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Suspected illegal aliens flee deputies
NIXON -- Chases involving suspected immigrant smugglers and law-enforcement personnel have become commonplace in communities throughout South Texas. Sometimes, such as on Nov. 8, such pursuits cross county lines.
Sheriff’s deputies from Wilson and Gonzales counties conducted a search in the area of C.R. 116 northwest of Nixon after officials say a group of suspected illegal aliens fled following a vehicular pursuit. Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. said that Wilson County Deputy Emanuel Fultz reported observing a Chevrolet cargo van roll through a stop sign on F.M. 1681 in the Union Valley area before 9:30 a.m. Fultz, who was driving in front of the vehicle, pulled over to let the van pass before attempting to initiate a traffic stop.
The driver fled onto C.R. 477, then continued into Gonzales County where the road changes to C.R. 116, Tackitt said. The driver then crashed through a fence before an estimated 15 occupants bailed out of the vehicle and fled into the dense brush.
Lt. Lynn Wilburn of the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office said that deputies conducted on-site checks of area residences, especially those with absentee owners. But while deputies patrolled the area into the night, he only could confirm that one of the fugitives had been captured by nightfall.
“As hard as it is to believe, a lot of these people have cell phones with them,” he said. “They’ve had all day today to contact someone. Usually within 12 hours, they contact someone and hide out until that person comes and picks them up.”
Wilburn perhaps has become an unwilling expert on this issue, as his department grapples with an average of two or three pursuits per week involving suspected illegal immigrants.
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