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Sierra Vista man arrested for smuggling 6 Mexican men

A Sierra Vista-area man was arrested Wednesday by Border Patrol agents south of Benson for transporting in his vehicle six Mexican men who were illegally present in the United States, authorities said. 

Border Patrol agents from the Willcox station stopped the man’s Saturn SUV, traveling north on State Route 90 near Benson, about 50 miles southwest of Tucson, to conduct an immigration inspection, said a BP spokesman. 

As the agents exited their vehicle, the Saturn sped away, crossed the median and headed back south at a “high rate of speed,” the Tucson Sector spokesman said. 

Agents pursued as the vehicle as it headed south, and then turned east onto a undesignated road. The SUV eventually drove into thick brush near a residential neighborhood north of the intersection of State Route 82 and State Route 90, near Whetstone, the spokesman said. 

The driver, and six other men, were spotted fleeing on foot by Border Patrol agents.

All seven were eventually apprehended — the Mexican men face charges for immigration violations, and the Sierra Vista man was in federal custody pending prosecution for smuggling charges, the spokesman said. The identities of those arrested were not released.

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This Saturn SUV was driven by a Sierra Vista-area man who was arrested Wednesday by Border Patrol for transporting six Mexican men who were illegally present in the United States, authorities said.