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Officers cuff Honduran nationals among fugitives; reports show increase in numbers of human smuggling cases
MARC ROBERTSON, Editor
& MANUEL AZOCAR III, Managing Editor
Undocumented immigrants traveling through Frio County and attempting in vain to evade law enforcement were captured after a pair of high-speed pursuits Monday, November 30.
In the first of two cases Monday, a Frio County deputy on interstate patrol shortly after 9 a.m. attempted to effect a traffic stop on a Ford sport utility vehicle that was traveling northbound when the unidentified driver accelerated away from the officer near Moore.
Reports from the case indicate the driver reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour on IH-35 before crossing the highway roadside median to the east-side access road.
The sheriff’s office has confirmed that the driver of the SUV lost control of his steering on the access road and caused the Ford to flip at least four times. The driver and a passenger were thrown from the vehicle during the rollover. Both were listed as having suffered serious injury and were treated by paramedics before being airlifted to San Antonio hospitals.
Emergency responders assisting at the crash scene in northern Frio County have reported that there were a total of six undocumented immigrants in the Ford. Each was treated for injuries sustained in the crash. One of the passengers fled the crash site on foot, according to the sheriff’s office, and was pursued by deputies and by troopers of the Texas Highway Patrol.
Assistance was provided by the US Border Patrol, deploying additional manpower, search dogs and helicopter surveillance in the hunt for the fugitive. The sheriff’s office has yet to report whether the unidentified man was captured.
Additional support in the crash response was provided by the Moore Volunteer Fire Department.
On the same day, Frio County deputies were engaged in the pursuit of a sedan that had been spotted speeding north on IH-35. Again, officers attempted to effect a traffic stop but were foiled when the driver accelerated from the scene. Additional deputies were summoned and were successful in bringing the vehicle to a halt a short distance north of Pearsall near Milemarker 105, according to the sheriff’s office in a brief statement that day.
Officers handling the case have confirmed that the vehicle driver was a Honduran national and that the vehicle contained five passengers, all of them undocumented immigrants.
The detainees were turned over to the custody of the US Border Patrol.