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      Smugglers using new tactics to evade police

      Spikes, traffickers driving straight into rivers and now, escort vehicles cutting off patrol cars.

      That's what La Joya police said happened Thursday morning during a chase.

      Around 6:30 a.m., La Joya police said they got a call that there was a red dodge pickup between Sullivan City and La Joya loading up dope.

      La Joya Police Chief Jose Del Angel said his crew waited by the highway until the vehicle entered the city.

      That's when the chase began with La Joya police.

      When the vehicle fled, police spotted four escort vehicles.

      One of those tried to interfere with the chase and cut off one of the pursuing officers, but with the help of border patrol and a helicopter, police located the vehicle behind an elementary school in La Joya.

      That's where they found 739 pounds of marijuana scattered around the area.

      "In the years that I've been here in La Joya, I have never seen so many chases and drivers apply these tactics against law enforcement," said La Joya Police Chief Del Angel.

      "Every day, they are coming up with new ways of trying to obstruct the pursuing officers from actually catching them, so it's becoming very dangerous and law enforcement, we need to first and foremost put the safety of the public first."