Texas National Guard Member Charged With Migrant Smuggling

A silver sport utility vehicle, driving at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, led the police on a 15-mile chase over the weekend near the U.S. border with Mexico in an area that has long been popular with migrant smugglers.

The scene ended on Sunday afternoon as many such pursuits do, with a migrant fleeing on foot and a driver captured, forced to stop by spikes that the police had stretched across the highway.

But while the circumstances were familiar, the identity of the driver was much more unusual: He was a member of the Texas Army National Guard.

The arrest marked at least the second time in less than a year that soldiers had been caught trying to transport migrants from the border in Texas. Last June, two soldiers, including one from the Louisiana National Guard, were arrested and charged with trying to smuggle migrants through the same area of rural ranch land in Kinney County.

The man arrested on Sunday, Savion Amari Donovan Johnson, was described by law enforcement officials as a National Guard soldier, but it was not clear whether he had been deployed to the area as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security program known as Operation Lone Star.

“He was National Guard,” said Sheriff Brad Coe of Kinney County, whose deputies helped make the arrest. “I believe he was a public information officer. That’s what I was told.”

Back to top button