by Kimberly Rubio, assistant editor
One person has died and six others have been arrested in connection with a human smuggling case that ended in a crash in Kinney County. The incident occurred Friday at 10:45 p.m. on Ranch Road 674 and is one of four human smuggling cases investigated since Thursday.
According to the Kinney County Sheriff’s Department, deputies attempted to perform a traffic stop on a Ford F-250, which was traveling north on the roadway.
After several miles, the driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle resulting in a rollover. Six of the vehicle’s 11 occupants were taken to an area hospital with serious injuries. One of the individuals later died at the hospital.
The sheriff’s department did not say whether the injured or dead were United States citizens or migrants.
As of 2 p.m. on Saturday, six arrests had been made in connection with the case, though none have been identified.
At 12:50 a.m., United States Border Patrol Agents with the Uvalde Station conducted a traffic stop on a 2006 Ford Expedition on Farm-to-Market Road 140.
According to a spokesperson for the federal agency, as the vehicle yielded to agents, the occupants of the vehicle attempted to flee. Agents arrested two migrants, including the driver, after a search of the area.
In a separate case at around 3 p.m. that same day, Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office arrested Juan Pedro Guzman-Ibanez, 44, of 5728 Pinion Vista, Austin, on charges of human smuggling.
The incident occurred as Guzman-Ibanez was traveling in a Ford Expedition in the area of Farm-to-Market Road 140, where the previous bailout occurred.
United States Border Patrol agents are said to have recognized the vehicle, which they said was also seen traveling in the area at around midnight. They proceeded to stop the vehicle.
According to the sheriff’s office, the vehicle came to an abrupt stop, and agents attempted to make contact with the driver when several individuals jumped out of the vehicle.
Agent apprehended the driver and a passenger. Guzman-Ibanez and the passenger were taken to the Uvalde station for questioning. Guzman-Ibanez was later booked into the Uvalde County Jail.
On Thursday just before 6 p.m., a Uvalde Police Department officer attempted to perform a traffic stop at the intersection of West Main and South Evans streets.
The driver led Uvalde Police and Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a pursuit down South Evans, east on U.S. Highway 83, and down Farm-to-Market Road 117 to Farm-to-Market Road 140.
The vehicle stopped about 20 miles outside of Uvalde on Farm-to-Market Road 140. Three migrants were captured, but the driver evaded arrest.
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