A suspected migrant smuggler led Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol troopers on a high-speed pursuit that began on June 13 in the small community of Brackettville, Texas. When troopers attempted to stop the suspicious vehicle within the incorporated area of the city, the driver allegedly chose to flee. The vehicle left the city limits on a rural farm-to-market road and reportedly reached speeds in excess of 115 miles per hour.
The video shows the initiation of the pursuit and how the incident ended after the suspected migrant smuggler collided with a traffic sign and then crashed through a private-ranch fence. All occupants fled from the damaged vehicle into the private ranch to avoid apprehension. Texas Highway Patrol troopers and Florida Highway Patrol troopers deployed to Texas engaged in a foot pursuit that led to the apprehension of two migrants and the driver.
The driver tells the arresting troopers his arm is injured as he is being taken into custody. The apprehended migrants did not suffer injuries during the incident. Breitbart Texas spoke to Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol spokesman Lieutenant Chris Olivarez who says the suspect was driving a rental vehicle and had been recruited through social media to pick the migrants up near the border after they illegally crossed the Rio Grande.
Olivarez says the suspected migrant smuggler used WhatsApp to receive information on where to find the migrants closer to the border. According to Olivarez, cartel smugglers in Mexico are recruiting drivers through social media platforms and luring them into smuggling ventures promising an easy way to earn money. All transactions are conducted through social media applications, including the disbursement of payment once migrants are delivered to their destination.
Olivarez also told Breitbart Texas the number of migrant smuggling cases in Texas border counties has not been impacted by the end of the Title 42 emergency COVID-19 expulsion authority.
“These pursuits highlight the reckless disregard smugglers have for anyone’s safety or private property,” Olivarez stated. “Through Operation Lone Star, we have remained committed to reducing the number of pursuits on Texas highways by deploying alongside our law enforcement partners at the Rio Grande, within ranches near the border, and on our roadways to combat organized smuggling.”
In Tuesday’s case, the Texas troopers were assisted by Florida State troopers who are currently deployed to assist as part of Operation Lone Star. Kinney County Sheriff’s Office deputies assisted as well according to Olivarez.
The suspected migrant smuggler, a United States Citizen from Houston, faces criminal charges for smuggling of persons, criminal mischief, and evading arrest. A male migrant was charged with evading arrest and criminal trespass. A female migrant was turned over to the Border Patrol for processing.
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.