3 June 2004

I would not have sanctioned or authorized releasing those people into the community

Yet 24 suspected illegal immigrants were released into a Mesa neighborhood.
A state Department of Public Safety officer on Tuesday noticed two full-size vans traveling together on the freeway near the Dobson Road exit, said DPS spokesman Steve Volden.

When the officer tried to pull them over on a traffic violation, one exited the freeway at Country Club Drive and crashed in a ditch. Nearly 30 people got out and began running, Volden said. Other DPS officers called to the scene caught 18 of them, he said.

The second van, which was packed with 25 people, tried to flee on the freeway but was pulled over. Two more DPS officers showed up and helped handcuff the suspects. One resisted, breaking an officer's wrist, Volden said.

The officers called ICE but were told no detention officers were available for at least four hours, Volden said.


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