After a concerned citizen reported to a Border Patrol agent that a suspicious vehicle was possibly being used to smuggle people into the country near the Rio Grande, they both watched as that same vehicle drove right by them.
A criminal complaint for the arrest of Gibran Cisneros, who was born in 2000, said the incident unfolded Friday, and after the green Ford Expedition passed the concerned citizen and the agent, a chase ensued.
“The Expedition was rising low and began to accelerate its speed, traveling at a high rate of speed. The Agent followed the vehicle and observed the vehicle swerving and driving on the wrong side of the lane,” the criminal complaint stated.
The agent activated his emergency equipment to conduct an immigration inspection and the Expedition stopped, with Cisneros opening the door and running into an orange grove, according to the complaint.
“Moments later, other Agents arrived and were able to apprehend Cisneros hiding in the orange grove. Cisneros was determined to be a United States citizen. An agent approached the vehicle and discovered seventeen (17) subjects inside,” the complaint stated.
Cisneros did not make a statement to Border Patrol.
An Ecuadorian citizen, who is a material witness in the case against Cisneros, said that he and 16 others had crossed illegally and were guided to a brushy area near a road and were told to wait for a green truck.
When the truck arrived, they all got into it and the man told Border Patrol he was transported in the vehicle’s cargo area, which had no back seats, according to the complaint.
“(He) claimed the driver was driving erratically, did not slowed (sic) down on curves, and was driving against traffic,” the complaint stated.
Another material witness in the case, a citizen of Honduras, told Border Patrol a similar story about crossing and being told to wait for a green truck.
“After they were picked up, the driver was driving erratically and driving on the wrong side of the road. (He) and the others would tell the driver to slow down but he did not comply,” the complaint stated.
Cisneros, who is charged with bringing and harboring people in the country illegally, made a first appearance Tuesday and is temporarily being held without bond pending probable cause and detention hearings scheduled for Friday, court records indicate.