If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
INVESTIGATORS BELIVE DRIVERS WERE COLLABORATING IN IMMIGRANT TRANSPORT, LOOKOUT VEHICLES
Two recent cases involving pursuits of drivers suspected of involvement in the illegal transport of immigrants are being highlighted by the Encinal Police Department as symbolic of an ongoing confrontation between smugglers and local law enforcement.
A tractor-trailer truck driver was arrested on felony human smuggling charges Tuesday, June 27, after he allegedly attempted to transport seven undocumented immigrants through South Texas.
Encinal police say the man led officers on a high-speed pursuit when state troopers attempted to effect a traffic stop on the freighter for traveling the wrong direction in the IH-35 southbound lanes.
The driver, who has since been identified as 23-year-old Eduardo Aradas of Naples, Florida, began traveling at a high rate of speed near Milemarker 30 before stopping nearly thirty miles further along the highway.
The report indicates that when Aradas stopped the freighter, he and seven undocumented immigrants attempted to evade officers by running into the roadside brush. The area was surropunded by law enforcement agents, including police and Highway Patrol.
All eight individuals were arrested; Aradas was transported to the Webb County Jail and US Border Patrol agents took custody of the immigrants.
Within a few hours, Encinal police attempted to conduct a routine traffic stop on the driver of a Dodge Challenger in a case that has now been linked to the freight truck interception.
The driver of the Dodge led officers on a high-speed pursuit on IH-35 for nearly ten miles before losing control of his steering at the Milemarker 48 underpass, according to the report. The driver absconded into the brush and was able to evade arrest by officers.
Investigators now believe the unidentified suspect had been the lookout driver for the freight truck driver arrested earlier that day.
“We are beginning to see a trend in very aggressive driving by these smugglers,” Encinal Police Chief Pablo Balboa said, “showing complete disregard for the safety of the general public as well as the people they are smuggling and their own.”