BREWSTER COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- The 56th Annual Terlingua International Chili Cookoff, which runs through the weekend, helped area law enforcement apprehend several people believed to have crossed the border illegally, according to the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office.
BSCO said deputies were in the area to lend extra patrol units to the help police the “granddaddy of all chili cook-offs” when dispatch notified them of a suspicious vehicle traveling northbound on Highway 118. The vehicle reportedly approached the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint but turned prior to entering the inspection lane.
A BCSO deputy saw the vehicle about 50 miles south of Alpine and tried to conduct a traffic stop. Deputies said the driver refused to pull over and led investigators on a chase at more than 100 miles per hour. That’s when those extra deputies patrolling the cook-off, including Sheriff Ronny Dodson, responded to assist.
Investigators said the vehicle continued southbound and avoided two sets of spike strips; the driver then “narrowly missed striking multiple innocent motorists during his flight and, several times, tried to hit patrol cars as he approached Study Butte”. Dodson also discharged his shotgun to try and disable the vehicle and safely end the pursuit but the driver reportedly kept going until he crashed into a deputy’s patrol truck and eventually ran over another set of spike strips that sent the vehicle into a ravine where it crashed.
BCSO said the driver, Jordan Ortiz, his girlfriend, and two illegal migrants from Mexico were all taken into custody. Ortiz has been charged with Evading Arrest, Aggravated Assault Against a Public Servant, and two counts of Smuggling of Persons. His girlfriend was released pending an investigation and the two illegal migrants were referred to Border Patrol Agents for processing.