EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Investigators are asking a federal judge to hold a man and his nephew without bond in connection with an early Monday three-vehicle crash that sent nine people to the hospital, including six migrants.
According to court documents, U.S. Border Patrol agents spotted a two-vehicle caravan in an area known for migrant smuggling shortly after midnight. The agents got behind the vehicles as they drove along Strauss Road in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.
The two vehicles turned onto Pete Domenici Highway and that’s when border agents attempted a stop. Court documents show that Andres Soriano complied and pulled into the parking lot of Love’s Travel Shop. The driver of the other vehicle, identified as David Alexis Bojorquez, allegedly disregarded Border Patrol vehicles’ flashing lights and sirens and crossed the Texas state line at Artcraft Road in El Paso, the documents allege.
Bojorquez allegedly made a sharp turn into the parking lot of the Carl’s Jr. restaurant on South Desert Boulevard and continued at a high rate of speed down the Interstate 10 service road. At that point, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers followed the vehicle until it ran a red light and struck the side of a silver-colored passenger vehicle at the intersection with Redd Road, causing injuries to all of its occupants, according to court documents. A black passenger vehicle was also struck after the collision, but its occupants were uninjured.
The injured passengers of the silver vehicle, including a child, were last reported in critical but stable condition at a hospital. Six migrants, identified as citizens of Guatemala, were also injured.
Court documents state that Bojorquez exited his vehicle and ran off. He was apprehended by DPS troopers and U.S. Border Patrol agents. He was taken to a DPS office for questioning by DPS and Homeland Security Investigations special agents, where he waived his Miranda rights in writing.
Bojorquez allegedly told investigators that an unidentified man in Mexico told him to pick up and transport the unauthorized migrants from New Mexico to a predetermined location in El Paso. He told agents he would be paid $500 for each migrant and that he was “sorry for the injuries he caused,” court documents state.
Soriano told investigators he was asked by Bojorquez, his nephew, to assist him in the alleged migrant smuggling event by being the “decoy” driver in case they were discovered by law enforcement.
Soriano said he is on probation for a federal crime and told investigators he was aware his nephew was transporting unauthorized non-citizens. He further told them both of them had transported migrants to El Paso on three prior occasions for that unidentified individual in Mexico, court documents state.
Bojorquez and Soriano are facing federal charges of “conspiring to aid and abet the commission of transporting illegal aliens.”
El Paso County Jail records show Bojorquez also is facing state charges of evading arrest, smuggling persons with the likelihood of sustaining bodily injury or death and driving when unlicensed.
The federal government is asking that Bojorquez be held without bond because he has ties to Mexico and is a flight risk, and that Soriano also be denied bond because he has a prior criminal history and has the same ties to Mexico that make him a flight risk.
Soriano has a detention hearing set for 9:45 a.m. on Friday in U.S. District Judge Leon Schydlower’s court.