A pair of U.S. citizen human smugglers led San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents on high-speed pursuits in separate incidents. The pursuits led to their arrests and those of 15 migrants.
Border Patrol agents utilizing electronic surveillance equipment in San Diego County observed a group of people running north from the U.S./Mexico border on the evening of December 18. Agents responded to the alert saw the group of 11 migrants loading into a red Ford pickup truck, according to information obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
The agents attempted to stop the red truck after the migrants loaded themselves into the cab of the truck and under the bed cover, officials stated. The driver failed to stop and led agents on a pursuit that reached “high speeds.”
Within minutes, other Border Patrol agents deployed tire deflation devices and stopped the truck. The agents arrested the 20-year-old U.S. citizen driver and apprehended the 11 migrants. Officials identified the illegal aliens as Mexican nationals. The group included seven females, including a 15-year-old girl, and four men.
The driver is being held for pending human smuggling charges. The migrants will all be processed under CBP guidelines.
Later that evening, San Diego Sector agents observed a gray Toyota Corolla approaching the State Route 94 immigration checkpoint for inspection. A Border Patrol agent initiated an interview with the driver who suddenly accelerated through the checkpoint in an attempt to flee.
Agents engaged in a high-speed pursuit towards the California town of Jamul. At one point, the driver slowed his vehicle and two people jumped out of the vehicle’s trunk. One Border Patrol vehicle stopped and agents pursued the fleeing subjects, officials stated.
A second Border Patrol vehicle remained in pursuit of the Corolla. The driver eventually stopped and agents placed him under arrest.
Officials identified the driver as an 18-year-old male U.S. citizen. Agents stated both of the occupants of the vehicle who fled on foot were Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S.
Agents seized the vehicle and placed the driver under arrests on charges related to human smuggling.
“These incidents are examples of the dangerous acts human smugglers perform every day for financial gain and demonstrates their indifference for the lives of those involved and the driving public,” San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison said in a written statement. “Fortunately, these events came to a safe conclusion and ended with the drivers in custody. I am proud of the hard work our agents carry out to protect our communities from the dangerous smugglers.”