Smuggler abandons car and Guatemalan migrant during Border Patrol chase

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Sex offender convicted in New York caught re-entering the country, faces prosecution

An alleged immigrant smuggler fled a Border Patrol checkpoint Thursday in Southern New Mexico. (AP file photo)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A suspected smuggler led Border Patrol and police on a car chase Thursday in southern New Mexico before abandoning his vehicle and a Guatemalan migrant so he could flee on foot.

The chase began Thursday night after a Mexican national driving a late model Mitsubishi SUV sped past the Border Patrol checkpoint at Interstate 25 north of Las Cruces, NM, the agency said in a news release.

Border Patrol units immediately gave chase and called for assistance from local law enforcement. The fleeing vehicle exited I-25 near the town of Hatch. At some point during the chase, the driver stopped and raced away on foot. The agents were unable to find the driver but they secured the vehicle and found a Guatemalan national inside. The passenger is deemed to be in the country illegally and is pending removal.

Earlier in the week, El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents had stopped five people hiding in the brush after found illegally crossing into the United States near the Tornillo port of entry.

All five were transported to the Clint Border Patrol station on Monday night, where a records check revealed that one of the men, Jaime Rodrigo Saquipulla Lliguichuzhca, a 41-year-old Ecuadorian national, had a criminal record in the United States for sex offenses.

Squipulla had been arrested in December 2002 by the New York City Police Department and later charged and convicted of statuatory rape, a third-degree felony. He was taken into custody by Homeland Security Investigation agents in Astoria, Queens, New York in January for removal from the United States. He will now be prosecuted for illegal reentry.

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