Seven undocumented border crossers were fished out of a canal Tuesday and taken into custody after a Pinal County sheriff’s deputy chased down the SUV in which they were riding.
At about 8:40 p.m. a deputy tried to pull over the 1998 Ford Expedition along westbound Interstate 10 at Sunshine Boulevard, in Eloy. Instead, the driver sped up and led the deputy on a chase, Sgt. Pat Ramirez, spokesman for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, said in a news release.
“The suspect vehicle noticed the deputy following and began driving erratically, switching back and forth between lanes with no regard for other motorists,” Ramirez said.
The SUV reached speeds of 90 miles per hour while driving in both lanes before leaving the interstate and southbound Toltec Road. The driver stopped Curtis Road and he and 10 men fled from the vehicle,” Ramirez said.
“All 10 jumped into an irrigation canal, where three, including the driver, were able to cross the canal and flee south on foot through the desert. The remaining seven illegal aliens from Mexico were apprehended and turned over to U.S. Border Patrol,” he said.
It was later discovered that one of the men taken into custody, William Texin, 19, has been deported four times. Texin has a lengthy criminal record in the United States, including arrests for aggravated assault with a firearm on a peace officer, false imprisonment and multiple charges of possession of narcotics, Ramirez said.
The SUV, registered out of Phoenix, was confiscated and the forfeiture process has been started.