The following is a press release sent by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to Del Rio Sector have seen an increase in vehicular smuggling attempts as drivers fled from agents at multiple immigration checkpoints in the last week.
“Smugglers have no regard for the lives of the people they are smuggling or the traveling public,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “Together with our state and local partners, these criminals were successfully apprehended and will face prosecution for their actions.”
On Sept. 13, Border Patrol agents assigned to a tactical immigration checkpoint on FM 2523 observed a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado make a U-turn before the primary inspection area and quickly accelerate away. Agents attempted to pull the vehicle over. Closer to town, a DPS trooper successfully deployed a controlled tire deflation device which forced the driver to stop the vehicle. Four individuals bailed-out of the vehicle and were arrested shortly thereafter.
The smuggler, a 38-year-old United States citizen, who has an extensive criminal history, faces a charge of 8 USC § 1324, alien smuggling, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
On Sept. 11, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 57 immigration checkpoint, near Eagle Pass, referred a 2008 Acura for further inspection. The driver accelerated and fled from the inspection area at a high rate of speed. The driver eventually stopped and bailed-out near La Pryor along with several suspected illegal aliens. Border Patrol agents, with the assistance of Zavala County Sheriff’s deputies, arrested the driver, a 42-year-old lawfully admitted permanent resident from Mexico.
A similar event occurred on Sept.10, when Border Patrol agents assigned to a tactical immigration checkpoint on FM 2523, near Del Rio, encountered a 2013 Chevrolet sport utility vehicle as it approached the inspection area. The driver of the vehicle accelerated through the checkpoint at a high rate of speed and failed to yield to agents. The driver slowed down a few miles down the road to allow several suspected illegal aliens to jump out of the vehicle before continuing to flee from Border Patrol agents. Agents in the surrounding area were able to locate the vehicle and arrested the driver, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen.
Both drivers face a charge of 18 USC § 758, high speed flight from an immigration checkpoint, which carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison.
So far this fiscal year, Del Rio Sector has charged over 410 individuals with 8 USC § 1324, alien smuggling, which is a nearly 65 percent increase compared to fiscal year 2018 to date.”