Entries in Arizona (2)


Mexican Drug Smugglers Tunnel Into Arizona Parking Spaces

Smugglers in Mexico have tunneled their way under metered parking spaces in the border town of Nogales, Arizona. ABC News(NOGALES, Ariz.) -- Drug smugglers are endlessly creative when it comes to inventing ways to move marijuana, cocaine and other contraband from Mexico into the United States.

In the latest innovation uncovered by law enforcement, smugglers in the border town of Nogales, Ariz., were bringing drugs into the U.S. for the cost of a quarter.

The parking meters on International Street, which hugs the border fence in Nogales, cost 25 cents. Smugglers in Mexico tunneled under the fence and under the metered parking spaces, and then carefully cut neat rectangles out of the pavement. Their confederates on the U.S. side would park false-bottomed vehicles in the spaces above the holes, feed the meters, and then wait while the underground smugglers stuffed their cars full of drugs from below.

When the exchange was finished, the smugglers would use jacks to put the pavement "plugs" back into place. The car would drive away, and only those observers who were looking closely would notice the seams in the street.

In all, U.S. Border Patrol agents found 16 tunnels leading to the 18 metered parking spaces on International Street. The pavement is now riddled with neat, symmetrical patches.

"It's unbelievable," Nogales mayor Arturo Garino told Tucson, Ariz., ABC affiliate KGUN. "Those are the strides these people take to get the drugs across the border."

Past methods of smuggling have included catapults that launch bales of drugs across the border fence. "The [smugglers] have tried everything," said Garino, "and this is one of the most ingenious [methods] of them all.

The city, advised by Homeland Security, has agreed to remove the parking meters. Nogales stands to lose $8,500 annually in parking revenue, plus the cost of citations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Israelis Worry Anti-Semitism to Blame for Giffords' Shooting

Photo Courtesy - Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords(JERUSALEM) -- Many in Israel are wishing Rep. Gabrielle Giffords a full and speedy recovery.  A strong and vocal supporter of the state of Israel, Giffords promised to stand by the nation's security needs and called on Arab leaders to recognize Israel's right to exist.

She first traveled to Israel in 2001 and later wrote about what a profound effect the trip had on her own sense of Jewish identity.  Giffords is also known in Israel for legislation she introduced to help holocaust survivors in Arizona when she was a state senator. That law eliminated the statute of limitations for collecting insurance claims by victims of the holocaust and their heirs.

Giffords identifies as Jewish and talked about it in her congressional campaign back in 2006.  Her father's family were Jews from Lithuania; her great-grandfather was a rabbi.  It was her grandfather, Akiba Hornstein, who changed the family name to Giffords to avoid anti-Semitism in the 1940s.  With reports that Giffords' shooter named Adolf Hitler's hateful manifesto against the Jews, "Mein Kampf," as one of his favorite books, there is some concern in Israel that anti-Semitism may have played a role in Saturday's attack.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio