USBP Vehicle Chase Leads to Arrest of Smuggler and Passengers
DEMING, New Mexico – Early Monday, Border Patrol Agents in Deming, New Mexico gave chase to a vehicle that ultimately resulted in the capture of an alien smuggler and the arrest of six passengers.
On April 13, a Chevrolet Silverado truck was seen by a Deming Agent pulling off to the shoulder of the eastbound lane of Interstate 10. The driver, wearing an orange safety vest, made a U-turn across the interstate and entered onto the westbound lanes where he stopped again on the shoulder. The Agent then witnessed several people emerge from the desert brush and get into the pickup. The truck then made another U-turn and continued on its way eastbound toward Deming.
Agents followed the pick-up as it exited the interstate onto the frontage road. As Agents approached the vehicle to investigate further, the driver accelerated. Agents activated their emergency equipment to perform an immigration check and followed the truck at a safe distance. Since the driver failed to yield and accelerated to speeds over 70-mph toward Deming, Border Patrol Agents alerted other agencies including New Mexico State Police, Luna County Sheriff’s Deputies and Police Officers from Deming.
The driver of the truck maneuvered onto New Mexico State Road (NMSR) 418 eastbound, and attempted to turn onto 10th Street when the front passenger tire made contact with the sidewalk curb. The contact deflated the tire and disabled the vehicle. Once the vehicle came to a complete stop, the driver of the Chevy, 32 year-old Manuel Perea, exited the vehicle and surrendered to Agents.
Border Patrol Agents placed him and six other occupants of the vehicle under arrest, and a full inspection of the vehicle was conducted. Perea claimed to be a United States Citizen, while the other occupants of the truck admitted to have illegally crossed the U.S./Mexico International Boundary approximately three days prior. Three of the subjects claimed to be Citizens of Guatemala, while the other three claimed to be Citizens of Mexico.
One subject in the group stated he would not be required to pay any smuggler fees to cross into the U.S. if he agreed to successfully smuggle the group as well. Both the driver and the suspected alien smuggler will be charged with “8-USC 1324 Conspiracy to Enter, Transport or Harbor Aliens”, and the smuggler, who has a previous criminal and immigration history, will be additionally charged with “8-USC 1326 Illegal Re-Entry into the United States”. Both subjects will be held at the Luna County Detention Center pending criminal prosecution.
“The lure of making profits at the expense of others for those who decide to run the risk of smuggling people is sometimes too great to pass up, but the ultimate result makes that a regrettable decision,” El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Jeffrey D. Self said.
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.