An architect who oversaw construction of a drug tunnel into Mexico was sentenced to 18 years in prison Monday, according to the County Attorney's Office.
Felipe de Jesus Corona-Verbera, 52, of Guadalajara, Mexico, had been a fugitive since 1990, when officials discovered the 200-foot-long tunnel that led from a warehouse in Douglas to Agua Prieta, Mexico, according to a press release.
Mexico turned him over to the United States in 2003 and he was charged here with drug smuggling in March.
Officials also connected Corona-Verbera to overseeing other construction such as building houses in Mexico with hidden rooms that were used for storing weapons, drugs and money, the release said. The tunnel and many of these rooms were built using hydraulics to open hidden entrances.
Corona-Verbera worked for the Guzman drug-trafficking organization, one of the largest in Mexico, according to the release.
During the investigation, officials seized several tons of cocaine, thousands of pounds of marijuana and several million dollars. More than 2,000 pounds of cocaine seized in the Phoenix area led officials to the tunnel in May 1990.