Seven individuals were arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Brackettville Station Tuesday afternoon, after an incident on U.S. Highway 277 South. The incident included a vehicle pursuit ending up in Del Rio, near Ruben Chavira Elementary School.
Two of the individuals arrested are U.S. citizens while the remaining five were in the country illegally, federal officials said. Officials also said one of the suspects, a U.S. citizen who had been arrested, died while in custody.
Tuesday afternoon agents assigned to the Brackettville Station attempted to perform a vehicle stop on a 2019 Dodge Charger and a 2016 Jeep Renegade on Highway 277 South, near Ranch Road 674, according to information released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
The Dodge Charger, driven by a 32-year-old United States citizen, stopped and was detained by agents. The Jeep Renegade, driven by a 25-year-old United States citizen, failed to yield to agents and fled toward Del Rio.
With the assistance of Del Rio Station agents, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, and Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office deputies, the vehicle was successfully disabled by a controlled tire deflation device near Del Rio.
The driver continued to drive before going off-road and coming to a stop. Once the vehicle stopped all six occupants fled on foot. The driver, along with four Ecuadorians and one Salvadoran were located and apprehended.
All suspects were transported to the Brackettville Station for processing. The case was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations. All illegal aliens are processed in accordance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidelines, the agency said.
“The swift response of our agents and law enforcement partners helped put a stop to an extremely dangerous situation,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz in a statement.
“Smugglers continue to endanger the lives of those in our communities without hesitation. Thanks to the excellent communication and cooperation between our agents and law enforcement partners, the pursuit ended safely with no injuries to the community or law enforcement,” Ortiz said.
Suspect dies while in custody
The 32-year-old U.S. citizen – whose identity was not released – died at the Brackettville Station, while in custody, federal officials said.
According to information released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Brackettville Station arrested the man Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., after he was identified as a suspect in the alien smuggling incident.
At around 6 p.m., during processing at the Brackettville Station, EMT-certified agents administered first aid when the man began exhibiting signs of distress. Agents later contacted emergency medical services as his health deteriorated, the agency said.
At around 6:40 p.m., medical personnel arrived and transported the man by ambulance to a hospital. He was pronounced dead by medical personnel at 9:37 p.m.