Early this morning, APD officers attempted to stop a 2010 Toyota Minivan for traffic violations at I-40 and South Grand. The driver refused to stop and continued to drive along the frontage road eastbound. The vehicle pulled into the parking lot of Best Western located at 4600 East I-40. The driver circled around to the back of the motel.
Before the officer could make contact, multiple people ran from the minivan northbound towards the frontage road. The male driver and two male passengers were apprehended in the parking lot, but 7 males and two females were able to flee apprehension. Officers located one female hiding in the field north of I-40 and Eastern.
The DPS helicopter was brought out to assist, and located 5 males and 1 female hiding in bushes in the 1400 block of Pryor Street. The helicopter and officers searched the area for 3 more hours, but were not able to locate any more of the subjects.
All of the subjects that had evaded officers were identified as citizens of Guatemala. The investigation determined that the subjects were a part of an illegal smuggling operation into the United States through Mexico. Border Patrol agents were contacted and they took custody of the subjects.
Around 7:00 AM, another of the male subjects was located hiding in a shed in the 4400 block of Southeast 28th Avenue. He was also taken into custody by Border Patrol. The officers were able to locate 11 of the 12 subjects that evaded from the vehicle. The last subject was only described as being a male.