21 men flee from SUV after Roswell officer tries to make traffic stop

New Mexico

Early Monday morning, a traffic stop on Main Street and Brasher Road in Roswell took an unexpected turn.

Police officer: “Hey, let me see your hands… I got about eight subjects running… northwest. Let me see your hands!”

As soon as the SUV stopped, people started pouring out.

Officer: “I got about 10… hey, stop, stop! Don’t run, don’t run!”

The men took off running through a nearby field.

Officer: “I got about 15 subjects all running out of the SUV.”

Just when it seemed over, even more men hopped out of the vehicle.

Officer: “All Hispanics, all wearing different clothing… they’re all running northwest in the field on Brasher.”

Then another got out, then another.

Officer: “Any units available… I’m staying with the vehicle… I still got multiple subjects jumping out.”

When the SUV was finally empty, the officer took a closer look inside. He believes 21 men were crammed inside. Police lapel video shows blankets, jackets and backpacks.

Meanwhile, fellow officers searched a nearby neighborhood

Officer: “We’ve got four detained.”

They caught one after another, after another. They found 12 in all, which means about eight got away.

“We’ve got multiple subjects a large,” said the officer.

While Roswell Police wouldn’t say if this is a suspected case of human smuggling, they did learn one thing before turning the suspects over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“The initial investigation led us to believe that at least 20 of them were in the country illegally,” police spokesman Todd Wildermuth said. 

It’s unknown if the driver was one of those twelve people found. KRQE News 13 is waiting on additional information from ICE.

The whole reason the officer pulled over the SUV in the first place, is because it was driving southbound in a northbound lane on Main Street.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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