The Sutton County Sheriff’s Department has been busy. In the past several days they have apprehended 28 illegal immigrants. Deputies have discovered these illegal immigrants while conducting routine traffic stops on IH-10. In each case the vehicle was contacted due to a moving traffic violation.

On Saturday, March 27, 2021 the sheriff’s department conducted a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 277, when the vehicle slowed to a stop, the occupants fled the vehicle forgetting to put it in park.

The vehicle rolled off of the roadway and through a fence. The occupants fled the scene, the deputies were able to detain three of the occupants who were found to be illegal immigrants, and four remained at large.

On Monday, March 29, 2021 the sheriff’s department discovered 11 illegal immigrants hiding in the bed and back seat of a pickup truck under blankets during a routine traffic stop on IH-10.

During a routine traffic stop on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 officers discovered another 14 illegal immigrants traveling in a suburban that was pulled over for traffic violations.

In all of these cases the immigrants were turned over to Border Patrol without incident. However, according to Chief Deputy Castro these are not the immigrants that Texans are accustomed to encountering. They are not all from Mexico; in fact the SCSO deputies are encountering many immigrants from other countries such as Hondurans, El Salvadorians, Ecuadorians and Guatemalans. It is reported that the Border Patrol is transporting these individuals to different destinations throughout the United States for either deportation or to the shelters the Biden administration is creating.

In many cases these immigrants are not coming to Texas looking for work, as has been the case in the past.

The sheriff’s department is ensuring the health and safety of the officers by working to implement new protocols for more frequent tuberculosis, hepatitis and COVID-19 screening as they are in close contact with many people from multiple countries.

The influx of illegal immigrants is driving up operating costs for the Sheriff’s Department as deputies are working overtime hours to help with transportation of the immigrants from the scene to the sheriff’s department. There are also additional costs for meals, cleaning supplies and sanitization supplies.
The Sheriff’s Department does receive some funding through the Stonegarden program, which also provided funding for their Polaris Ranger. The ATV has been an asset when the deputies have needed to track or chase suspects who have fled on foot through rough terrain and helps them to cover large areas efficiently.

Chief Deputy Castro and Deputy Gann expressed that the Sheriff’s Department is working tirelessly to ensure the residents of Sutton County are safe.
They are warning residents when there are illegal immigrants at large. They are using Facebook to updated the community. However, the county is working to purchase a rapid alert system, but in the meantime the city has been broadcasting messages via the city’s NIXEL system as needed.
In many cases, the immigrants that evade law enforcement or are left behind by the pack they are traveling with are sick or disoriented; these people may need medical treatment, food or water. Citizens are asked to please contact law enforcement immediately if they suspect seeing illegal immigrants.

In October of 2020 the body of an illegal immigrant that fled from law enforcement in September of 2020 was discovered, it is thought that this individual eventually perished due to the elements.

The Sutton County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the help from all local residents. Please report any suspicious behavior or suspicious persons to the Sheriff’s Department at 325-387-2288. Also, remember to lock vehicles and don’t leave keys inside.