Operation Lone Star Combats Increased Cartel Activity Along Border

August 18, 2023 | Ausitn, 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 activity between ports of entry.

Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 414,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 33,200 criminal arrests, with more than 30,100 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, Texas law enforcement has seized over 426 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.

Texas has also bused:

  • Over 11,000 migrants to Washington, D.C. since April 2022
  • Over 12,000 migrants to New York City since August 2022
  • Over 5,600 migrants to Chicago since August 2022
  • Over 2,300 migrants to Philadelphia since November 2022
  • Over 710 migrants to Denver since May 18
  • Over 330 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.


Governor Abbott: Most Texans Support Floating Marine Barriers As Deterrents

This week, Governor Abbott highlighted a recent poll showing nearly half of Texans support his decision to deploy floating marine barriers in a section of the Rio Grande River to deter and repel illegal crossings. The Governor deployed floating marine barriers in Eagle Pass to bolster the state’s historic border response amid President Biden’s ongoing border crisis.

WATCH: DPS Lt. Olivarez Discusses Operation Lone Star Repelling Cartel Activity

After Mexican cartel members armed with automatic rifles and armor-piercing ammunition were arrested earlier this month after crossing the border into Texas, DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Fox News to discuss Operation Lone Star efforts to curb violent transnational criminal activity. After crossing into the United States, armed cartel members typically scout an area for law enforcement presence to smuggle illicit drugs, high-profile illegal immigrants, cartel members, or suspected terrorists.

“The Mexican drug cartels pose a significant threat to public safety and national security,” said Lt. Olivarez. “Mexican drug cartels have operational control of the border; they control the flow of human smuggling and drug smuggling into the United States. They’ve been able to enrich themselves by profiting off the human and drug smuggling. They are a paramilitary group.”

WATCH: DPS Lt. Olivarez Notes Increase In High-Speed Criminal Vehicle Pursuits

DPS Lt. Olivarez spoke with Fox News this week to talk about the increase that law enforcement is seeing in dangerous high-speed vehicle pursuits involving criminals near the border. After DPS released footage of a dramatic chase with human smugglers, Lt. Olivarez noted that smugglers have no regard for public safety and will often drive on the wrong side of the road or crash into other vehicles or ranch fences in getaway attempts.

“This is a daily occurrence that we face every single day along the border—not just DPS but also local, county, and federal law enforcement,” said Lt. Olivarez. “When you have open borders, you expose and allow criminal organizations to expand their criminal enterprises throughout the United States. They recruit drivers, even teenage drivers, who take part in human smuggling. It’s nonstop, we see it every single day, and it becomes more dangerous as we encounter these smugglers.”

WATCH: Teenage Smuggler Leads DPS On High-Speed Pursuit In Hidalgo County

A 17-year-old human smuggler from McAllen led DPS troopers on a high-speed pursuit in Hidalgo County. The driver eventually allowed three illegal immigrants to bail out toward the brush and then continued to evade. The driver finally bailed out along with two other people.

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

WATCH: DPS Coordinated Effort Leads To Arrest Of Suspected Cartel Members

In a multi-agency effort, DPS Texas Rangers Special Operations Group, Texas Game Wardens, and Border Patrol apprehended two Mexican nationals with cartel ties in Starr County. The men were in possession of two rifles and armor-piercing ammo.

DPS Assists In Seizure Of 120 Lbs. Of Cocaine With Street Value Of $3.8 Million

In a joint effort, DPS Texas Rangers Special Operations Group seized 120 pounds of cocaine valued at $3.8 million. Rangers detected the drugs while conducting drone aerial surveillance. Drone operators guided DPS Special Operations Group and agents to the illegal drugs, which were turned over to Border Patrol.

WATCH: Human Smuggler Leads DPS On High-Speed Pursuit In Kinney County

A human smuggler led DPS troopers on a high-speed pursuit in Kinney County. The driver was an illegal immigrant from Mexico and evaded personnel by driving recklessly, veering toward officers, and eventually ramming through a ranch fence. The driver bailed out, and DPS aircraft provided assistance.

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

Oklahoma National Guard Soldiers Support Operation Lone Star Mission

Oklahoma National Guard soldiers arrived this month in Texas to join forces with Operation Lone Star to respond to President Biden's border crisis. In May, Governor Abbott urged the nation's Governors to help support Texas' historic border security efforts in the wake of President Biden ending Title 42 and his continued refusal to enforce federal immigration laws.

“We patrol and call up anything suspicious or if anyone looks like they are about to cross illegally,” said Spc. Trace Greer, an Oklahoma National Guard soldier assigned to Task Force West. “They [Oklahoma National Guard] were asking for volunteers to come to the border, and I felt like doing something to help my community out.”

“The support we have received in the El Paso area of operations from our partner states is crucial to mission success,” said Maj. Sean Storrud, Operation Lone Star Task Force West Commanding Officer. “The Oklahoma National Guard contingent, as well as our other partner states, have provided the extra manpower we need to continue to prevent and deter illegal border crossings to secure our nation’s backyard.”

WATCH: Texas National Guard Deters Illegal Crossings With Show Of Force

Texas National Guard soldiers serving as part of Operation Lone Star use a show of force in regions along the border to deter illegal crossings. As migrants and cartels look for new routes and methods of crossing without detection, soldiers use their experience to deter and repel illegal crossings.

“[We demonstrate] a show of presence so they know that we’re here,” said Sgt. Ruiz, squad member in Roma, Texas.