The pursuit of a human smuggler which began in California and crossed into Arizona ended in a major crash that sent one innocent motorist to a hospital. The chase resulted in the arrest of a previously convicted smuggler and the apprehension of four migrants.
El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents attempted to stop a Toyota sedan on the morning of November 19 on Interstate 8 near the Imperial Dunes Recreational area. The driver refused to yield and led agents on a pursuit that moved into Arizona, according to Yuma Sector officials.
At one point, the driver of the Toyota stopped long enough to drop his cargo of four illegal immigrants, officials stated. Pursuing agents stopped and took the four migrants into custody at the drop point. Agents identified the migrants as three adult Mexican males and one adult Honduran male.
The driver continued leading agents on the chase through the streets of Yuma, eventually making his way back to the interstate highway. He took off westbound and then executed a U-turn into the Foothills area, Yuma Sector officials stated. He eventually exited Interstate 8 and collided with an uninvolved vehicle. The suspected human smuggler fled on foot and forced his way into an occupied home near the scene.
Agents entered the house and found the suspect hiding in a closet, officials said. They placed him under arrest. Officials reported the homeowners were unharmed.
The driver of the uninvolved civilian vehicle struck by the alleged human smuggler had to be taken to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
After arresting the suspected human smuggler, agents learned he is currently on probation for a human smuggling conviction from five months ago. Agents identified the suspect as a 29-year-old U.S. citizen.
The suspect now faces a new charge for human smuggling. He could also face multiple felony charges relating to the pursuit, interstate flight, and leaving the scene of a crash involving injuries.