Starr County athlete suspected member of auto theft ring

Jesus Vargas // Starr County Jail Photo

Authorities are investigating an auto theft ring after a Rio Grande City athlete was caught driving a stolen truck into Mexico.

The Starr County District Attorney's Office Auto Theft Task Force has charged 17-year-old Jesus Vargas, Jr. and 18-year-old Jose Olivares with engaging in organized criminal activity charges.

Both Vargas and Olivares were both identified as Rio Grande City High School students.

But records show that Vargas also played as a first baseman and pitcher for the school's baseball team.

Investigators told Action 4 News that authorities stopped Vargas heading into Mexico at the Rio Grande City-Camargo International Bridge back on January 25th.

A routine records check revealed that the Ford F-250 pickup truck he was driving had been reportedly stolen and that it had damage to the ignition.

An investigation led authiorities to Olivares.

District attorney's office investigators believe the two are part of an auto theft ring that steals cars from the American side of the border and moves them to Mexico.

Rio Grande City CISD officials reported that Vargas and Olivares have been removed from their regular classes and placed into an alernative education program.

As per district policy, Vargas has been removed from extracirricular activities while in the program.