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High Speed Chase Ends With Drug Bust South of Marfa

Bundles of marijuana were discovered in a silver Ford F-150 truck Tuesday evening. (Presidio County Sheriff's Office)

A high speed police chase Tuesday evening on Ranch Road 2810 in Presidio County ended with a Texas man under arrest for trying to smuggle 1,101 pounds of marijuana.

The Presidio County Sheriff’s Office said the chase happened around 7:15 PM a few miles south of Marfa on 2810. A silver Ford truck loaded down with pot was headed north when Border Patrol agents called the sheriff’s office for assistance in stopping the truck.

The sheriff’s office said a deputy opened fire on the truck’s tires and successfully shot them out, stopping the truck about a mile south of Marfa. 

Chief Deputy Joel Nunez told the Big Bend Sentinel authorities shot out the tires "for the safety of citizens."

Pictures released by the sheriff’s office show the bundles of marijuana packed in the bed of the truck under a covering and hiding behind the front seats of the truck.

The driver - 23-year-old Samuel Rodriguez of Pasadena, Texas - was taken into custody.

Unlike most other public highways in the area that stretch north from the border, 2810 is unpaved for a large stretch closer to the border through the Chinati Mountains area and does not have a Border Patrol checkpoint in place. 

It’s not clear where the drugs originated from or how they wound up in the truck driven by Rodriguez.

Pictures of the scene showed multiple Border Patrol agents on hand, along with at least one state trooper and Presidio County Sheriff's deputies. A witness reported seeing a helicopter flying overhead as well.

Travis Bubenik is All Things Considered Host and Big Bend Reporter at Marfa Public Radio.