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Texas National Guard member charged with human smuggling

A Texas National Guard soldier was arrested Sunday for allegedly attempting to smuggle an illegal alien over the U.S.-Mexico border. He was deployed to Eagle Pass.

The soldier, Savion Johnson, 26, is charged with evading arrest, smuggling of persons, and unlawful carry of a weapon, as confirmed by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Johnson's deployment moved from McAllen to Eagle Pass. It was part of Governor Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star. 

Operation Lone Star is a border security initiative that Governor Abbott launched in March 2021 when it became apparent that President Biden would not secure the southern border. Texas began doing the job that Joe Biden refuses to do.

The soldier turned around when he approached a pop-up tactical Border Patrol checkpoint off Highway 674, according to Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe. The checkpoint has only been operational for a few days. Johnson led authorities on a high-speed chase in his government-issued vehicle. 

Reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, bodycam and dashcam footage show Johnson being dragged out of the vehicle and arrested around 3:45 p.m. after leading officers on the 15-mile-long chase.

Coe said the Texas Department of Public Safety helped with the pursuit and used spike strips to stop the fleeing SUV.

Texas DPS officers used spike strips to get Johnson's vehicle to come to a stop. Sheriff Coe arrived to assist with the arrest. Johnson was pulled from his vehicle so he could be searched. 

The illegal alien the soldier was allegedly trying to transport fled from Johnson's SUV but he eventually gave himself up to be processed by Border Patrol. 

Johnson was allegedly promised $5,000 to $6,000. He didn't have access to license plate readers or other technology that could have helped in his smuggling efforts. He was armed, though, so his smuggling charge was elevated.

“We don’t know what’s going on in their lives to make them do this,” Coe said. “But they’re going to get caught.”

Two other women were previously caught in Kinney County along the same road, also for human smuggling.

We don't know why a person would decide to profit off smuggling human beings but we do know as a member of the Texas National Guard, he took an oath. This is criminal activity and it violates his oath. 

Governor Abbott is pissed - rightly so. He calls Johnson a traitor, if the allegations are true. 

“If the allegations are true, the accused is a traitor and criminal,” Abbott said in a statement to NewsNation Monday. “We have zero tolerance for Texans who violate laws that directly contradict the mission we are seeking to achieve.”

The Border Patrol, the Texas National Guard, and DPS have worked tirelessly as part of Operation Lone Star. For whatever reason, Johnson became a bad apple. He went to the dark side in the humanitarian crisis. If the story checks out, Johnson must be held accountable. 

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