SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

Border Patrol agents arrest suspected human smuggler who was using a fake EMS vehicle

A man is accused of impersonating a first responder and trying to smuggle three people across a US border ch...

Posted: Aug 8, 2018 9:01 AM
Updated: Aug 8, 2018 9:01 AM

A man is accused of impersonating a first responder and trying to smuggle three people across a US border checkpoint.

Border Patrol agents spotted a white SUV Tuesday when their K-9 tipped them off that there was something suspicious about the vehicle, according to US Customs and Border Protection.

Border control

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Emergency medical workers

Health and medical

Health care

Health care professionals

International relations

International relations and national security

National security

Territorial and national borders

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal offenses

Misc criminal offenses

Smuggling

Accidents, disasters and safety

Arrests

Continents and regions

Criminal law

Fires

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Law and legal system

Law enforcement

North America

Southwestern United States

Texas

The Americas

United States

US Customs and Border Protection

US Department of Homeland Security

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

At first glance, it looked like any other emergency medical service vehicle driving down the road. Decals reading "rural area emergency response," "call 911" and "fire-ems" decorated the vehicle that was strapped with emergency lights on the roof. On the door, an emblem read "Texas volunteer fire rescue." But the vehicle was far from being used by first responders.

Border Patrol agents at the Falfurrias checkpoint -- which is about 70 miles north of the Rio Grande Valley -- signaled the vehicle to the secondary inspection area. But the driver sped out of the checkpoint and led officers on a pursuit.

He didn't get very far when he stopped and the three passengers in the SUV jumped out and began running. The agents quickly apprehended the driver -- a 30-year-old American citizen -- and the passengers.

"The passengers were determined to be Brazilian nationals who were illegally present in the United States," reads the statement from US Customs and Border Protection.

"This case is currently under investigation and will be referred for prosecution."

This isn't the first time smugglers have attempted to use fake vehicles to transport humans or drugs. In 2015, Border Patrol agents arrested a man using a cloned version of their own government issued Border Patrol Tahoe but inside officers found 12 undocumented immigrants crammed into the vehicle.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 793065

Reported Deaths: 15189
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2621336401
Riverside574821172
San Bernardino52873908
Orange523821150
San Diego45147765
Kern31572354
Fresno27843362
Sacramento21628383
Alameda20748390
Santa Clara20587299
San Joaquin20019421
Stanislaus16398339
Contra Costa16056201
Tulare15687256
Ventura12477146
Imperial11606314
San Francisco1086599
San Mateo9625144
Monterey956869
Santa Barbara8930110
Merced8820137
Kings753477
Sonoma7160120
Marin6613113
Solano619457
Madera442465
Placer350742
San Luis Obispo343827
Butte276940
Yolo276554
Santa Cruz22768
Sutter167910
Napa164113
San Benito131211
Yuba11307
El Dorado10744
Mendocino87518
Lassen7350
Shasta72414
Glenn5633
Nevada5246
Colusa5196
Tehama5134
Lake51211
Humboldt4896
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2264
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 84°
Oroville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 68°
Paradise
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 84°
Chester
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 54°
Red Bluff
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Willows
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 84°
Mild temperatures, breezy south winds, and improved air quality are ahead for your Wednesday. Coastal showers will be possible on Thursday, and then hot temperatures and high fire danger return for your weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events