PINE VALLEY, Calif. (KGTV) -- A man suspected of smuggling several people into the U.S. from Mexico led Border Patrol agents on a chase before injecting himself with heroin, the agency says.
According to the agency, the incident happened around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at the Pine Valley immigration checkpoint.
After approaching the checkpoint in a 2001 Mercedes sedan with five passengers, the man was referred to a secondary inspection area before speeding away.
Agents chased the man down, deploying a “vehicle immobilization device” to deflate several tires, but the man kept going, agents say.
After sliding off the road along I-8 near the Pine Valley Road exit, all five of the passengers ran out of the vehicle and into nearby brush.
The driver, however, stayed in the sedan and began injecting himself with a black substance later identified as heroin.
He was arrested on smuggling charges and is currently undergoing a medically monitored detox.
The five passengers were located by agents and admitted to being Mexican nationals in the U.S. illegally. The group included two men, two women, and a 16-year-old boy.
They were uninjured in the crash and taken to a Border Patrol station to be processed for removal.
“This is another example of the dangerous acts human smugglers perform for financial gain and how they show no regard for human life,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke. “Fortunately, this pursuit came to a safe conclusion and ended with the driver in custody.”