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Videos: Nat’l Guardsman arrested for smuggling illegal immigrant in gov’t SUV

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers' boots. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Ken Scar)
April 04, 2024

Bodycam and dashcam videos show a Texas National Guardsman being arrested Sunday after attempting to escape from law enforcement while smuggling an illegal immigrant across the border between the United States and Mexico in his government SUV.

The Texas Department of Public Safety told NewsNation that 26-year-old Savion Amari Donovan Johnson has been charged with smuggling of persons, unlawfully carrying a weapon, and evading arrest. Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe told the outlet that the Texas National Guard soldier turned his vehicle around as he approached a Highway 674 Border Patrol checkpoint, where Border Patrol Agents attempted to stop Johnson.

“We don’t know what’s going on in their lives to make them do this,” Coe told NewsNation. “But they’re going to get caught.”

READ MORE: Videos/Pics: Texas Nat’l Guard seizes border section, builds razor-wire wall: Report

According to The New York Post, officers were able to stop the National Guardsman’s vehicle by using spike strips after Johnson led law enforcement officers on a chase at speeds of more than 100 mph. Kinney County Sheriff’s deputies assisted with Johnson’s arrest in Bracketville following the high-speed chase.

Dashcam video shows officers pulling the Texas National Guardsman out of his vehicle and searching Johnson for weapons.

NewsNation reported that the illegal immigrant the National Guardsman was attempting to smuggle across the border jumped out of the vehicle before Johnson was arrested. However, the illegal immigrant eventually surrendered and was processed by Border Patrol.

According to NewsNation, Johnson had been deployed to Eagle Pass under Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star. The outlet reported that Johnson, who was allegedly promised $5,000 or $6,000 for smuggling the illegal immigrant, admitted that he had a weapon inside his government vehicle.

Following Sunday’s incident, Abbott Press Secretary Andrew Mahaleris told Fox News, “If the allegations are true, the accused is a traitor and criminal.”

“We have zero tolerance for Texans who violate laws that directly contradict the mission we are seeking to achieve,” the Abbott spokesman added. “The accused’s illegal smuggling may subject him to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 10 years. He deserves more.”

Ali Bradley, a NewsNation correspondent, shared a video on X, formerly Twitter, showing law enforcement officers arresting and searching Johnson after Sunday’s vehicle chase.