U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Border Patrol Station arrested a man who evaded arrest for three hours on Tuesday afternoon.
The incident began at approximately 10:05 a.m., on Highway S2, north of Ocotillo. Border Patrol agents assigned roving patrol, received information of a silver Nissan Altima traveling north on Hwy. S2, suspected of transporting illegal aliens.
Agents patrolling the area identified a vehicle matching the description being driven by a male with three additional occupants. Agents began following the suspect vehicle. A vehicle stop was attempted, but the Nissan Altima failed to yield to Border Patrol agents.
The fleeing vehicle continued travelling north on Highway S-2, and then west on Highway 78 towards Julian with the Border Patrol in pursuit.
Agents backed off the Altima as it passed through Julian. The Altima turned onto Highway 79 where agents were able to reacquire visual of the vehicle.
At approximately 1 p.m., the Altima pulled onto the shoulder of Highway 79 where the driver and all occupants exited and fled on foot into a wooded area. Agents arrested quickly arrest all three of the passengers.
Agents were unable to locate the driver due to the dense brush and trees in the area. Those on scene set up a perimeter and called in the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) to conduct a more thorough search. BORTAC agents located the driver hiding in a densely wooded area and arrested him.
The driver, a 40-year-old United States citizen, is being held in federal custody pending criminal prosecution.
Two of the passengers were illegal aliens from Mexico, while the third was an illegal alien from El Salvador. All three are being held as material witnesses for the pending criminal federal charges.