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Suspected illegal immigrants lead deputies on high speed chase

January 23, 2002|By MARIO RENTERIA, Staff Writer

NILAND — Three suspected illegal immigrants led Imperial County sheriff's deputies on a vehicle pursuit that started here and reached speeds of up to 100 miles per hour Tuesday.

Sheriff's Sgt. Manuel Avila said a deputy in Niland attempted to stop a four-door vehicle with three occupants inside for speeding through a school zone around 1:45 p.m.

The driver, later identified as Juan Gonzalez Serrano, 20, of Mexico, refused to stop and led the deputy on a pursuit north on Highway 111, which ended some to three miles north of Bombay Beach near the county line.

After the driver stopped the vehicle, the three individuals fled the area on foot, Avila said, adding they were caught with the help of a California Highway Patrol helicopter.

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The driver was arrested by deputies. The two passengers, a male and female whose identities were unavailable, were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.

Serrano remained in the county jail this morning with bail set at $20,000.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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