A chase between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and a suspected smuggler who had nine passengers in his car came to an end after a fiery crash Saturday, according to a press release.
After a Jeep Liberty blew past a Border Patrol checkpoint near Three Points, Arizona, CBP agents in vehicles, as well as a CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) helicopter, chased the suspects eastbound.
“The AMO helicopter crew provided aerial surveillance of the vehicle providing updates as to its location to BPAs on the ground,” the press release said. “The AMO pilot observed the Jeep Liberty drive erratically through several red lights as it continued into Tucson, AZ. The vehicle then entered onto northbound I-19, which is approximately 24 miles east of the SR 86 checkpoint.”
About an hour later and nearly 40 miles outside of Tucson, CBP agents deployed a “Vehicle Immobilization Device” to stop the suspects from fleeing further. It caused the suspects to cross the median and crash into a tractor trailer. The agents’ vehicle caught fire.
“[CBP agents] immediately requested emergency medical services (EMS), pulled several occupants from the vehicle, and rendered aid,” the press release said. “There was a total of eleven occupants in the vehicle, to include two unidentified individuals who were declared deceased on the scene.”
One of the suspects died later. The other eight passengers in the vehicle were injured.
Both Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) are investigating the chase and the crash.
Just a week prior, a CBP agent was killed in a head-on collision in the same area, as the Biden Administration’s border crisis rages on.
Daniel Cox, a 24-year CBP veteran, lost his life around midnight on July 31.
Gov. Doug Ducey (R) ordered flags flown at half-staff in his honor.
“Arizona is devastated by the loss of Border Patrol Agent Daniel Cox,” Ducey said in a statement. “My prayers are with Agent Cox’s loved ones and Southern Arizona’s law enforcement community at this difficult time. I’ve ordered state flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of his life, service and bravery.”
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