Operation Lone Star Apprehends Over 350,000 Illegal Immigrants

February 17, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas National Guard are continuing to work together to secure the border; stop the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and people into Texas; and prevent, detect, and interdict transnational criminal behavior between ports of entry.

Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 350,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 24,000 criminal arrests, with more than 22,000 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 362 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.

Texas has also bused more than 9,100 migrants to our nation's capital since April, over 5,200 migrants to New York City since August 5, more than 1,500 migrants to Chicago since August 31, and more than 890 migrants to Philadelphia since November 15.

Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps left by the Biden Administration's refusal to secure the border. Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Biden's open border policies.


WATCH: DPS Lt. Olivarez Says Cartel Drone Surveillance A Daily Occurrence

DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez spoke with Fox News about the increasing use of drone surveillance by smuggling organizations operating on the Mexico side of the border. DPS also continues to witness an increase in out-of-state smugglers and juveniles being lured by cartels to travel to the Texas-Mexico border and profit off President Biden’s open borders by smuggling illegal immigrants into the country.

“The smuggling organizations in Mexico use drones to their advantage to do counter-surveillance on law enforcement to bring across people or drugs,” said Lt. Olivarez. “What we’re also seeing that we have never seen before is driver smugglers having weapons on them. That creates a dangerous situation for law enforcement, because they don’t know who they’re going to encounter.”

WATCH: Texas National Guard Turns Back 600 Illegal Immigrants Near El Paso

Texas National Guard soldiers turned back roughly 600 illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border during a mass migration event near El Paso last week. Soldiers assisted DPS and other law enforcement partners in deterring and turning back the illegal immigrants and set up a perimeter to take control of the situation.

WATCH: 15-Year-Old With 7 Illegal Immigrants Arrested After High-Speed Pursuit

A 15-year-old smuggler led DPS troopers on a high-speed pursuit on US-83 in Hidalgo County. The driver, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, went through a dirt road before bailing out with seven illegal immigrants.

The driver was apprehended and charged with smuggling of persons and evading arrest. The seven illegal immigrants were apprehended and referred to Border Patrol.

WATCH: Human Smuggler From Florida Leads DPS On High-Speed Pursuit

DPS troopers were led on a high-speed pursuit in Val Verde County by a human smuggler from Florida. The driver eventually bailed out and ran toward the brush. Four illegal immigrants were found inside the vehicle. The driver was found, arrested, and charged with human smuggling and evading arrest.

Texas National Guard Rehearse Tactical Movement Exercise For Mass Migration

Texas National Guard soldiers rehearsed a tactical movement exercise to respond to a growing migrant camp development across the border from Brownsville in Mexico. The quick response force team enables the fastest response to a mass migration event—within 30 minutes—to repel illegal immigrants and other criminal activity.

“The overall effects of the operation are teambuilding, familiarization of terrain, and the course of actions in the event that a mass migration occurs,” said Senior Master Sgt. Rosario Muñoz, Task Force South Operations Superintendent. “Our presence here demonstrates a show of force. We explain to migrants who try to cross here, they need to go back.”