Operation Lone Star Busts Mexican Drug Cartels’ Expanding Reach

February 10, 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 348,000 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 361 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: Governor Abbott Discusses New Border Czar’s Role In Protecting Texans

Governor Abbott joined Austin’s KEYE this week to highlight the significant responsibilities Texas’ new Border Czar is undertaking to fill the dangerous gaps created by the President Biden's open border policies. Additionally, the Governor points out President Biden has failed to respond to any one of his eight letters on how to enforce U.S. immigration laws and secure the border, including the letter Governor Abbott hand-delivered to President Biden during his first and only visit to the southern border last month.

“[The Biden Administration] has left Texas as a frontier outpost, leaving us to our own devices to have to secure our own border,” said Governor Abbott. “That’s why I hired someone who served in Border Patrol for more than 20 years in leadership positions, including the Border Patrol headquarters in Washington, D.C., to be the first Border Czar in the history of Texas to help lead our efforts on the border.”

Texas National Guard Installs Shipping Containers, Razor Wire

The Texas National Guard installed the newest border barrier on the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass made of razor wire along the tops of CONEX shipping containers. The location was chosen because of its previous popularity for illegal crossings due to limited obstacles.

WATCH: DPS Busts Fentanyl Lab In Houston Disguised As Car Rental Business

Earlier this week, Fox News' Bill Melugin reported on DPS busting a fentanyl pill lab in Houston disguised as a car rental business. 

On January 30, DPS raided the facility and discovered pill press machines, more than 17 lbs of possible fentanyl precursors from China, suspected counterfeit Xanax pills laced with fentanyl, and fentanyl-laced Oxycodone. Authorities also found cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine pills, a stolen vehicle, three pistols, and a rifle.

WATCH: DPS Chases Human Smuggler On High-Speed Pursuit In La Salle County

A human smuggler led DPS troopers on a high-speed vehicle pursuit on I-35 in La Salle County. The driver, from California, eventually drove off the road before bailing out. Troopers and local police arrested and charged the driver with human smuggling and evading arrest. Several illegal immigrants jumped from the vehicle when it stopped, hopped a private ranch fence, and ran toward the brush. Eight illegal immigrants were apprehended and referred to Border Patrol.

DPS Special Agents Locate Semi-Truck With 17 Illegal Immigrants In Laredo

On Sunday, special agents from the DPS Criminal Investigations Division (CID) found 17 illegal immigrants inside a semi-truck trailer in Northwest Laredo. The driver, Hugo Cesar Saavedra, 55, of Zapata, was charged with smuggling of persons. Saavedra also had an active warrant out of the Webb County Sheriff's Office for DWI. The illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol. CID special agents are investigating the case further.

WATCH: DPS Troopers Rescue Infant From Human Smuggling Attempt

During a traffic stop along Highway 377 in Edwards County, a DPS trooper noticed an unrestrained infant in a car seat. The driver and passenger, both from Dallas, admitted to picking up illegal immigrants to smuggle them. Both the driver and passenger were arrested and charged with human smuggling of persons under the age of 18. The illegal immigrants, including the infant from Honduras, were referred to Border Patrol.

WATCH: DPS RGV Brush Team Makes 129 Apprehensions In Specialized Operation

During a specialized brush and human smuggling operation, the DPS Rio Grande Valley Brush Team made 129 apprehensions, identified eight and arrested three human smuggling guides, and apprehended three special interest immigrants from China.