Records: Border Patrol agents arrest 18-year-old Peñitas man accused of smuggling migrants

Ricardo Daniel Salinas, 18, of Peñitas is charged with bringing in and harboring aliens. (Photo courtesy of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office)

Border Patrol agents arrested an 18-year-old Peñitas man last week after a high-speed chase.

Agents watched a group of people illegally cross the Rio Grande near Los Ebanos on Oct. 16, according to the federal criminal complaint. After the group crossed the river, agents witnessed a small red truck speeding away from the area — driving north on El Faro Road and east on U.S. 83.

Border Patrol tracked the truck with an aerostat, relaying information to agents on the ground.

Agents followed the truck and attempted to stop the driver in La Joya.

According to the criminal complaint:

During the pursuit, the driver of the truck almost collided with an unmarked K-9 Border Patrol unit, that was traveling north, with its emergency lights on. Subsequently, the truck almost side swiped a civilian vehicle behind the unmarked K-9 Border Patrol unit. The truck then turned East on 11th Street, and again accelerated past sixty MPH. Moreover, the truck disregarded stop signs, nearly collided with civilian vehicle, and at one point one of the subjects almost flew out the bed of the truck. The driver of the truck eventually turned north and came to a stop on a dead end road. Several subjects subsequently fled from the vehicle.

With help from the La Joya Police Department and a Border Patrol helicopter, agents arrested six people.

Ricardo Daniel Salinas, 18, of Peñitas said he was the passenger in the truck, according to the criminal complaint, which doesn't identify the driver.

Salinas is charged with bringing in and harboring aliens.

An attorney for Salinas didn't respond to a request for comment.

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