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La Salle County sheriff’s deputies and US Border Patrol agents found nearly two dozen undocumented immigrants during two routine traffic stops on Tuesday, January 12.
The first incident happened in the early evening hours when a deputy on routine patrol initiated a traffic stop for a defective taillight on a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. It was when the deputy activated his emergency lights that the driver of the vehicle allegedly tried to evade capture.
According to a report on the case, the driver crossed the IH-35 median at Milemarker 54 and, once he had reached the access road, approximately 15 individuals climbed out of the truck and fled on foot into the brush.
A further investigation into the incident revealed the truck had been reported stolen out of San Antonio.
Three hours later, deputies attempted to effect a second traffic stop near Milemarker 73 on a 2019 Dodge Ram for a violation of the traffic code, when the driver stopped the pickup truck and five individuals attempted to flee on foot.
All five of the men were captured. Two were American citizens and the remaining three were Mexican nationals, according to the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office.
The driver and passenger were transported to the La Salle County Jail without incident and face multiple charges including a felony count of human smuggling.