drugs. The agent stated:
[Lopez had] over 118 kilograms of methamphetamine, over six kilograms of cocaine, over three kilograms of fentanyl, over 13 kilograms of white heroin and over six kilograms of brown heroin. Just the three kilograms of fentanyl translates to over 3 million dosage units.”
Officers issued a warrant to investigate both Lopez’s house and the KFC location which he owned. Police found that the restaurant had been turned into a full drug-smuggling operation.
The tunnel behind the restaurant was 22 feet deep and 590 feet long, with wooden support planks throughout. The tunnel reportedly connected the KFC location with a home in San Luis Rio Colorado in Sonora, Mexico.
While Lopez did own the restaurant, he did not manage the establishment. Instead, he used the establishment for his personal business. In fact, Lopez spotted removing toolboxes filled with drugs from the restaurant after the location had closed.
It remains unclear how the tunnel was used, exactly. The tunnel opening in the building itself had only an 8-inch diameter. Investigators believe that the drugs were transported and pulled from the tunnel using ropes.
The investigations have not concluded. Several factors, such as the full scale of the operations, have yet to be clarified.
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