San Diego Sector Border Patrol officials say an alleged human smuggler assaulted two agents following a vehicle pursuit. Agents found four Mexican nationals who were allegedly smuggled by the driver — a U.S. citizen.
San Diego Sector agents patrolling on Interstate 8 near Campo, California, on Wednesday attempted to stop a 2007 white Ford F-350 pickup truck. The driver initially pulled his truck to the side of the road but fled when agents began giving verbal commands. The driver fled at a high rate of speed, according to information provided by San Diego Sector Border Patrol officials.
As the pursuit passed the immigration checkpoint near Pine Valley, agents successfully deployed a tire deflation device. The driver continued for a short distance and stopped on Interstate 8 near Sunrise Highway, officials stated.
Agents observed the driver get out of the vehicle and flee into the brush. As the agents began a search for the alleged human smuggler, the man reportedly jumped from behind a bush and tackled one of the agents. The alleged smuggler and the agent wrestled on the ground until another agent arrived and helped bring the man under control, the press release continued.
After a short period, the agents handcuffed the man and placed him under arrest. Officials reported the driver sustained minor cuts and bruises but did not require medical assistance. The agents also sustained visible cuts and bruises.
A search of the F-350 revealed four migrants still inside the vehicle. The agents identified the migrants as three Mexican men and one Mexican woman. All four were reportedly in the U.S. illegally, officials reported.
The agents identified the driver and suspected human smuggler as a 37-year-old U.S. citizen. He now faces federal charges of alien smuggling and assault on a federal agent.
“The Border Patrol like any Law Enforcement job is inherently dangerous. The Border Patrol is comprised of a highly trained, multi-disciplined workforce. Our agents are trained and equipped to properly confront any situation they may encounter in the field,” San Diego Sector Acting Division Chief Patricia McGurk-Daniel said in a written statement. “The ambush and assault of our agents will not be tolerated and this case will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law in order to protect our workforce and the community.”
The agents seized the truck and transported the five prisoners to the Border Patrol station for processing. They will be processed under CBP guidelines.