(Metro Creative Graphics)

The Smith County Sheriff's Office is searching for four men who allegedly evaded police during a traffic stop on Interstate 20 Wednesday afternoon.

Larry Christian, public information officer for the sheriff's office, said when a traffic stop was initiated for a vehicle going eastbound on I-20 near Jim Hogg Road, four Hispanic men jumped from the SUV and ran south into the wooded area. The driver remained inside the vehicle.

Christian said an investigation determined the four men had entered the country illegally, and that the driver was possibly transporting the men for an undetermined reason.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents responded to the scene and the driver was turned over to them, Christian said.

Smith County deputies and investigators are actively searching the area with help from the Smith County Precinct 5 Constable's Office. The search area is east and southeast from where the traffic stop occurred. The men could be wearing baseball caps and hoodies, the sheriff's office said.

The men are not believed to be armed or dangerous.

"The concern is only a chance encounter with the subjects due to the likelihood they are unfamiliar with the area," Christian said.

People who see suspicious activity or individuals matching this description, should call the sheriff's office at (903) 566-6600 or 911 if an emergency.


Multimedia Journalist

I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.