Juan Gonzalez is in jail and facing the possibility of deportation after the US Border Patrol captured him Thursday.
Border Patrol said they got suspicious he might be smuggling drugs, and tried to pull him over on I-75.
But Gonzalez led them on a chase all the way to a home in Dade City.
He and his three passengers eventually gave up.
They didn’t turn out to be smugglers, but officials said they are all in the US illegally.
“Sometimes we end up crossing paths with somebody and if they are here illegally. It’s part of our job and we have to arrest someone we run into,” said US Border Patrol Agent Glenn Lendel.
Immigration issues are front and center these days, especially since President Trump took office.
But Border Patrol said their approach is the same as it’s always been.
At the local level, Pasco Sheriff’s Chris Nocco said they aren’t doing anything different either.
“We haven’t changed our operation. We’ve always been a county that enforces the law. We will continue to enforce the law. And we are going to work with ICE and Border Patrol.”
Margarita Roma is a longtime activist in the Dade City area.
And said many hispanics are scared, even those who are citizens.
“What happened yesterday was very traumatic for everybody in the community. I think our people have some rights, not much, but something.”
She said she’s all for deporting criminals, but doesn’t want to see families ripped apart.
“I’m hoping that what the president will say is people who have been here 10 years, people that have set roots down, people that have children here, people that are working in the community. Let them stay. Let them stay.”
The Border Patrol didn’t say if Gonzalez would be deported back to Mexico or if he has any other criminal record in the US.
The other three people he was with are also being detained.
STAY IN TOUCH WITH US ANYTIME, ANYWHERE
Sign up for Breaking News email alerts.