DPS: 17-year-old charged for human smuggling

State News


BROOKS COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Texas Rangers are conducting a human smuggling investigation following a car chase Wednesday.

According to a release, a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) attempted to conduct a vehicle stop for a traffic violation on F.M. 2191 and County Road 212 north of Falfurrias. The truck was occupied by three men.

When the car chased carried over to Hidalgo County, deputies used a tire deflation device to make the driver come to a stop.

Deputies then discovered an unresponsive man inside the truck. He was identified as Luis Antonio Ruiz Perez, 25, and was pronounced dead at the scene. The second passenger, the father of Ruiz-Perez, was turned over to U.S. Border Patrol.

The driver was identified as Bryan Ramiro Mendoza, 17, from McAllen.

Mendoza has been arrested ad charged with evading arrest and human smuggling. He was transported to Brooks County jail.

The investigation from the Texas Rangers revealed both passengers had been in the brush for about 8 hours before being picked up by Mendoza.

Ruiz-Perez became ill during that time.

DPS Troopers and Texas Rangers confirm in the release that this was not considered a “fatal crash.”

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