TUCSON, ARIZ.—Two female United States citizens, Lisa Marie Quihuis, 28, and Jessica Leeann Johnson, 29, were convicted in U.S. District Court for conspiracy to commit high-speed flight from an immigration checkpoint on Interstate 19.
In August 2011, Border Patrol agents working at the Interstate 19 checkpoint directed a grey Nissan with two female occupants to secondary inspection after a canine alerted to the vehicle. Once in secondary, agents asked the women to step out of the vehicle. They refused, however, and attempted to flee - a violation of federal law.
During the northbound pursuit, the vehicle exited Interstate 19 at exit 48 where the subjects then attempted to flee on foot. They were taken into custody a short time later by Border Patrol agents and transported to the Nogales Station for processing.
During processing, agents used the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System to scan fingerprints of both subjects and learned each have an extensive criminal history. Quihuis was convicted previously for drug violations and DUI; Johnson for disorderly conduct, assault and drug paraphernalia violations. After initial processing, the Tucson Sector's Prosecution Unit submitted the case to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Quihuis was sentenced to 16 months in prison on Jan. 12. Johnson's sentencing is set for Jan. 31.
Not only is fleeing from a CBP immigration checkpoint against the law, it also endangers the motoring public and agents by placing them at a substantial risk of being struck by the fleeing vehicle. CBP considers this violation a serious offense and is committed to prosecuting violators to the fullest extent of the law.
Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling (877) 872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.