Governor Abbott Announces New Funding To Crack Down On Border Crime
Governor Greg Abbott today announced $5.8 million in grant funding for the Border Prosecution Unit (BPU) to help crack down on gangs and Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) along the Texas border. The BPU is made up of 17 district and county attorney offices within the Texas border region that focus on investigating and prosecuting cases related to narcotics, weapons, human trafficking, organized crime, gangs, and other border-related offenses. Nineteen BPU awards were released to District and County Attorneys in border communities across Texas.
“Texas continues to invest in securing our southern border, and the Border Prosecution Unit is vital in helping investigate and prosecute the dangerous criminals that threaten our communities,” said Governor Abbott. “The BPU is an essential resource in the fight against some of the worst border-related offenses in our state, including gangs, violent crime and TCOs. This grant will allow Texas to get even more dangerous criminals off the streets, and I thank the BPU for their continued commitment to keeping our communities safe.”
The BPU works strategically with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and federal and local law-enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of cross-border violence. Additionally, the BPU funds full time legal staffing within the Texas Anti-Gang Units (TAGs) in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, Houston, North Texas (Irving) and El Paso, and provides a dedicated Human Trafficking attorney at the San Antonio TAG. This year, BPU programs have reported 10,261 contact hours of training conducted and 3,574 cases filed.
The Border Prosecution Unit was established in 2009 by the 81st Legislature.
The Governor's Homeland Security Grants Division (HSGD) administers the grant program, which provides prosecution resources for District and County Attorneys along the Texas-Mexico border and counties significantly affected by border crime. The grants support salaries for prosecutors, paralegals and investigators, as well as training for unit members and law enforcement agencies.