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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
August 24, 2005

Seized U.S. / Canada Tunnel to be Destroyed

AUG 24--Lynden, Washington – Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge, Seattle Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), advises that the illegal underground tunnel seized in Lynden, Washington, on July 20, 2005, will be dismantled on August 25, 2005, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Since the tunnel was seized, the Customs and Border Protection Service has maintained custody of the illicit crossing point and provided 24 hour a day protection. The destruction of this tunnel will render this illicit crossing point useless.

The Whatcom County Engineering Department will destroy the tunnel by cutting through the roadway directly above the tunnel and removing the wood beams used as supports. The initial cut into the road should take place at approximately 8:45 a.m. after which steel or cement barriers will then be installed underground at the border. The construction team with then use gravel and fill dirt to fill the void left by the tunnel under the road. The construction crew will repave the roadway. The following day, after the roadway is reopened, the crews will place steel or cement barriers at the entrance to the tunnel near the residence on the United States side of the border, filling the area between the residence and road with Controlled Density Fill (CDF) – a liquid foam cement material that will expand to all crevices and harden like rock. The CDF will completely fill the tunnel and have an estimated strength of 800-1000 pounds per square inch.

Drug Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Rodney G. Benson and Assistant Chief of CBP/Border Patrol Wes Vanderheyden will be available on site on August 25, 2005, from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. to answer any questions.

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