Operation Lone Star Combatting Record Numbers Of Illegal Immigrants, Criminal Activity
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 more than 287,000 migrant apprehensions and more than 17,700 criminal arrests, with more than 15,100 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 325 million lethal doses throughout the state.
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.
RECENT HIGHLIGHTS FROM OPERATION LONE STAR:
Governor Abbott issued a statement last Friday in response to New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ false accusations regarding Texas’ border mission to help local border communities by busing migrants to Washington, D.C. The mayor of sanctuary-city New York inaccurately claimed Texas was busing migrants there, creating a burden on New York City's resources.
“Mayor Adams’ problem is not with Texas. It is with President Biden’s refusal to stop this border crisis and secure our southern border,” said Governor Abbott. “A crisis that has overrun and overwhelmed our border towns and communities across our state, whose requests for help have gone ignored and unanswered by the Biden Administration.”
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Fox News’ Neil Cavuto to respond to criticism of Governor Abbott’s migrant busing mission, which has sent thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C. in an effort to provide relief to overrun border communities. He noted Governor Abbott has had to step in and provide the needed resources and tools to law enforcement agencies to combat smugglers and mass migration.
“If those mayors from New York and Washington, D.C. really want to get to the root cause of this whole situation, they need to voice their concerns to the federal government, which has completely neglected to secure the border,” said Lt. Olivarez. “Here at the southern border, we’ve been seeing 7,000 to 8,000 immigrants coming across every single day, and that’s overwhelming the limited resources of these smaller border communities such as Eagle Pass and Del Rio.”
DPS Sgt. Marc Couch told Fox News that troopers are working diligently to combat criminal activities connected with human smuggling, fentanyl, and weapons trafficking across the southern border, which “is not secure,” contrary to President Biden’s claims. Sgt. Couch countered U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ comment last week that the border is secure. Fox News also notes senior DHS sources said the U.S. has seen nearly 900,000 known gotaways since the beginning of fiscal year 2021, with more than half a million since last October.
“The border is not secure when you’re seeing in the Rio Grande Valley sectors mass migration of people who are just wandering across the border,” said Sgt. Couch. “That is a misnomer of a statement that has no truth in it.”
A DPS highway patrol trooper stopped a commercial motor vehicle for a safety inspection in Starr County and discovered 42 lbs. of cocaine. The Freightliner semi-trailer was stopped on U.S. 83 in Rio Grande City, and during a roadside interview the trooper determined inconsistencies with the driver’s destination and cargo. The vehicle was escorted to the Pharr Port of Entry for further inspection, which resulted in the discovery of 15 bundles of cocaine hidden in an aftermarket compartment inside the trailer.
The driver was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. The seized drugs have an estimated street value of $345,000.
U.S. Border Patrol agents observed several illegal immigrants loading into a white truck in Palmview in Hidalgo County. A DPS trooper was able to locate the vehicle and witness it turning into a residential driveway. The smuggler and several illegal immigrants fled and attempted to evade apprehension.
A total of 15 illegal immigrants were apprehended and referred to Border Patrol. It was later discovered the vehicle was a cloned water utility work truck.
DPS Locates Two Stash Houses In Laredo Within 48 Hours, 75 Illegal Immigrants Apprehended
DPS troopers located two separate stash houses in Laredo this week containing dozens of illegal immigrants. On Sunday, DPS special agents and troopers noticed suspicious activity in an apartment complex in central Laredo. After further investigation, 60 illegal immigrants, including three minors, were found inside an apartment. All individuals were from Guatemala and were being concealed in harsh living conditions. The illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol, and a collaborative investigation between Border Patrol and DPS is under way.
On Tuesday, DPS discovered another stash house with more than a dozen illegal immigrants in north Laredo. Fifteen illegal immigrants, including 13 males, one minor, and two females were discovered inside the residence. All are from Mexico and have been referred to Border Patrol. DPS and Border Patrol are collaborating on an investigation into the incident.
National Guard soldiers near Laredo work with DPS and Border Patrol to interdict and apprehend illegal immigrants. Using an Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK), a smartphone digital mapping and military situation awareness app, soldiers are able to view exactly where they are and locate certain points to help navigation their area of operations.
DPS troopers were led on a high-speed pursuit near Laredo before a smuggler and four illegal immigrants eventually bailed out of the vehicle and ran toward the brush.
The smuggler was charged with evading arrest and the smuggling of persons. The four illegal immigrants were apprehended and referred to Border Patrol.
Texas National Guard Seeing Impact Of Operation Lone Star In Rio Grande Valley Region
The Texas National Guard has observed a decline in illegal crossing volume within its focus area in the Rio Grande Valley region. Soldiers have seen a drop in river crossings and at land points in the region. Soldiers are remaining vigilant and continue to work with DPS and other law enforcement partners to interdict and apprehend illegal activity in the largely agricultural region.
The Guard said the decline in numbers could be a waiting game or an example that the combined resources and tactics with law enforcement partners are having an impact on illegal activity.
PHOTO: DPS Aircraft Operations Division In West Texas Seizes Illegal Drugs
As part of Operation Lone Star, DPS works with the Texas National Guard and other law enforcement partners to prevent, deter, and interdict transnational criminal activity in the Texas border region. On Monday, DPS' Aircraft Operations Division seized large bundles of illegal drugs in the West Texas region.