August 26, 2008

Police investigating possible immigrant smuggling

Updated: 8/26/2008 10:14 PM
By: News 8 Austin Staff

Police say seven undocumented immigrants were fit uncomfortably in the bed of this truck.

Federal agents are searching for several suspected immigrant smugglers, following a high speed chase in Austin.

Police first noticed a red pickup truck speeding at Onion Creek Parkway and Interstate 35.

Officials said seven undocumented immigrants were lying down in the bed of a red Dodge pickup truck. Police began following the truck, which reached speeds of 95 miles per hour.

The driver of the truck took the Oltorf Street exit, proceeded to run a red light and ended in a cul-de-sac on Pleasant Valley Street in South Austin.

Four people took off when a brick wall hindered the truck from going further.

The immigrants were apparently riding from Laredo to Austin.

They paid $1,500 apiece to get to this point.

Police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were on the scene Tuesday afternoon.

Officials said the immigrants were not in good condition.

"They've been stuck in the back of that truck since Laredo, and they're covered in mud, so whatever conditions they were in prior to us stopping them ... I mean, obviously not very clean," Sgt. Eric De Los Santos said. "There's a female minor among them."

The truck was impounded and officials will be doing further tests on it to see if it was outfitted for smuggling.

Police said they will try to find a way to get the seven immigrants back across the border as comfortably as possible.

No comments:

Should the Texas State Legislature pass immigration enforcement laws in 2009?