An alleged human smuggler attempting to flee Border Patrol agents in California reportedly injected himself with a heroin-filled syringe after being stopped. The actions of the smuggler placed the lives of the public and five migrants, including a teenager, in danger, officials stated.
On Tuesday morning, San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate 8 immigration checkpoint observed a 2001 Mercedes sedan approaching for inspection. The driver abruptly turned around and fled from the checkpoint after being asked to proceed to a secondary inspection station, according to information obtained from Border Patrol officials in southern California.
The driver allegedly fled at a high rate of speed until other agents deployed a “vehicle immobilization device” which flattened two of the vehicle’s tires.
The driver continued to flee, driving erratically, officials stated. The pursuit continued until the driver lost control and slid into the center median of the interstate highway. As the vehicle stopped, the five passengers jumped out of the car and attempted to flee into the brush.
Agents said the driver, a 39-year-old U.S. citizen, remained inside the vehicle and then injected himself with a syringe. Agents later determined the syringe contained heroin. The agent ordered the man to remove the syringe and get out of the car. The suspect followed the agent’s commands and got out of the vehicle. The agent placed him under arrest.
Other agents carried out a search of the area and brought the five foreign nationals into custody. The subjects included two men, two women, and a 16-year-old boy — all Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S., officials reported.
Border Patrol agents transported the Mexican migrants to the station where they will be “processed for removal.”
“This is another example of the dangerous acts human smugglers perform for financial gain and how they show no regard for human life,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a written statement. “Fortunately, this pursuit came to a safe conclusion and ended with the driver in custody.”
The agents transported the suspected human smuggler to a local facility for detox from the injection. He will face federal charges for alien smuggling.