Pictured: A crack pipe with cocaine (pictured) was seized from a vehicle on Friday after a routine traffic stop. Emeterio Rios Jr. from Benavides was arrested and charged with five felony charges. Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Rios faces five felony charges, including transporting illegals

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

It took a deputy, a game warden, an off-duty state trooper and two residents to restrain a 41-year-old Benavides man who tried to run from law officials after being stopped on a routine traffic stop on Highway 281, about one mile south of Green Acres, Lt. Joe Martinez with the sheriff's department said.

Martinez said it turned out the man was transporting undocumented immigrants in his 1993 Mercury Cougar and officials also found a crack pipe in his car with traces of cocaine.

"We fought with him for four minutes, it was me, (Game Warden) Stormy (King), an off duty trooper and two citizens," Martinez said Tuesday. "I want to thank (the citizens) for stopping and helping us out…I'm really grateful for that."

Martinez said the driver, Emeterio Rios Jr. from Benavides, was stopped because of an expired license tag as Martinez was working taskforce interdiction about 1:30 p.m. Friday on Highway 281.

After stopping the vehicle, Rios began to question Martinez as to why he was stopped and proceeded to give Martinez a false name, according to the recorded tape of the traffic stop.

Rios became nervous as he looked back at King while King was checking who was inside the car, the tape revealed. Rios then decided to run as Martinez and King tried to wrestle him to the ground.

Rios would not comply, so Martinez used a Taser on him, but he kept resisting.

Martinez then tried pepper spray. Rios continued to resist, and pulled law officials into a ditch that was filled with water, Martinez said. That was when an off-duty trooper and two citizens noticed the officers and joined them to subdue Rios.

Martinez said Rios also tried to take control of King's gun during the struggle.

Rios was charged with having an expired registration sticker, two counts of assault on a public servant, resisting arrest and transportation, attempting to take away a peace officer's weapon, two pending charges of possession of controlled substance (crack cocaine) under four grams and transporting undocumented immigrants, jail officials said.

Rios and the three men Rios was transporting are from Mexico and are under the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Rios has a bond set at $6,700 for the first five felony charges.

Martinez said that Rios had been in prison from December 2004 to August 2005 and was currently on parole for cocaine charges.

Martinez said human smuggling is not declining any time soon.

"It hasn't stopped, we are getting one or two a day," he said. "It seems like an ever-ending battle."