LAREDO, TX – A human smuggling attempt resulted in a vehicle rollover crash that sent several individuals to a Laredo area hospital.
The crash occurred on the night of Oct. 6, when agents observed several suspected illegal aliens board a sports utility vehicle (SUV) near the 3800 block of South Zapata Highway (US-83). As the agents approached, the driver of the SUV sped away with its headlights off, traveling northbound on US-83 against southbound traffic. Due to the driver’s dangerous action, agents did not pursue.
The SUV ultimately turned onto the northbound lane, narrowly avoiding a collision with a Laredo Police Department (LPD) patrol unit. The driver of the SUV lost control of the vehicle causing it to rollover on its side. Border Patrol Emergency Medical Technicians and Laredo Emergency Services arrived on scene and medically assessed all individuals. Five of them, including the U.S. citizen driver, were transported to a local hospital where they were treated and subsequently released to authorities.
Authorities determined that the driver was transporting 12 individuals who were illegally present in the United States from the country of Mexico. With the assistance of investigators from the Webb County Attorney’s Office and LPD, four other U.S. citizens traveling in a separate vehicle were also implicated in the human smuggling event. A search of their vehicle led to the discovery of two stolen handguns.
The U.S. Border Patrol took custody of the 12 undocumented individuals and seized the SUV. Webb County Attorney’s Office investigators took custody of the five U.S. citizens on state charges, recovered the stolen handguns, and seized the second vehicle.