Border Patrol agents from the Cotulla, Texas, station were led on a high-speed pursuit on Tuesday which ended when the vehicle struck a ranch fence and rolled over. The pursuit began when agents observed a suspicious vehicle on State Highway 85 near Big Wells. Two illegal migrants were apprehended and transported to an area hospital for minor injuries.
Border Patrol agents were assisted in the pursuit by Texas Highway Patrol officers working in the area as part of Operation Lone Star. An unknown number of other suspected illegal migrants managed to escape after the accident and avoided arrest.
State Highway 85 has long been known to local law enforcement and Border Patrol as a common human trafficking route with easy access to Interstate 35.
In a recent visit to La Salle County Texas, local Deputy Constable Manuel Sauceda spoke with Breitbart Texas concerning the spike in high-speed pursuits. This alarming trend differs from smuggling tactics in previous years, Sauceda says.
“In years past, the smugglers would look for the first opportunity to exit the highway and break through a ranch fence to get away–now they are fleeing and creating a dangerous situation for all of us.”
The accident caused extensive damage to a local rancher’s game fence. Sauceda, who often speaks to area ranchers, says the labor and materials required to repair fences damaged during these pursuits has local ranchers frustrated.
“The damage to game-proof fences typically involves about 6 hours of labor by 3 workers and costs the rancher $3,500.00 to restore the fence. That’s the only way to avoid the loss of livestock or exotic game.”
Most of the vehicles involved in the pursuits in this area are stolen, according to Sauceda. “That also results in a financial cost to insurance companies and the victims of the theft.”
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.