Over the weekend, human smugglers led South Texas Border Patrol agents on a harrowing chase spanning five towns, which ultimately netted a staggering 23 illegal immigrants.
A witness alerted agents after seeing people being loaded into a truck near the border town of Weslaco.
Agents attempted to pull the driver over, but he instead proceeded forward smashing into another car.
Unfazed, agents say the driver next began lobbing booby traps at his pursuers. The driver reportedly threw out road spikes flattening one of the agent’s tires.
Agents continued following the truck from Weslaco on through Donna and Pharr and into the town of Alamo, where smugglers ditched the vehicle. When agents arrived, they spotted immigrants piling out of the truck.
“I was just inside when I heard the noise where the truck crashed,” a witness recounted to KRGV, Channel 5 News. “They were being chased by Border Patrol. When they crashed, the immigrants all jumped out.”
When all was said and done, Border Patrol agents apprehended 23 illegal immigrants, but it was not made clear whether the smugglers were caught.
This latest incident suggests smugglers, often referred to as “coyotes,” aren’t all that worried over Obama’s vow to target them.
On the other hand, all the extra attention seems to have emboldened them, leading many to resort to booby traps and other novel transportation methods.
For instance, agents have encountered smugglers transporting people into the U.S. via jet skis. One reporter was even captured the practice on camera. When the coyote saw the reporter, he immediately turned around, shot him the finger and shouted, “You’re costing me money!”
Another chase last month illustrated how smugglers cram as many immigrants into one vehicle as they can. Police dash cam footage of a chase ending in Karnes Co., Texas, last month showed as many as 30 immigrants bailing out of vehicles once they were pulled over.
Alternatively, many of the immigrants pouring through the southern border immediately turn themselves over to federal agents, who detain, process and release them after a few short days.
The practice has led some Border agents to charge the Obama administration with “completing the smuggling cycle.”
“Why would anyone want to hire a smuggler when the US government is actually doing it for free?” BP agent Hector Garza told Fox News’ Sean Hannity last week.
Road spikes, or caltrops, are a tried and tested method for smugglers and cartel members evading capture. “Since 2008, there have been 86 caltrop incidents, where cartel operatives throw tire-deflation spikes at the vehicles of law enforcement officers in order to evade arrest,” reports the Texas Department of Public Safety, adding that caltrop use is now considered a third degree felony.