Officials: Suspect in High Speed Chase is Illegal Immigrant

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WILKES-BARRE -- Immigrations officials say the suspect, Alexis Nunez, was not allowed in this country and was deported once before back in August of 2009.

Police say Nunez led them on a wild high speed chase on Interstate 81 in two counties.

The chase shut down I-81 and created traffic back ups as the suspect fled Wilkes-Barre.

Here's what police say happened.  Nunez was holding Pamela Santana against her will. When police spotted his Dodge Caravan by Kidder Street, he took off and traveled north on I-81, at times driving the wrong way on the interstate.

Wilkes-Barre city police along with state police pursued Nunez. A spike strip deployed by State Police brought the caravan to a halt near the Dupont/Pittston exit.

"It was a very high stress situation. It wasn`t a normal pursuit obviously involved a person kept against their will so there was a lot of things the supervisors had to take into consideration when making their judgement calls on this particular pursuit," said Wilkes-Barre City Police chief Gerard Dessoye.

Dessoye says a loaded shotgun was found inside the Caravan. Dessoye also says the actions of his department and the State Police saved lives.

"If you run we will catch you. We may not do it in a pursuit as dramatic as this but we will find you and we will catch you. There was a significant risk to another individual and that`s the top of our game," added Dessoye.

The suspect, Alexis Nunez, is in the Luzerne County jail. Immigrations officials say he will be turned over to them, and once again, removed from the country.