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Driver arrested after speeding through Arizona immigration checkpoint

Police situation near I-10 and SR 857
Posted at 3:39 PM, Dec 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 19:51:53-05

CASA GRANDE, AZ  — The driver who allegedly sped through an immigration checkpoint in southern Arizona and lead authorities on a 50-mile chase that reached 110 mph on Interstate 10 remains in federal custody.

FBI officials say 39-year-old Adrian Stewart had his initial appearance Tuesday in federal court in Phoenix. They say he's being held on suspicion of human smuggling, transporting immigrants illegally, concealing immigrants who are in the country illegally and other charges.

An FBI spokeswoman says Stewart also could be facing a charge of assault on a Border Patrol officer.

U.S. Border Patrol officials said they asked Stewart to open the car's trunk at the checkpoint south of Casa Grande about 3 p.m. Monday.

Stewart sped off when agents saw two men inside the truck. He allegedly fired shots out of the car's sunroof at Border Patrol vehicles during the pursuit, but no injuries were reported.

The chase ended near Sacaton and authorities said the two immigrants were found alive in the car's trunk, but they are not facing charges. According to a federal complaint, Stewart told authorities that he picks up people and does it for money.

Cliff Castle Chopper video showed traffic backed up for miles while crews worked to clear the scene.

Stay with ABC15 News and for updates