Drug Tunnel Breaches Binational Sewage Pipeline

By Chloe Jones
Published: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 6:01pm
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The binational sewage pipeline connecting Nogales, Sonora, with Nogales, Arizona, was breached in early May and still needs repairs. 

The International Outfall Interceptor, or IOI, carries wastewater from both sides of the border to an international treatment plant. After an investigation by Customs and Border Protection and Nogales police, they concluded the breach was due to a drug tunnel used by a cartel. John Kissinger, deputy city manager of Nogales, Arizona, explains the breach was discovered during a maintenance project in the Nogales Wash.

“They had a large dump truck in there, filling with sand and dirt, the dump truck fell through the floor of the wash. Upon further excavation, getting it out of there looking they discovered that it was drug tunnel used to, you know, smuggle drugs from Mexico as it comes through the IOI," Kissinger said. 

Kissinger said they are still assessing the costs and extent of repairs. He expects the pipeline to be fixed soon.

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