Patterico's Pontifications

4/16/2007

DRJ on an El Paso TX Border Patrol Chase

Filed under: Crime,General,Immigration — DRJ @ 6:27 pm



I’m not up to Ramos/Compean blogging yet (soon) but I couldn’t pass up this El Paso story from last week:

“EL PASO, Tx. – A multi-agency, high-speed chase on I-10 results in the detention of a suspected drug runner and his drug load. According to law enforcement officials, the chase started near the Ft. Hancock Port of Entry, 59 miles east of El Paso. Agents spotted a suspicious vehicle near the bridge which then fled into the US and onto the freeway.

US Customs, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department units chased a late-model ford pickup truck from the county, all the way into city limits. Once in the city limits, El Paso Police joined in the chase, and began shutting off the entrance ramps to the freeway. The chase came to an end on I-10 west, just before the McRae entrance ramp.

The suspect was unable to get around several tractor-trailer rigs that had slowed to hamper his getaway. His truck then struck a Ford Explorer, forcing him out of the vehicle. TxDot traffic cameras caught the suspect as he ran from the truck and was quickly tackled by several law enforcement officials. El Paso County Sheriff’s officials say they found nearly 1000 pounds of pot in the bed of the truck, covered by bags of animal feed.

A US Customs Blackhawk helicopter was also involved in the chase. TxDoT officials closed I-10 West and the Yarbrough on-ramp (west-bound) for at least 2 hours as they cleared the scene.”

If I recall correctly from the Ramos/Compean trial transcript, Fort Hancock is adjacent to the Fabens sector. I’m glad to see so many local and state law enforcement agencies were involved. Good job by the truckers, too.

H/T James Taranto.

7 Responses to “DRJ on an El Paso TX Border Patrol Chase”

  1. Is that within Johnny Sutton’s district? If so, when can we expect the indictments? Including the truck drivers for interfering with interstate commerce. And as for the driver of that Ford Explorer … an SUV is a deadly weapon. Attempted murder at least.

    nk (6415d7)

  2. The Fort Hancock segment is in western Hudspeth County (centered around Exit 72 off Interstate 10). The Fabens segment is in eastern El Paso County (centered around Exit 49 on I-10, just to give you a general idea of the distances). Both are part of the Western District of Texas, with Sutton as DA, though techincally, cases out of Hudspeth County are supposed to go to the Pecos Division of the Western District for action instead of the El Paso Division, but usually don’t, since Pecos is about 90 miles further from Fort Hancock than downtown El Paso is, even if the criminal docket in El Paso is already through the roof.

    John (34537e)

  3. Here’s a Mapquest link that places Fabens and Fort Hancock east of El Paso on IH-10. Fabens is 33 miles east of El Paso and Fort Hancock is 59 miles east of El Paso. Both cities are located on IH-10 and the link shows they are 26 miles apart. Given that each Border Patrol sector is approximately 30 miles wide, they are almost certainly adjoining Border Patrol sectors. As the map shows, IH-10 travels closest to the Mexican border near Fabens and Fort Hancock, so it’s not surprising these are popular crossing points for drug-runners.

    The Western District of Texas (for which Johnny Sutton is the US Attorney) may be the geographically largest District in the federal system. The Western District website specifically notes it has “the longest common border with Mexico [of any federal district], approximately 660 miles.” There are currently 7 divisions in the Western District: the San Antonio, Del Rio, Austin, Waco, Midland, Pecos, and El Paso Divisions. The Western District website also lists a division in Alpine but I don’t think that’s correct.

    DRJ (50237c)

  4. They’re building a new federal magistrate courthouse in Alpine to handle cases out of the Big Bend area, though I’m not sure if there has been a specific designation of Alpine as a separate division from El Paso, Pecos or Del Rio (the three that currently handle West Texas border area cases) or if it will only handle preliminary hearings and pleas, as opposed to actual trial cases (U.S. District Judge Robert Junell out of Midland currently handles both the Midland and Pecos divisions).

    John (34537e)

  5. Will MEXICO now be demanding that tthose who took part in this be persicuted for harrasing a mexican citizen? TELL MEXICO TO TAKE A HIKE

    krazy kagu (6a69d6)

  6. Agents spotted a suspicious vehicle near the bridge which then fled into the US and onto the freeway.

    I can’t visualize that. He was spotted near the bridge ( was never on it? ) and then “fled into” the US? Who chased him into the US?

    Are there alternative ways for a truck to enter the US besides checkpoints?

    J Curtis (fc7c50)

  7. […] DRJ on an El Paso TX Border Patrol Chase […]

    Headline Summaries: Border Security at Traction Control (9f9139)


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