Operation Lone Star Deploys Drone Technology To Stop Illegal Crossings

May 17, 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 511,300 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 42,900 criminal arrests, with more than 37,900 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 44,500 migrants to New York City since August 2022
•    Over 36,000 migrants to Chicago since August 2022
•    Over 3,400 migrants to Philadelphia since November 2022
•    Over 18,800 migrants to Denver since May 18
•    Over 1,500 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: Historic Border Wall Construction Continues
On X, formerly known as Twitter, Governor Abbott shared footage of around-the-clock border wall construction in Maverick County. The Governor also touted Texas as the first and only state to build its own border wall.

Governor Abbott: Texas National Guard Reinforces Razor Wire Along The Border
On Monday, Governor Abbott highlighted photos of Texas National Guard soldiers reinforcing, repairing, and redoubling razor wire along the Texas-Mexico border.

Texas will continue to utilize every tool and strategy to protect the state and nation from President Biden’s reckless open border policies.

WATCH: DPS Arrests Human Smuggler Driving Stolen Truck In Val Verde County
This week, DPS troopers were led on a high-speed pursuit in Val Verde County by a smuggler driving a Dodge Ram truck. The smuggler, Carlos Lombardich-Villalobos, from Lockhart, drove recklessly through multiple intersections before eventually driving through a ranch fence, crashing into a tree and bailing out. Multiple illegal immigrants also bailed out of the vehicle.
With assistance from DPS' Aircraft Operations Division, troopers located Villalobos and six illegal immigrants. DPS troopers also discovered that the Dodge Ram was stolen out of Bastrop. Villalobos was charged with smuggling of persons, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, deadly conduct, evading arrest, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. All six illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.

WATCH: DPS Arrests Two Human Smugglers From Tennessee In Uvalde County
DPS troopers this week observed a Buick Encore entering a ranch in Uvalde County without the ranch owner's permission. DPS troopers located the vehicle and observed that the driver and passenger, both from Tennessee, had picked up two illegal immigrants within the ranch property. DPS troopers located one illegal immigrant concealing himself in the rear floorboard and the other underneath luggage in the hatch area.
The driver and passenger were arrested and charged with smuggling of persons and criminal trespass. DPS troopers arrested and charged both illegal immigrants with criminal trespass.

Texas National Guard Assists In Seizure Of 24 Lbs Of Narcotics
Texas National Guard soldiers assisted local law enforcement earlier this week in seizing 24 pounds of narcotics valued at nearly $60,000.
An Operation Lone Star drone operator spotted two drug smugglers crossing into the U.S. with large plastic-wrapped packages. When Texas National Guard soldiers working on Operation Lone Star responded, both suspects fled in a vehicle waiting nearby. DPS troopers pursed the vehicle and eventually crashed. One suspect was arrested and the other fled back to Mexico.

Texas National Guard Use Drones To Assist Law Enforcement
Earlier this week, Texas National Guard soldiers used drone technology to assist law enforcement officers arrest four illegal immigrants who just crossed the border. All four illegal immigrants were charged with criminal trespassing.
The Texas National Guard continues to work alongside state and local law enforcement partners to prevent, deter, and repel transnational criminal activity and illegal crossings along the Texas-Mexico border.