LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- Deputy U.S. Marshals arrested 25-year-old Dominic Montoya on human smuggling charges Wednesday, according to Dona Ana County Detention Center documents.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Montoya in federal court, the alleged human smuggling took place on April 5, 2023.
The document states that Border Patrol agents patrolling near Deming, New Mexico reported seeing Montoya driving along New Mexico State Road 26. They report the car was heavily laden in the back and speeding.
Agents followed the car for awhile and say that it took a route commonly used by human smugglers.
At one point, agents attempted to stop the car and four people jumped out. Those people later admitted to being migrant from Guatemala and El Salvador who entered the U.S. illegally.
The car eventually stopped and five more migrants jumped out. According to court documents, those migrants told a Border Patrol agent that the driver had jumped out of the car while it was still in motion and told them to continue driving on their own.
Another Border Patrol agent found Montoya walking along NMSR 26 and took him to the Deming Border Patrol Station for questioning. Court documents state that Montoya told investigators he was driving with his girlfriend to Hatch when they got into an argument and he got out of the car and started walking.
Border Patrol interviewed three of the apprehended migrants. Court documents state that those migrants told investigators that Montoya allegedly picked up migrants from stash houses in El Paso and Las Cruces.
One of the migrants told investigators that his fellow passengers tried to tell Montoya to stop the car when they saw a Border Patrol unit following them with sirens and lights flashing. The migrant told investigators that Montoya allegedly refused to stop, before eventually jumping out of the moving car.
Montoya is facing federal charges in this case. He is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center without bond, according to the latest information.