Officials Determine That Old KFC Restaurant Was Turned Into A Drug Smuggling Operation

(Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for KFC)

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The Department of Homeland Security discovered that an abandoned Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Arizona only 200 yards north of the Mexican border doubled as an undercover drug smuggling operation.

A KFC was transformed into a drug smuggling operation through an underground tunnel that went from a home in Mexico to the restaurant in San Luis, Arizona, The Associated Press reported. Officials arrested the building owner Ivan Lopez Aug. 13 after he was found to possess packages of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl stuffed in the back of his truck.

Lopez bought the abandoned KFC in April. Officials believe he was a well-trusted member of the drug cartel community. (RELATED: Migrants From Central American Caravan Caught Scaling The Border Fences)

“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 US,” Scott Brown, the special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations, said to The AP Thursday.

The tunnel was large enough for people to easily walk through. Drug cartel tunnels can cost drug smugglers hundreds of thousands of dollars to build.

“Tunnels are a time-consuming venture, but it has definitely increased since the border security measures have ramped up,” Brown added.

Officials discovered almost 200 drug cartel tunnels on the U.S.-Mexico borders since 1990, the Metro reported.

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