Texas National Guardsman ‘is caught smuggling a migrant across southern border in his work SUV’ after fleeing checkpoint, sparking 100mph chase ended by cops using a spike strip

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Savion Amari Donovan Johnson, 26, arrested in Brackettville, Texas, on Sunday
  • Turned around at border checkpoint sparking chase, migrant jumped out of car
  • Police hauled him out of the SUV, discovered he was with Texas National Guard 

A National Guardsman is accused of smuggling a migrant across the border into Texas while deployed to stop asylum-seekers entering the US – and his arrest was captured in dramatic footage. 

Specialist Savion Amari Donovan Johnson, 26, was arrested around 3.45pm Sunday after a high-speed chase with police in Brackettville, Texas.

Texas Department of Public Safety and Kinney County Sheriff’s deputies pursued him after he abruptly turned around ahead of a checkpoint on Highway 674. 

His sudden course change was suspicious, and their pursuit led to a 15-mile chase at speeds of over 100mph.

Sheriff Brad Coe confirmed Johnson was a member of the Texas National Guard assigned to Operation Lone Star, which aims to prevent migrants breaching the border, at the Eagle Pass crossing.

Dramatic bodycam and dashcam footage showed Johnson being hauled out of his silver GMC SUV given to him for work after it was finally stopped by road spikes.

Savion Amari Donovan Johnson, 26, (pictured in white) was arrested around 3.45pm Sunday after a high-speed chase with local police in Brackettville, Texas

Dramatic bodycam and dashcam footage showed Johnson being hauled out of his sliver GMC SUV after it was finally stopped by road spikes

Dramatic bodycam and dashcam footage showed Johnson being hauled out of his sliver GMC SUV after it was finally stopped by road spikes

‘Why you running, dude?’ the arresting KCSO deputy asked as he handcuffed Johnson behind his back as he lay face down on the grass.

‘I got very, very scared,’ he replied.

Other police in the background said a Hispanic man was seen fleeing to the south.

‘I’m so f**king stupid,’ Johnson said, to which the deputy agreed: ‘Yeah, you are f**king stupid, man.’

‘Do you know how many people you could have f**king killed, man? Jesus Christ.’

Johnson told the officers he had no weapons on him, but had one in his car. He was then loaded into the back of the KCSO vehicle.

Other officers were then seen searching the car and trying to track down the fleeing migrant.

The sheriff's deputy pulls Johnson out of the car and throws him on the ground

The sheriff’s deputy pulls Johnson out of the car and throws him on the ground

Johnson, a Texas National Guardsman, is handcuffed while the deputy berates him for the high-speed chase

Johnson, a Texas National Guardsman, is handcuffed while the deputy berates him for the high-speed chase

Authorities discovered he was from the Texas National Guard while going through his belongings, finding official IDs and gear. The deputy also photographed a pistol lying on the passenger seat.

Johnson, who lives in San Antonio, was allegedly offered $5,000 to $6,000 to take the man over the border undetected, police said.

The man he was allegedly transporting later surrendered to authorities to be processed by Border Patrol agents.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Office lashed out at Johnson in a strongly-worded statement after his arrest.

‘If the allegations are true, the accused is a traitor and criminal,’ press secretary Andrew Mahaleris said. 

‘We have zero tolerance for Texans who violate laws that directly contradict the mission we are seeking to achieve. 

‘The accused’s illegal smuggling may subject him to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 10 years. He deserves more.’

Police discovered he was from the Texas National Guard while going through his belongings, finding official IDs and gear

Police discovered he was from the Texas National Guard while going through his belongings, finding official IDs and gear

Johnson was attached to the 100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment and shot several videos of guardsmen exercises.

Coe said Johnson had his Texas National Guard gear in the car, and he wasn’t the first guardsman his office had caught allegedly smuggling. He added people from all walks of life – including lawyers and preachers – were trying to make money smuggling. 

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

Johnson was charged with human smuggling, felony evading arrest and unlawful weapons possession.

An arrest affidavit said a state trooper tried to pull him over for speeding, which prompting the chase, and the guardsman slowed down to let the migrant jump out.

It is unclear if Johnson may have previously smuggled migrants across the border without being caught.  

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