Operation Lone Star Cracks Down On Criminal Trespassing
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 over 386,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 30,000 criminal arrests, with more than 28,000 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, Texas law enforcement has seized over 420 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.
Texas has also bused more than 10,200 migrants to our nation's capital since April 2022, over 8,700 migrants to New York City since August 5, more than 3,000 migrants to Chicago since August 31, more than 1,600 migrants to Philadelphia since November 15, over 200 migrants to Denver since May 18, and over 40 migrants to Los Angeles since June 14.
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 Joe Biden's open border policies.
RECENT HIGHLIGHTS FROM OPERATION LONE STAR:
On Monday, Governor Abbott called on the Texas Transportation Commission and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to allocate $150 million in the Unified Transportation Program to support construction of the International Bridge Trade Corridor (IBTC) project in the Rio Grande Valley. The IBTC is a proposed non-tolled, four-lane divided roadway that would provide direct interstate access for several international ports of entry and expedite the movement of goods and freight through the border region.
"Strengthening our ports and roadway infrastructure to support international trade will help Texas remain the No. 1 exporting state and a global economic powerhouse," said Governor Abbott. "This project will bolster international trade and accelerate throughput at border checkpoints to better move freight and improve security. Texas is the top exporting state and with this investment, we will boost our state's economy in the Rio Grande Valley and across our state."
DPS Brush Teams Arrest 41 Illegal Immigrants On Private Property In Eagle Pass
DPS Brush Teams in Eagle Pass arrested 41 illegal immigrants from Venezuela after crossing the Rio Grande River and stepping onto private property. The individuals ignored troopers' warnings not to enter and all were charged with criminal trespass.
DPS Trooper Seizes Weapons, Ammo During Traffic Stop In Willacy County
Earlier this week, a DPS trooper seized multiple weapons and ammunition during a traffic stop in Willacy County. A search of the vehicle revealed an aftermarket compartment in the floorboard containing seven AR-15 rifles, two AK-47 rifles, one shotgun, one handgun, six bump stocks, one bi-pod, 14 rifle magazines, and 14 packages of ammunition. A San Antonio man was arrested for weapons smuggling and felony possession of a firearm. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will pursue federal charges.
NewsNation’s Jorge Ventura joined DPS troopers for a ride-along visit in Eagle Pass to see firsthand the chaos caused by President Biden's refusal to secure the border. DPS Sgt. David Cordova highlighted Texas' collaboration with Florida State Troopers deployed to the border in support of Operation Lone Star.
"They’ve been assisting us with arrests," said Sgt. Cordova. "Most of the time, most troopers are usually by themselves, so it’s been very effective."
As America’s southern border crisis continues to worsen, states around the nation are answering Governor Abbott’s call to step up and help fill in the gaps created by President Biden’s open border policies. In addition to Florida, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia have also stepped up in response to the southern border crisis with manpower and assets.
A human smuggler driving a commercial vehicle led DPS troopers on a high-speed vehicle pursuit, driving the wrong way down IH-35 for several miles in La Salle County. The driver from Florida got stuck and bailed out toward the brush. Numerous illegal immigrants bailed out and attempted to avoid apprehension. 12 illegal immigrants were apprehended and referred to Border Patrol. The driver was arrested and charged with reckless driving, evading arrest, and the smuggling of persons.
DPS Arrests Men From Iran, Moldova Crossing Between Ports Of Entry
DPS troopers, with the help of unmanned aircraft systems, located a Iranian male in Brownsville who crossed illegally between the ports of entry and attempted to evade capture. The man also possessed multiple passports and fake immigration documents. Additionally, DPS troopers arrested two men from Moldova after they breached the razor wire barrier placed along the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass. Both men face state criminal charges for criminal trespass.
Texas National Guard Specialist George Robledo, a brush team leader for Task Force Center on Operation Lone Star, describes his role in detecting, deterring, and apprehending illegal immigrants along the border. Specialist Robledo is one of many soldiers and airmen on the frontlines defending Texas and the United States against cartel activity, drug trafficking, and human smuggling.
"On the brush teams, we're mainly helping out and supporting DPS in apprehending migrants coming across the border," said Spc. Robledo. "Most of the time, it'll consist of criminal trespassing, foot chases, and pursuits. Something new happens every day."
Texas National Guard Soldiers, DPS Troopers Chase Illegal Immigrants On Foot In Laredo Shopping Center
Texas National Guard soldiers in Laredo were alerted that DPS troopers were following a car picking up illegal immigrants in a nearby neighborhood. The car stopped at a local shopping center and all the individuals inside fled the vehicle. The soldiers and DPS troopers initiated a foot chase. Three illegal immigrants were apprehended.
"We are able to assist the Department of Public Safety and other local law enforcement agencies in the greater Laredo area,” said First Sgt. Beau Forbes, Alpha Company, Task Force Center. "It’s an uphill battle, and there is more we can do, but I’m proud of my soldiers."