by Kristie HendersonMonday, March 4th 2019

CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WEAR) — A 41-year-old man previously wanted for assaulting a border patrol agent has been arrested in Okaloosa County.

Edwin Edgardo Tercero and five others in his vehicle were apprehended during a traffic stop on Interstate 10 as a part of Operation Stonegarden patrol on Feb. 28.

Border patrol agents were called for assistance.

After questioning, they found all six occupants were in the country illegally, according to a report from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Tercero had been previously arrested by United States Border Patrol agents on suspicion of alien smuggling and illegal activity back in May 2018, but had run away after assaulting the arresting agent, a report states.

“The apprehension of this illegal alien smuggler is noteworthy in several aspects. In particular, Tercero was a fugitive with a record of assaulting law enforcement officers, and his apprehension highlights the superlative work done by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office as part of ‘Operation Stonegarden,’” said New Orleans Sector Chief Patrol Agent Greg Bovino. “My agents have often commented on the professionalism of Okaloosa deputies, and this arrest again highlights that fact.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Mississippi, Tercero was extradited to Harrison County March 1 to face charges of reentry of removed alien and assault on a federal officer.

The other occupants were placed under removal proceedings in Alabama.

Operation Stonegarden is a U.S. Border Patrol/Federal Emergency Management Agency grant program designed to enhance border security by partnering with all agencies to patrol key route of entering the United States.