9-1-1 call helped authorities capture illegals

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal

ALFRED - Jim Wells County Sheriff's Deputies apprehended two undocumented immigrants, one of whom was stunned with a Taser after resisting apprehension, north of Alfred Thursday afternoon.

At 2 p.m., a man called 9-1-1 after he said he witnessed more than 20 individuals, whom he believed to be undocumented immigrants, piling into a large brown pick-up, headed down County Road 2044.

The man followed the truck, keeping a steady pace as the driver of the vehicle containing the undocumented immigrants drove east on CR 2044.

The vehicle then headed north on Highway 359, before turning onto County Road 2311, near Alfred.

Lt. Joe Martinez with the JWC Sheriff's Department was first on the trail of the pick-up.

During the pursuit, the brown pick-up turned around on CR 2311, heading back to Highway 359. At that time, Martinez was heading down CR 2311 when he was flagged down by the caller, who pointed at the brown pickup to let the deputy know the vehicle had circled back and was heading to Highway 359.

Martinez was in pursuit, along with several other sheriff's deputies and Orange Grove Police Chief Arthur Rogers, who was coming in from the north as it was headed toward Orange Grove on Highway 359.

The truck suddenly veered into oncoming traffic, running off the side of the road and the undocumented immigrants bailed out of the vehicle, north of Alfred, officials reported.

The deputies exited their vehicles, while the passengers of the pickup jumped from the truck and ran into the brush. Martinez followed the driver of the pick-up, who was still holding the keys to the truck, and tried to apprehend him.

The man resisted and Martinez had to subdue the individual with a Taser, which allowed him to finally handcuff the undocumented immigrant, Martinez said.

The driver, along with one female passenger, was taken into custody. Martinez said both claimed to officials to be illegal immigrants from Guerrero, Mexico.

"That's a tactic they use when transporting illegals, by using them as drivers also, they know they won't get arrested for it, because they're illegal themselves," Martinez said.

The pair were taken to the Jim Wells County jail for interviewing, and the transported to the Freer Border Patrol Station.

More than two hours later, a local wrecker service driver noticed several individuals coming out of the brush half a mile south of where the bailout occurred. The individuals tried to flag the driver down. The wrecker driver placed a call to the sheriff's department to say that he saw several people on the side of the road on Hwy 359. Deputies went to the scene and found eight undocumented immigrants, six men and two women beside the road.

"They said they hadn't eaten in two days and all they had was water with them. They had bumps and bruises from jumping out of the truck and running through the brush, but other than that, they were in good health," Martinez said.

EMS was called to the scene, and found the immigrants to be in good health, but very hungry. The immigrants said they were from Mexico and Honduras.

They were taken to the JWC jail, for eventual transport to the Freer Station.