Texas National Guard member charged after allegedly smuggling a migrant

Apr 4, 2024, 3:14 PM

Savion Johnson, a member of the Texas National Guard, was arrested and charged with human smuggling...

Savion Johnson, a member of the Texas National Guard, was arrested and charged with human smuggling. (Kinney County Sheriff's Office via CNN Newsource)

(Kinney County Sheriff's Office via CNN Newsource)

(CNN) — A member of the Texas National Guard was arrested and charged with human smuggling after allegedly leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase near the Texas-Mexico border on Sunday.

The suspect, identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety as 26-year-old Savion Johnson, was approaching a checkpoint in Kinney County when he turned his vehicle around and started driving away from authorities, Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe told CNN.

Deputies from the Kinney County Sheriff’s Office, as well as troopers with the DPS engaged in the chase, Coe said. At one point, the vehicle briefly stopped and a migrant got out of the vehicle and fled on foot, according to Coe, who added authorities were unable to locate the migrant.

The vehicle was eventually stopped on Highway 90, near Brackettville after law enforcement laid down spikes on the road to slow it down. A sheriff’s deputy found identification on Johnson that connected him to the National Guard, according to Coe.

“He had his uniform and helmet in the (vehicle) with him,” Coe said, adding that he was told the individual was on active duty at the time with Operation Lone Star, the massive, state-led law enforcement initiative at the border.

Johnson was taken into custody by DPS and was not booked in Kinney County.

DPS charged Johnson with evading arrest, smuggling of persons and unlawful carry of a weapon, DPS spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez said in a statement. The investigation is ongoing, he added.

CNN has not been able to identify an attorney for Johnson. CNN has reached out to the local district attorney’s office, the US Attorney’s office, and Customs and Border Protection.

Andrew Mahaleris, a spokesperson for Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, released a strongly worded statement about the incident.

“If the allegations are true, the accused is a traitor and criminal. We have zero tolerance for Texans who violate laws that directly contradict the mission we are seeking to achieve,” Mahaleris wrote. “The accused’s illegal smuggling may subject him to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 10 years. He deserves more.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live


The male driver of a silver sedan who police believe had their car stolen by the man accused of kil...

Michael Houck and Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Police searching for man targeted by suspect in Sgt. Bill Hooser’s death

Police are looking for a man whose car was attempted to be stolen at a gas station by the man accused of killing Sgt. Bill Hooser.

3 hours ago

The Audi after it was hit by an SUV on May 12....

Carlysle Price

Man facing six charges after car accident that injured two

A man was charged Thursday in connection to a car accident on May 12 that injured two.

4 hours ago

Ida Lorenzo talking to the other woman who she allegedly grabbed the skirt of in the restaurant....

Ashley Imlay,

Woman in St. George skirt-pulling incident fired from Utah AG’s office, records show

A woman charged with sexual battery after she allegedly tugged on another woman's skirt at a St. George restaurant was fired from the Utah Attorney General's Office after the incident went viral, newly released documents show.

8 hours ago

A man in a suit and a bowtie...

Pat Reavy,

Officers found legally justified in Murray and Taylorsville police shootings

Police officers who shot and killed a man armed with a rifle, and officers who shot another man who attempted to run them over in a separate incident were legally justified in using deadly force.

10 hours ago

Carl Everett (front) and Paulette Everett (left) in September, 1995...

Ben Kuebrich, KSL Podcasts

‘Ransom: Position of Trust’: Questioning Everything

Episode 2 of the true-crime podcast "Ransom: Position of Trust" looks at the early suspects in the case and explores Carl and Paulette's background.

11 hours ago

FILE - Chad Daybell is on trial for the murders of his wife Lori Vallow Daybell's two children, Jos...

Daniel Woodruff

Chad Daybell tells judge he won’t testify in his murder trial

The defense attorney for Chad Daybell said Thursday he does not intend to call any further witnesses in the murder trial, and the defendant told the judge he will not take the stand himself and testify.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Texas National Guard member charged after allegedly smuggling a migrant