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Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 10:52pm
Nogales, Arizona (CNN) — Law enforcement agents patrolling the U.S. Mexico border are getting some high tech help in their efforts to catch illegal immigrants.
Agents are tasked with physically investigating underground entry points like tunnels and storm drains, and now Tucson sector Border Batrol agents have two wireless robots to help them navigate through miles of dangerous tunnels underground.
The robots can travel hundreds of yards to locate security breaches as many drug cartels are using tunnels to smuggle drugs, weapons and people on a day to day basis.
Agents will also be using the robots to look through drain and sewage tunnels where space is tight and often very dark.
"The agent can sit there, run the robot down the pipe, check for breaches, drive it back and be done. instead of the agent suiting up, putting on kneepads, elbow pads, air quality meter checks. The agent doesn't have to make any confined-space entry, the robot does the entry for the agent," describes Kevin Hecht with Nogales Border Patrol.
The robots cost up to $40,000 each, and will be used to check possible underground border entries from Arizona to California.