Operation Lone Star Border Strategies Combat Drug, Human Smuggling

December 15, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

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

Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 489,500 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 37,500 criminal arrests, with more than 34,100 felony charges reported. In the fight against the fentanyl crisis, Texas law enforcement has seized over 450 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.

Texas has also bused:

  • Over 12,500 migrants to Washington, D.C. since April 2022
  • Over 29,300 migrants to New York City since August 2022
  • Over 23,800 migrants to Chicago since August 2022
  • Over 3,300 migrants to Philadelphia since November 2022
  • Over 10,300 migrants to Denver since May 18
  • Over 1,200 migrants to Los Angeles since June 14

Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps created 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 Joe Biden’s open border policies.


WATCH: Governor Abbott: Biden Reversed Border Policies That Kept America Safe

Governor Abbott joined America’s Newsroom on Monday to discuss President Trump's border security policies that kept America safe, while President Biden continues to fail to secure the border. The Governor also called on members of Congress to hold fast in negotiations with President Biden to end the mass influx of illegal immigration along the southern border.  

“Just four years ago, we had the lowest number of illegal border crossings in 40 years—and that’s because President Trump put in place four policies: the Remain in Mexico policy, the Title 42 policy, the end of catch and release, and building a border wall,” said Governor Abbott. “When [President] Biden came in, he eliminated all of those four policies. [Members of] Congress are negotiating with the Biden Administration on policies that would provide extraordinary relief—if not eliminate—all of the illegal border crossings."

Texas Border Czar’s Border Patrol Experience Crucial To Operation Lone Star

Governor Abbott touted the expertise of Texas Border Czar Mike Banks as a critical component in Texas’ efforts to secure the border. Governor Abbott hired Border Czar Banks in January 2023 to lead Texas’ historic border mission, Operation Lone Star.

“Mike’s expertise as a veteran Border Patrol agent is critical for Texas to hold the line,” said Governor Abbott.

WATCH: Lt. Olivarez: Biden’s Border Crisis Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down

DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Fox Business this week where he discussed the rampant increase in illegal border crossings from Mexico into Texas under the Biden Administration.

“All those images you are seeing right now, there is no sign of the situation slowing down,” said Lt. Olivarez. “Typically, around this time in December, numbers have always been low in apprehensions because of the weather. This is not the case with this current situation—that’s why I say that this is way beyond a border crisis. This is deliberate inaction.”

WATCH: DPS Elite Brush Team Tracks Down Migrants During Ride Along

DPS’ Elite Brush Team near Eagle Pass took NewsNation’s Ali Bradley on a ride along this week to highlight Texas’ response to the border crisis to stop illegal immigration and criminal activity along the border. During the ride along, the Brush Team apprehended eight illegal immigrants for criminal trespass on private property.

DPS Seizes Over 14 Lbs Of Heroin In Webb County Traffic Stop

DPS seized more than 14 pounds of heroin during a traffic stop in Webb County on Wednesday. DPS’ Criminal Investigations Division (CID), with the assistance from the Texas Highway Patrol (THP), stopped a vehicle on I-35 for a traffic violation. During a vehicle search, the THP trooper discovered a total of six plastic-wrapped bundles containing heroin concealed inside the vehicle.

The driver and passenger, both residents of El Paso, were placed under arrest and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. DPS’ CID is further investigating this case.

WATCH: DPS Troopers Stop Human Smuggling Attempt In Kinney County

During a traffic stop in Kinney County, DPS troopers discovered four illegal immigrants inside a Toyota Camry. The driver, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador residing in Houston, was arrested for the smuggling of persons. The four illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.

WATCH: Tyler Man Arrested, Charged For Second Human Smuggling Offense

A human smuggler led DPS and Florida Highway Patrol troopers on a high-speed vehicle pursuit in Kinney County. The smuggler, from Tyler, eventually stopped and let four illegal immigrants bail out and run towards the brush. Troopers then discovered seven more illegal immigrants inside the vehicle.

The driver confessed to being arrested for smuggling just the month prior. He was arrested again and charged with evading arrest and smuggling of persons. The seven illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.

WATCH: Texas Military Department Surpasses 80,000 Illegal Immigrant Turn Backs

Through continuous deployment and border security efforts, the Texas Military Department has turned back more than 80,000 illegal immigrants to Mexico since the beginning of Operation Lone Star. Soldiers work in staggered shifts, deterring and repelling individuals and groups from crossing into Texas illegally.