A dashcam video caught 14 illegal immigrants jumping out of a car and running across the interstate to escape police in Oklahoma on Wednesday.
A deputy sheriff in Canadian County, Oklahoma stopped a Chevrolet Trailblazer with Alabama tags for tailing a semi-truck too closely, but noticed something was suspicious when the driver said he did not carry a U.S. license.
According to Deputy Sgt. Cody Palmer, who stopped the vehicle, driver Jose Mascarena-Ayala could only produce a Mexico-issued ID, and admitted he did not have a U.S. driver’s license or a passport.
“He tells me they’re coming from Amarillo, and that he’s been living there about a month,” Palmer told local news station KOKH.
The driver told the deputy that he and his family were driving back to Alabama after completing a roofing job.
“There was no luggage, no tools, nothing to go along with his story,” Palmer told the news station. ”They just appeared to be terrified.”
After Palmer told everyone to step out of the car so he could search it, he finally noticed there were 14 people in the vehicle.
“There were bottles of urine in the back, where literally they just go to the bathroom in these big jugs and they just keep driving down the road,” Palmer said.
The group initially followed Palmer’s directions — until immigration officers showed up. The deputy had asked the passengers to stay in the vehicle for safety reasons, but 13 of them immediately jumped out of the Trailblazer and made a run for it when they spotted the immigration officials.
“They just scattered. 13 people running across the interstate in front of cars [going] 70, 80 miles per hour,” Palmer said. “The driver takes off running from me. He gets out of my car and takes off running.”
Authorities were able to find 13 of the 14 people, the driver included, and all were identified as illegal immigrants.
The driver had already been banned from the U.S. for caravanning illegal immigrants across the U.S. many times before, and he has been charged with 13 new counts of human trafficking.
The passengers will be taken back to Mexico, but they will not be charged.