- The Washington Times - Friday, August 21, 2020

A Border Patrol agent shot a man smuggling illegal immigrants Thursday after he fled an Arizona checkpoint, led agents on a 20-mile chase, then shot at them when they finally caught up to him, authorities said in filing charges.

Alejandro Stalter, a U.S. citizen, was hit multiple times, but was treated and released from the hospital into agents’ custody.

dafabet手机版平台“This event is a stark reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform confront every day in the protection of our community and this country,” Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol, said in a statement.

The encounter began Thursday evening when Mr. Stalterdafabet手机版平台, driving a Dodge Charger, approached a Border Patrol highway checkpoint, where agents try to sniff out illegal immigrants who may have made it past the initial line of agents up along the border.

In this case, the two migrants Mr. Stalter was carrying told agents they’d made it through one checkpoint but at the second one, near Casa Grande, one of the migrants struggled to answer the questions.

When agents tried to look into the Charger’s trunk Mr. Stalterdafabet手机版平台 sped off, led agents for 20 miles until he struck something in the road, had to stop, and was surrounded by authorities.

According to court documents, the two migrants say Mr. Stalter at some point during the chase pulled a rifle from somewhere in the car and had it across his lap. When the agent approached the Charger Mr. Stalterdafabet手机版平台 fired at him, and the agent returned fire.

One of the migrants later told authorities Mr. Stalter said he’d taken cocaine before making the smuggling run.

Border officials say they’re increasingly seeing smugglers arm themselves with guns as they try to sneak illegal immigrants past checkpoints and deeper into the U.S., where the migrants fan out to their final destinations.

dafabet手机版平台In this week’s incident both migrants are from Mexico. One said he was paying $11,000 to be smuggled to Florida. The other said he’d paid $4,000 up front.

The smuggling coordinator in Mexico provided them with fake documents and Mr. Stalterdafabet手机版平台 coached them on how to get through the checkpoints, they said.

dafabet手机版平台But they said the questions at the second checkpoint were more difficult and stumped them, making agents suspicious and sparking the chase and shootout.

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