December 23, 2008

Officials Arrest 5 Illegal Chinese Immigrants Flown to Wharton

Last Edited: Tuesday, 23 Dec 2008, 3:50 PM CST
Created: Tuesday, 23 Dec 2008, 3:50 PM CST

McAllen, Texas FOX 26 News

HOUSTON -- Five undocumented Chinese immigrants were captured after federal and local officials tracked a suspicious aircraft that departed from McAllen and landed in Wharton, according to a statement from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The Air and Marine Operation Center, located in Riverside, Calif., tracked the suspicious plane on radar as it landed in Wharton and alerted the Houston Air and Marine Branch to look out for the aircraft as it neared Sugar Land, according to the statement.

Law enforcement officials then engaged in a high-speed chase after the undocumented passengers after they entered into a vehicle waiting for them at the airport, according to the statement.

The five undocumented immigrants were eventually arrested and placed into the custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, according to the statement. However, the vehicle's driver escaped into a wooded area.

ICE agents plan to investigate the crew's activities regarding the transport of illegal aliens, according to the statement.

"This successful joint DHS agency and law enforcement effort is a superb example of effective strategic partnerships and operational teamwork in action," David Lent, Director of Air Operations said in the prepared statement.

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