Wednesday, May 14, 2008

19 illegal immigrants jailed (Muskogee Phoenix)

19 illegal immigrants jailed

By Donna Hales
Phoenix Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2008 11:34 pm

When Webbers Falls Police Chief Tim Brown returned home Tuesday and saw a pickup coming down his driveway, he had no idea he was about to find 19 illegal immigrants inside.

Brown said he was at the end of his winding drive waiting on a gravel deliveryman when he saw the green 1990 Ford pickup with a camper on it driving down the hill toward him.

“I asked what they were doing coming down my driveway, and a woman in the front said they’d just stopped to take a break,” Brown said.

He said he managed to converse with the people in broken Spanish and broken English and learned they were on their way from Arizona to jobs in Tennessee.

“They told me they were illegals and knew they weren’t supposed to be here,” Brown said. “I asked the driver to show me his driver’s license, and he showed me his Mexican voting card. They were stuffed in there like sardines.”

They had been on Interstate 40 and pulled off at his place, which is 100 feet from I-40 on Ross Road, Brown said.

The people told Brown they’d been in an Astro van that broke down and that the man who owned the van then provided the pickup. Brown waited for instructions from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office said about 5 p.m. the illegals were going to be taken to the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility for the night and then would be turned over to immigration officials in Tulsa today.

The pickup they were in had a decal on the bumper that amused Brown. It was a black decal with a thin blue line through it like ones denoting the auto belongs to a law enforcement officer, Brown said.

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