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Intercepting immigrant transport…
The Frio County Sheriff’s Office is reporting this week that its deputies have detected a number of ploys being used by smugglers transporting undocumented immigrants to evade capture.
Among the tactics identified in the past month has been the practice by smugglers to travel in two vehicles in close convoy, and for one vehicle to create a distraction when the other has attracted the attention of law enforcement officers.
Deputies describe the ploy as hazardous to other motorists.
In one recent case, Frio County deputies reported that they were attempting to effect the traffic stop of a Chrysler PT Cruiser sedan when the driver of another vehicle traveling nearby began driving erratically. The maneuver, according to investigators, was aimed at drawing officers away from the suspect vehicle.
Deputies say the driver of the PT Cruiser eventually stopped her vehicle and was identified as 34-year-old Claudia Diaz.
The Carrizo Springs woman was traveling with three men. Diaz told officers that she did not know the men but that she had picked them up at a gas station in Dilley. Deputies and US Border Patrol agents determined the three men were Ecuadorian nationals who had entered the United States illegally.
Diaz was released after she told officers that she had been en route to San Antonio for treatment of a medical condition.
Last month, deputies assisted state troopers with the arrest of a couple reportedly attempting to smuggle several undocumented immigrants through South Texas. The initial traffic stop occurred at the Zavala and Frio County lines on Highway 85. The driver of one vehicle was detained after his wife, traveling in a 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe, attempted to interfere with the traffic stop, a report on the case indicated.
Frio County deputies arrested the woman after she was stopped at a convenience store on the outskirts of Pearsall.
“We must always remain two steps ahead,” Frio Lt. Joshua Longoria said. “Smugglers are always finding new ways to transport illegal immigrants. We are thankful for the relationships we have with other law enforcement agencies to combat this ongoing issue.”