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Pilot who crashed plane carrying undocumented migrants arrested on human smuggling charges

There has been an ongoing manhunt for Tobias Penner Peters since Dec. 30.

PRESIDIO COUNTY, Texas — The Presidio County Sheriff's Office has made an arrest in connection to a failed human smuggling attempt in December 2021.

Tobias Penner Peters, of Seminole, is facing three counts of smuggling of persons, one count of evading arrest and one count of deadly conduct after authorities say he crashed a plane carrying undocumented migrants.

According to PCSO, on Dec. 30, 2021, deputies responded to a plane crash north of the Presidio International Airport.

Investigators determined the pilot, later identified as Peters, was trying to smuggle the undocumented migrants by air when a combination of the excess passenger weight and low fuel likely caused the aircraft to crash.

Search and rescue efforts resulted in some passengers being taken to the hospital and others being taken in by U.S. Border Patrol. At this time there is no update on the health status of the passengers.

Peters fled the scene, leading to a manhunt that lasted until his arrest on March 25, 2022.

Court records show that Peters has a preliminary hearing and detention hearing set for April 11 at 9:30 a.m. in Alpine.