SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a smuggler that ran from deputies after the van full of immigrants he was driving was pulled over.
The deputy initially attempted to pull the van over because it was speeding, but officials said the driver fled down a road and into a driveway before jumping out of the vehicle and running into the woods.
The driver of the man was described as a “fairly well-dressed gentleman” wearing starched jeans, a pressed western shirt, Salazar said.
The sheriff’s office is deploying drones to aid their ongoing search for the driver.
Sheriff Javier Salazar said the immigrants aged 19 to 27— seven men and one woman — we discovered locked in the van with no way to escape and had not eaten in days.
Salazar said the group had paid nearly one year’s worth of wages to be smuggled out of Mexico and their trek included two or three days’ worth of trekking through the desert and wooded areas before being shuttled into Bexar County. One of their trips reportedly required them to lay facedown for the duration of the drive and they were all wearing camouflage clothing and had carpet glued to the bottom of their shoes.
“It paints a pretty bleak picture for these folks, a pretty heartbreaking story,” Salazar said.”And God knows what was going to happen to them should they continue on that journey. We’ve seen too many time that journey end in death or slavery.”
BCSO is working with federal agents to investigate.
“We’re going to be questioning them and see what we can do with them from this point on, but thankfully they’re safe, they’re sound, they’re being taken care of at this point and we’ll move forward,” Salazar said.