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Suspect accused of threatening bus passengers removed from U.S. 5 times

The bus was pulled over at the state line Friday
Posted at 6:15 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 19:15:11-05

MILWAUKEE -- Authorities said Monday that the suspect accused of threatening bus passengers Friday night was removed from the U.S. five times. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirms 33-year-old Margarito Vargas-Rosas was in the United States illegally. A spokesman with the agency also confirms Vargas-Rosas left the United States five times before.

The spokesman shared this information:

  • 2004: Voluntarily returned back to Mexico; crossed the border from California.
  • 2009: Removed because of local charges.
  • 2010: Removed by an immigration judge.
  • 2012: Fully deported.
  • 2012: Fully deported.

We are still working to find out more details on each incident.

Vargas-Rosas is currently being held without bond in Lake County, Illinois. He is expected in court again Wednesday.

He could soon be extradited to Racine County to face charges of making terroristic threats, a felony.

Passengers told the Racine County Sheriff Vargas-Rosas threatened to "kill people" on board the Greyhound bus headed from Milwaukee to Chicago Friday night.

Confusion piled on when the bus driver did not stop for miles.

"I know its hard to wrap your mind around how do you don't know you're being pulled over. I think he [the bus driver] ultimately realized this was a serious event when we spiked his tires. His tires became flat and he rolled into the state of Illinois where he came to a rest," said Sheriff Christopher Schmaling Saturday.

Schmaling says the driver apparently did not know about all of the commotion in the back of the bus.

A Greyhound spokeswoman sent us this statement about the incident:

We continuously evaluate our safety procedures and make improvements whenever and wherever possible. As a ground transportation provider, Greyhound is more like a train, transit bus system or subway than it is like air travel. With the thousands of locations intercity bus travels, we work diligently to provide safe transportation to those who rely on our service. 

The safety of our customers and employees is the cornerstone of our business. With security measures in place such as having security guards and surveillance cameras at many of our stations, random searches of customers’ carry-on baggage, DriveCams on the buses, as well as working with the TSA on the development of some of our security programs and procedures, we do our best to ensure our customers are safe when they travel.

And, in terms of the driver, the driver remains out of service while we continue to investigate.