NEW: Texas National Guardsman arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle illegal immigrant in government vehicle

The Texas National Guard soldier had been deployed to Eagle Pass from McAllen under Operation Lonestar.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Sunday, a Texas National Guardsman was arrested in Kinney County, Texas near the US-Mexico border for allegedly attempting to smuggle an illegal immigrant into the US in a government vehicle.

According to NewsNation’s Ali Bradley, the Texas National Guardsman had been deployed to Eagle Pass from McAllen under Operation Lonestar.

Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe said that the guardsman approached a pop-up tactical Border Patrol checkpoint in Kinney County that had been operational for just a few days and turned around, alerting agents.

The agents attempted to stop the guardsman, who was driving an SUV, with the pursuit ending after spike strips were deployed.

Sources told Bradley that the guardsman was armed, which escalated the smuggling charge, and he was reportedly promised between $5,000 and $6,000 to smuggle the one person.

The arrested guardsman was identified as 26-year-old Savion Johnson, according to NewsNation. He was charged with evading arrest, smuggling of persons, and unlawful carry of a weapon.

On Johnson’s LinkedIn account, he posted certificates and medals received during his time in the US Army. He described his role in the Army as a wheeled vehicle mechanic, and graduated from ordinance school in February 2018.

Andy Ngo contributed to this report.

This is a breaking story. Please refresh the page for updates.

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