Suspected illegal immigrants lead officers on chase, escape into woods

Sept. 13, 2012 at 4:13 a.m.
Updated Sept. 14, 2012 at 4:14 a.m.

Six suspected illegal immigrants escaped capture Thursday after leading officers on a 24-mile, high-speed chase.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Deputy Jeff Thompson attempted to stop a pickup at U.S. Highway 87 South and Thomaston River Road at 5 p.m. for failure to stop at a stop sign.

The driver of the black Dodge pickup, however, fled south on U.S. 87, reaching speeds over 100 mph, according to Thompson.

Officers lost sight of the vehicle for about five minutes, Thompson said, but located it, abandoned, at Garrett Road and Farm-to-Market Road 682.

DeWitt County Sheriff's deputies, Victoria County Sheriff's deputies, the Cuero Police Department, Lavaca County Sheriff's Office, Texas Game Wardens and Yoakum Emergency Management Services assisted with the search and K-9 units were used.

Thompson said the dogs did not find drugs in the vehicle, and it was not reported stolen.

After about 20 minutes, a man came out of the woods and identified himself as an 18-year-old illegal immigrant from Guatemala, Thompson said.

The man told officials there were six other men in the pickup, which was going to Houston. He was arrested and taken to DeWitt County Jail to wait for U.S. Border Patrol officials.

Thompson said officials would patrol the area for the other men.



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