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A United States man claims he smuggled two people illegally present in the country because his half-sister’s life was threatened by a man from Mexico known as “El Pato,” according to a criminal complaint.
On Friday, Angel Mario Gazca, who was born in 1987, was apprehended after he crashed his maroon 2011 Ford Expedition into a Border Patrol vehicle and fled on a foot alongside the people he is accused of smuggling.
At around 9:30 a.m., Border Patrol agents working near Rio Grande City were informed by a Border Patrol aerostat observer about three people on a raft crossing the Rio Grande.
At about 10:12 a.m., the aerostat observer spotted a maroon Expedition driving south toward the same location where the individuals who crossed illegally were hiding.
Agents observed the Expedition stop at the location where two subjects boarded the vehicle, while at least one person was left behind who attempted to wave down the Expedition, according to the complaint.
“(Border Patrol agents) in the area were able to gain a visual on the maroon in color SUV near U.S. Highway 83 and KCTM 103rd,” the complaint said. “The SUV passed one of the (Border Patrol agents) at a slow rate of speed in a parking lot and the (Border Patrol agent) noticed the driver would not make eye contact and was clenching his fists tightly around the steering wheel.”
As Gazca drove past the agent’s unit, he pulled into a drive-thru.
As the agent repositioned his unit to get behind the Expedition, Gazca reversed from the drive-thru and backed into the parking lot where he then accelerated toward the Border Patrol unit and crashed into the front bumper.
The complaint states that the agent could hear the Expedition’s motor continuing to accelerate and the tires squealing.
It was then that Gazca and his two passengers fled the Expedition on foot, but the aerostate observer was still watching and relayed their location to agents, who apprehended them.
During an interview with authorities, Gazca admitted to being the owner of the Expedition and said he received a call from a man known as “El Pato” who, according to Gazca, had his half-sister and threatened to kill her if he didn’t pick up the two people entering the U.S. illegally.
Gazca claimed that after he helped with the pick up, “El Pato” would call him to inform him that he would release his half-sister.
Gazca is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker in McAllen federal court Wednesday morning for his preliminary hearing.