Phoenix man accused of fleeing from deputies with men in the US illegally in his truck

NEAR SIERRA VISTA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A Phoenix man has been arrested after he reportedly tried to get away from deputies while having two people in the U.S. illegally in his truck in southern Arizona.

a man looking at the camera (C) (Source: Cochise County Sheriff’s Office)

On Tuesday, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office got a tip about a truck that was possibly transporting people in the country illegally south of Sierra Vista. Sheriff Mark Dannels found the truck on Highway 92 near Ash Canyon, heading south and speeding. The sheriff and one of his deputies tried to pull over the truck but say the driver sped away.

The truck finally stopped in front of a home in the area, and three men jumped out and ran toward the back of the house. A short time later, deputies located and took all three men into custody. The sheriff’s office says two of the men were in the country illegally.

They were released to U.S. Border Patrol officers. But the third man, who had been the driver of the truck, is a U.S citizen.

He was identified as 23-year-old Dustin Howerton of Phoenix. Deputies say Howerton was barefoot when he was arrested. A woman who lived at the home said he had tried to climb up onto the second-floor balcony, leaving his shoes and fanny pack on the ledge.

Howerton also reportedly told deputies that the other men in the truck “had guns and made me do it.” When deputies searched the fanny pack allegedly belonging to Howerton, they say they found pills and items used to ingest drugs. Howerton was taken to a nearby hospital to have blood drawn as part of the DUI investigation.

He was then booked into the Bisbee Jail.

He faces charges of felony flight, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, endangerment, aggravated DUI, criminal trespass and criminal damage.

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