About a dozen people bailed out of an SUV onto an interstate near Newport when a police officer pulled them over. Many fled into the marsh.
John J. Jankowski Jr. and Daniel Sato, Delaware News Journal
A man who’d been deported five times was taking 11 people in the country illegally to their relatives in December when an officer pulled him over near Minquadale and they all ran, according to federal court documents recently filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s complaint charges Andres Andres-Juan with transporting immigrants in the country illegally during a three-day trek across the country, which ended on I-295 south in December 2018. The complaint said he was bringing the migrants from New Mexico.
Andres-Juan is a Guatemalan national who has been deported five times since 2002, the complaint said. He most recently was deported in October 2018 and then reentered the country by walking over the Mexican border with a human smuggler, the complaint said.
Andres-Juan has two prior convictions for illegal reentry, according to the complaint.
A Delaware River and Bay Authority officer pulled over a Toyota Sequoia with expired, restrictive, out-of-state tags around 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 5. As the officer spoke with Andres-Juan, he and the other 11 people in the SUV ran into the nearby wooded area.
Adrian Smith, a spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in Philadelphia, which has jurisdiction over Delaware, said an investigation concluded the people in the SUV are residents of Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
All were caught with aid from a state police helicopter, and the 10 adults were charged with resisting arrest.
ICE agents lodged immigration detainers against all those arrested except for the two children. Such detainers ask local authorities to hold foreign nationals for additional time so ICE can interview them with the possibility of deportation proceedings to follow.
The children were released to family members.
On the dashboard of the SUV, police found nearly $1,600 inside a wallet depicting St. Jude, the patron saint of lost and desperate causes, according to the complaint.
The complaint said one of Andres-Juan’s passengers — also a previous deportee — stayed in a New Mexico house for a month before being picked up. The passenger told investigators they traveled across the country for three days, during which time Andres-Juan paid for food and gas and that he was the “person in-charge of the trip.”
Contact Adam Duvernay at (302) 319-1855 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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