A high-speed chase from Temecula to Westminster ended with the arrest Thursday of a 34-year-old San Diego man on suspicion of transporting six illegal aliens.
The 70-mile chase began when U.S. Border Patrol agents asked Frank Neal Jeames to pull over just north of Lake Elsinore on Interstate 15 at 4 a.m., said Patrol Agent Placido Pacheco. The agents, he said, were suspicious of the "heavy laden" van.
Jeames led officers west on the Riverside (91) Freeway and south on the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway. The one-hour chase, which reached speeds of up to 85 m.p.h., ended when Jeames pulled over on the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway, near the Westminster Boulevard exit, Pacheco said.
Pacheco said the agents discovered six Mexican males in the van. They were transferred to the U.S. Border Patrol station in San Diego pending a review of the case.
Jeames was arrested on suspicion of transporting aliens and evading arrest. Pacheco said it was not known whether Jeames actually drove the aliens across the border.
He is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego. If convicted, Pacheco said, Jeames could face a maximum of five years in prison and a $2,000 fine for each alien transported.
Pacheco said Jeames also was arrested Dec. 7 on suspicion of transporting illegal aliens and later charged.