Tucson, Arizona - Border Patrol agents and Cochise County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two U.S. citizens and six Mexican nationals Tuesday afternoon following a vehicle pursuit that ended near Hereford when the suspects abandoned a vehicle and attempted to flee on foot.

Agents from the Brian A. Terry Station saw several men entering a GMC Jimmy near the international border and head west on State Route 92. Deputies monitoring radio traffic saw the SUV and attempted to conduct a vehicle stop. Instead of pulling over, however, the driver sped away. Deputies and agents followed the vehicle until it was no longer in sight.

Another agent soon reported finding the vehicle abandoned in a nearby cul-de-sac. Agents and deputies converged on the area and soon found eight people hiding in the brush. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, an agent found an empty holster, which prompted agents to scour the area where they soon found a 9 mm handgun.

Of the eight people apprehended, agents identified two as Tucson residents – a 39-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man – and the other six as adult Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States.

The Tucson pair face felony criminal prosecutions for alien smuggling. The illegal aliens were processed for immigration violations.

Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.