ONLY ON KOLD: The small yellow house with a secret - Tucson News Now

ONLY ON KOLD: The small yellow house with a secret

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Imagine renting a home only to realize it’s famous, but for all the wrong reasons.

For one southern Arizona woman, that became a reality.

Melissa Biskofski, a retired teacher, rented a home in Nogales, Arizona because she liked the neighborhood.

“I have a son living in the U.S. and my other son lives in Mexico, so I’m right here in the middle and I can visit both of them,” she said.

You will often find her sitting on her front porch, grooming her rescue dog Jenny or taking a walk along the fence.

“It’s very peaceful and I have a garden,” she said.

But after she settled in, Biskofski quickly found out life wasn’t always so peaceful in the small yellow house.

“I spoke with my neighbors when I got here, and they told me ... what had happened and the whole story,” she explained.

She plugged in her address on Google and learned the house was the center of a massive investigation just a year before she moved in.

“Everybody was here, the border patrol, FBI,” she added.

Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement found the exit of the longest tunnel in Ambos Nogales in the basement of the home.

Investigators said the passageway was about 480 feet and started at a home in Nogales, Sonora. To this date, it’s still considered the longest tunnel ever found in the area.

Today, the only thing left is a bit of fear and a scar on the wall.

“I never go down to the basement. It’s spooky, it’s spooky,” Biskofski said.

Agents collapsed the tunnel and a patch of cement serves as a reminder of what was once there.

“So, the tunnel exit is here (walks) right there (points) maybe you can see where the cement is over that, well it was closed there and of course it was collapsed with explosives,” Biskofski said as she points at the area in her basement.

A tunnel of this magnitude, Biskofski believes, can only be the work of a powerhouse.

“From what I heard the engineering that goes into this tunnel is extraordinary…. It’s really a great feat, a great engineering feat and…. Only somebody like a Chapo could do that,” she said.

Although it’s the talk around the small border town, ICE can’t confirm connections to world-famous drug lord El Chapo. The agency said the investigation is still open.

And as the investigation continues, and the years go by, Biskofski said the reminders haven’t faded.

“It’s a weird house, it’s a weird house…People ask me if I’ve found drugs, I say no I haven’t,” she said laughingly.

Living so close to the border wall, Biskofski said she often hears people running through her yard.

“I’ve seen people jumping over with great big backpacks and also packages, very thin packages that can get through the rails and they have them tied one after another like a little train,” she said

But a home with a tainted past, and the sound of people running through her yard, are not enough to disrupt her peaceful life.

“If you want a quiet life and you enjoy a garden and knitting and listening to podcasts, which is what I do all day, it’s very nice,” she said.

After the initial raid in 2014, ICE arrested three men. Right now, the investigation is still moving through the courts.

Meanwhile, Biskofski said maybe one day she’ll move out, but for now she’s staying put.

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