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Deputies: 'Human smuggling operation' intercepted following traffic-stop, high-speed chase

Posted at 6:09 PM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 23:07:41-04

The Coryell County Sheriff’s Office said it intercepted a 'human smuggling operation' and detained 12 early Friday morning.

The sheriff's office said around 3 a.m. deputies attempted to stop a 2004 Honda Pilot near Hay Valley Road for a traffic violation. The vehicle did not stop, and led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended when the car stopped and 12 individuals exited to flee on foot.

"Deputies and Gatesville Police Department officers took three suspects into custody after a short foot pursuit," said the sheriff's office. "A search continued throughout the morning for the nine subjects at-large, covering an area north of Gatesville."

All 12 suspects were captured and detained by 11 a.m, according to the sheriff's office. Nine individuals were released to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials at the Coryell County Jail.

Three were arrested and remained in custody at the jail on charges including smuggling of persons, resisting arrest or search, evading arrest of detention with a vehicle and evading arrest or detention.

All three, driver Nelson Jose Ramirez Silva, 29; Cesar Avila Augusto Avila, 33; and Alexander Siquita, 23, are Guatemalan nationals, according to the sheriff's office.

"The three men will be held on ICE detainers as well," said the sheriff's office.