Operation Lone Star Continues To Arrest Gang Members, Fugitives

May 24, 2024 | 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 511,600 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 43,100 criminal arrests, with more than 38,000 felony charges. In the fight against the fentanyl crisis, Texas law enforcement has seized over 481 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the United States and Mexico combined during this border mission. 

Texas has also transported:

  • Over 12,500 migrants to Washington, D.C. since April 2022
  • Over 44,800 migrants to New York City since August 2022
  • Over 36,200 migrants to Chicago since August 2022
  • Over 3,400 migrants to Philadelphia since November 2022
  • Over 18,900 migrants to Denver since May 2023
  • Over 1,500 migrants to Los Angeles since June 2023

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: Texas Will Maintain A Permanent Presence On The Border

Yesterday on X, formerly known as Twitter, Governor Abbott shared aerial footage of ongoing construction taking place at Texas' Forward Operating Base.

This base camp will help ensure Texas can maintain a permanent presence and provide ongoing resources and support to Texas National Guard soldiers responding to President Biden’s border crisis.

Governor Abbott: Texas National Guard, DPS Brush Teams Apprehend Illegal Immigrants 

Earlier this week on X, Governor Abbott highlighted the critical work Texas National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers do to detect, track, and apprehend illegal immigrants in difficult terrain along the border. 

Texas National Guard soldiers and elite DPS brush teams tracked and apprehended illegal immigrants who were hiding in the dense brush along the Texas-Mexico border near Laredo. Texas will continue to utilize every tool and strategy available to secure the border.

WATCH: DPS Lt. Olivarez: Law Enforcement Encountering More Violent Border Crossers

DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Fox News this week to address the recent incident in El Paso between Border Patrol agents and an illegal immigrant. During the interview, he discussed the rising number of dangerous individuals crossing the border illegally Texas law enforcement has encountered, including those with criminal backgrounds and affiliations with terrorist organizations.

"You can see how dire the situation is along the border when you have illegal immigrants that have ties to terrorism that are able to attempt to breach military bases," said Lt. Olivarez. "It really shows the vulnerabilities along our border. The incident in El Paso, where border agents are having to confront individuals who really do want to cause harm, not typical individuals who want to turn themselves in, shows how dangerous the situation is along the border when you don't know who you will encounter. That's why this situation on the border is much more dangerous since we don't know who is coming across. These organizations and criminals coming across, especially from Mexico, that do have some type of association with cartels, are very aggressive toward law enforcement."

WATCH: DPS Lt. Olivarez: Gang Members In Country Illegally As Gotaways

On NewsNation this week, DPS Lt. Olivarez spotlighted the recent arrest of a gang member and the discovery of 29 illegal immigrants in a stash house made by DPS officers in Webb County. Additionally, Lt. Olivarez addressed the recent rise in gang members illegally crossing the border.

"For the last two years, the cartels are aware of what's taking place on the border and are aware of any policy changes, so they know what's taking place in real time and take full advantage of it," said Lt. Olivarez. "That's why we see this increase in criminal gangs that are coming across the border. That stash house where we were able to identify and recover 29 illegal immigrants is an example of gotaways. Those individuals were either caught on a camera, and Border Patrol didn't have the resources to apprehend them, or they weren't even caught on camera at all so they could be unknown gotaways. This really shows how some of these individuals are able to get across the border illegally."

WATCH: DPS Troopers Discover 15 Illegal Immigrants Hidden In Truck

Earlier this week, DPS troopers stopped two trucks driving in tandem on IH-35 in Webb County. During the traffic stop, the driver of the first truck, Daniel Pena of Zapata, Texas, bailed out and attempted to evade arrest. Troopers discovered 15 illegal immigrants from Mexico stuffed in toolboxes and the truck’s rear cab.

Pena and the driver of the second truck, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, were arrested and charged with smuggling of persons. All 15 illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.

WATCH: DPS Troopers Arrest Gang Member, Find 29 Illegal Immigrants In Stash House

DPS special agents and troopers discovered 29 illegal immigrants in a Webb County stash house. The group of illegal immigrants included 21 males and eight females from Honduras and Mexico.

One of the males was identified as a member of the Tango Blast Gang. All 29 illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.

DPS Brush Team Arrests Human Smuggler, Fugitive In Rio Grande Valley

A DPS brush team arrested a human smuggler and one fugitive during a traffic stop in the Rio Grande Valley this week. Five illegal immigrants and one American citizen, Mathew Arron Adkins, were discovered concealed inside the vehicle.

Adkins, 21, crossed into Texas illegally to evade detection due to pending warrants out of the Starr County Sheriff’s Office and McAllen Police Department for kidnapping of a minor and theft of a vehicle.

WATCH: Texas National Guard Deploys Non-Lethal Tools To Deter Illegal Crossings

The Texas National Guard has deployed non-lethal capabilities, including pepper ball launchers, to Operation Lone Star. Texas will deploy every available tool and strategy to deter and repel transnational criminal activity, illegal immigration, and human trafficking between ports of entry.

"We've had some instances where we have caught [illegal immigrants] or members of the cartel cutting the concertina wire and trying to send people through," said Spc. Aiden Hogan, "We've been able to send them back by deploying the pepper ball launcher."

Texas National Guard, Law Enforcement Work Together To Stop Trespassing

Last week, Texas National Guard soldiers assigned to Operation Lone Star assisted law enforcement partners in apprehending 15 migrants who entered Texas illegally and trespassed on a rancher’s property.