Undocumented aliens apprehended but smuggler escapes

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald:

By Jon Johnson


GRAHAM COUNTY – Four undocumented aliens were apprehended after a police pursuit on Feb. 19, however, an alleged smuggler got away. 

According to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report, a deputy went to assist a Safford officer who was in pursuit of a vehicle near 1st Avenue and U.S. Highway 70 at about 5:07 a.m. 

The deputy reported that the vehicle drove east on 1st Street and crashed into a ditch. Three subjects were seen running north into a field and one subject was seen running west in an alleyway. 

The deputy pursued the subject that ran into the alley. The subject was later identified as Miguel Angel Hernandez, of Mexico. While the deputy was speaking to Hernandez, a tall, black male walked up to the deputy and questioned why people were running in backyards.

The deputy informed the black male that the suspect was in custody and “everything was fine.” The deputy noted that the black male continued walking south looking into backyards as he went. 

The deputy was later informed that three other Mexican subjects, Diana Cruz Flores, Luis Enrique Macuil Romero, and Adelfo Garcia Perez, were apprehended but the driver was still missing. 

The Safford officer described the driver as being a black male but did not get a good look at him. Authorities with the Safford Police Department and Graham County Sheriff’s Office continued to search for the driver without success. 

The four UDAs were booked and held in the Graham County Adult Detention Facility until they were released into the custody of the United States Border Patrol a few hours later.