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Immigrants captured after chase near Seeley

January 16, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

A minor collision and a high-speed pursuit by California Highway Patrol officers and Imperial County Sheriff's Office deputies led to the apprehension of 11 illegal immigrants Monday afternoon.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Jose Salazar said a call came in to the Highway Patrol about 2:50 p.m. regarding a collision on Interstate 8 west of Dunaway Road.

A Highway Patrol officer who arrived at the scene was told by the driver of one of the vehicles involved that the other driver had fled in a pickup on Dunaway Road.

A Sheriff's Office deputy at the scene left in search of the pickup.

The deputy saw the truck on Evan Hewes Highway but the driver refused to yield and a pursuit ensued as the vehicles headed east at speeds reaching up to 65 mph.

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A Highway Patrol officer then laid out spike strips along the highway just west of Seeley.

The driver of the truck tried to swerve around the strips but the front right tire was damaged by the spikes. The driver drove into Seeley where he slowly brought the truck to a stop.

Officers found 11 illegal immigrants in the full-sized pickup.

Manuel Chapparo Soto, 25, of Mexicali, is alleged to be the driver. He did not own the truck and was in this country illegally.

He was arrested for felony evading arrest, misdemeanor hit and run and misdemeanor driving without a license.

He was being held today in the county jail with bail set at $15,000.

The illegal immigrants in the pickup have been turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 370-8549.

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