Suspected human smuggler leads law enforcement agencies on multi-county chase

Nov. 19, 2020Updated: Nov. 19, 2020 2:02 p.m.

A multi-county vehicle chase involving suspected undocumented immigrants ended in a crash Thursday at a southwest Bexar County gas station, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

At around 8 a.m., Frio County law enforcement authorities, believing it was human trafficking, attempted to stop a truck with several male occupants inside, DPS said.

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The driver of the truck did not stop and led authorities on a pursuit northeast on Interstate 35 into Medina County. At some point, DPS troopers joined in on the pursuit that ended in a crash at an Exxon gas station near the Loop 1604 and I-35 interchange. According to DPS, the truck knocked over a gas pump, resulting in a fire under the vehicle. The fire was quickly knocked down by the San Antonio Fire Department.

The driver, a 26-year-old man from Georgia, was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries before he was taken into custody.

Inside the truck, officials found seven adult males, who are all believed to be undocumented, DPS Sgt. Orlando Moreno said. The seven men were detained at the scene, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents were called to process the individuals.

The unidentified driver will be charged with evading arrest, aggravated assault and human smuggling, DPS said.

Taylor Pettaway is a breaking news and general assignment reporter for | [email protected] | @TaylorPettaway