Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents recently thwarted a large human smuggling attempt that ended in a dangerous high-speed chase and shootout in Arizona.
Nineteen illegals were apprehended as they attempted to reach a stash house in vehicles disguised to look like construction crew trucks.
A cartel operative leading the operation fled into Mexico after the gun battle with a CBP agent.
“The shootout Wednesday capped off an incident that began when agents noticed two older-model Ford F-250 pickup trucks with logos reading ‘SWC Southwest Valley Constructors,’ which raised suspicion after a string of incidents over the past month, according to court documents that detailed the arrest,” the Washington Times reports.
“SWC is the name of the firm contracted to build fencing in the Tucson sector, but the company told agents their fleet used only newer-model F-250s.”
The trucks separated after agents began following them, with one driver continuing onward in a legal manner until his path was blocked by a CBP vehicle.
Agents apprehended 15 illegal aliens in the truck, including the driver, who says he had been commissioned to pilot the vehicle in exchange for a reduced smuggling fee.
The driver of the other truck reportedly took flight at high-speed, ramming into a CBP vehicle during the chase.
“After the truck eventually stopped, shots were fired, according to the court filings,” the Times reports.
The driver, identified as ‘Javier’ by border agents, managed to escape back into Mexico, while his four passengers – all illegal aliens – were apprehended at the scene.
The Times reports it has documented eight incidents involving border wall construction being used as cover for human smuggling activities.
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