Honduran man convicted of high speed flight from Border Patrol checkpoint
POSTED: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 9:33am
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 9:35am
LAREDO, TX — Miguel Angel Chavarria-Martinez, 28, a Honduran national illegally in the United States, has entered a guilty plea to eluding and high speed flight from a Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
On Oct. 6, 2013, at approximately 12:30 a.m., Chavarria-Martinez arrived at the BP checkpoint located on U.S. Highway 59 near Farm to Market Road 2050 in East Webb County near Freer as driver and sole occupant of a blue Freightliner semi-tractor. BP agents initiated an immigration inspection, but Chavarria-Martinez did not answer any questions. At the request of agents, Chavarria-Martinez began to exit the cab of his vehicle, but quickly returned to the driver’s seat. He then drove away from the inspection station with the agent standing on the cab’s side deck by the driver’s window. Chavarria-Martinez ignored the agent’s orders to stop the vehicle and departed the checkpoint and headed towards Freer.
BP agents pursued Chavarria-Martinez’s vehicle along with Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers. The vehicle reached speeds of up to 80 miles per hour on Highway 59 as he attempted to flee and as it approached, entered and drove through Freer. The posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour before entering Freer and then drops to 30 miles per hour through the community. The driver finally stopped at a roadblock initiated within the city by the Freer Police Department (FPD). At that time, FPD officers turned Chavarria-Martinez over to Border Patrol agents.
Chavarria-Martinez was determined to be a citizen and national of Honduras illegally in the United States and has been deported at least once before.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Guillermo R. Garcia presided over the plea and a sentencing date will be set in the near future before U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana. At that time, he faces a maximum of five years in federal prison and/or a possible $250,000 fine. Chavarria-Martinez has been in federal custody since his arrest Oct. 6, 2013, where he will remain pending that hearing.
BP investigated in conjunction with DPS and FPD. Assistant United States Attorney Homero Ramirez is prosecuting the case.