How tunnels are built, used along US-Mexico border

January 14, 2014 • Business

A wireless, camera-equipped robot is displayed by the U.S. Border Patrol during a briefing in Nogales, Ariz., Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. With more than 75 underground drug smuggling tunnels found along the border since 2008, mostly in California and Arizona, the U.S. Border Patrol is utilizing the robots to assist in their search. (AP Photo/Brian Skoloff)

NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — As border security has tightened, drug cartels have turned to tunneling beneath the ground to avoid detection.

Nearly 170 tunnels have been found nationwide since 1990, most along the Arizona and California border with Mexico. The job of searching these networks can be dangerous, so the U.S. Border Patrol is unveiling its latest technology in the underground war — a wireless, camera-equipped robot that can do the job in a fraction of the time.


Tunnel construction ranges from extremely rudimentary, a small burrow dug by hand sometimes only large enough for a person to crawl through, to very sophisticated, including lights, supports to hold up the ceiling and ventilation. They can range from just a few feet stretching from one side of the border to the Login to read more

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