Operation Lone Star Stops Human Smuggling Attempts At Border
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 308,700 migrant apprehensions and more than 20,200 criminal arrests, with more than 17,900 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 336 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.
Texas has also bused over 8,100 migrants to our nation's capital since April, over 2,900 migrants to New York City since August 5, and more than 870 migrants to Chicago since August 31. The busing mission is providing much-needed relief to our overwhelmed border communities.
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:
DPS troopers this week arrested a suspected illegal immigrant who attempted to take a weapon away from a Texas National Guard soldier serving as part of Operation Lone Star. Soldiers assisted Border Patrol with a nighttime apprehension of a large group of illegal immigrants in Mission. The soldier attempted to capture a suspected male illegal immigrant, who grabbed the soldier’s M-4 rifle with both hands. The soldier was able to maintain possession of his weapon, and the suspect was apprehended with assistance from other soldiers.
The suspect from Mexico was arrested for attempting to take a weapon away from a public servant and transported to the Hidalgo County Jail. He is a previously deported felon.
Read the DPS press release.
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez spoke with Fox Business about a major human smuggling bust in which human smugglers attempted to charter a flight to Houston with six illegal immigrants, including a previously deported child sexual assault suspect with a warrant in Wisconsin. He described how DPS has obstructed three smuggling attempts by private planes in 30 days at different airports in the Rio Grande Valley to Houston, which is a hub for human smuggling.
“We’re starting to see an increase in planes that are being used to smuggle illegal immigrants further into the State of Texas, and then from there they make it further into the interior,” said Lt. Olivarez. “There is no way of knowing who these individuals are unless you actually catch them in the act and apprehend and vet them. That’s how we were able to identify that one individual with a warrant for sexual assault.”
In a joint operation with Homeland Security Investigations, the DPS Criminal Investigations Division disrupted a human smuggling attempt by plane in Weslaco as part of Operation Lone Star. On Saturday morning, DPS Special Agents noticed several vehicles arrive at the Mid Valley Airport and drop off seven individuals, who boarded a Raytheron plane. Six illegal immigrants were identified and one female U.S. citizen, who was coordinating the smuggling attempt to Houston.
The illegal immigrants—four males and two females from El Salvador and Mexico—had fraudulent Texas identification cards. They were referred to Border Patrol. Further investigation revealed that one of the males was a previously deported felon wanted in Wisconsin for sexual assault of a child.
Fox News host Harris Faulkner visited Eagle Pass, where she witnessed the ongoing chaos caused by President Biden’s open border policies. DPS aircraft tracked a group of roughly 10 illegal immigrants and coordinated with Border Patrol on the ground. Faulkner also spoke with a Border Patrol agent who expressed frustration that agents are only able to process illegal immigrants in their stations and processing centers and not respond effectively to the influx.
“This [presidential] administration is letting them loose into the United States,” said the DPS airman. “They’re getting let loose into Texas, and we’re getting overwhelmed.”
Texas National Guard soldiers patrolling the border day and night are making a positive difference for residents and businesses in Brownsville. One local business owner says that before soldiers began patrolling the area where his auto repair shop and family ranch are located, illegal immigrants would constantly trespass on his properties, causing significant damage.
"It's helped a lot, so hopefully it keeps helping," said the local business owner.
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Fox News’ “Your World” to discuss Governor Abbott’s migrant busing mission to sanctuary cities and the need for decisive actions from President Biden to address the ongoing crisis. He described the surge of illegal immigrants El Paso is currently experiencing, with about 1,500 a day coming across the border and having to sleep in tents on the streets because the city lacks the resources to accommodate the influx.
“This crisis has not slowed down, whatsoever,” said Lt. Olivarez. “These smaller border communities just do not have the capacity to handle the flow of migrants who are coming across. These sanctuary cities that have been touting that they welcome migrants have the resources as larger cities. The hypocrisy of the situation just doesn’t make sense.”
Texas National Guard Cracks Down On Rising Crime Along Border
Texas National Guard soldiers assisted Border Patrol agents in apprehending five criminals attempting to evade capture after illegally crossing the Rio Grande River near La Joya on Monday. According to soldiers patrolling the area, there has been a notable rise in the number of illegal crossings and subsequent apprehensions over the past week. Soldiers are also noticing increased numbers of criminals fleeing apprehension.
“We have had a total of 109 people we have detained, and over half have been criminal apprehensions,” said Staff Sgt. Juan Aldana, Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry. “Last night, we got a call from a Border Patrol agent who was trying to apprehend a combative criminal. We rushed over there and surrounded him and were able to safely detain him.”
DPS troopers working Operation Lone Star discovered 10 illegal immigrants, including a child, inside a Penske van during a traffic stop in Kinney County. The driver was charged with smuggling of persons, and all 10 illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.
DPS troopers discovered a kidnapped migrant baby during a traffic stop as part of Operation Lone Star in El Paso two weeks ago. The 18-month-old baby was in poor health and taken to the hospital for treatment before being released to Child Protective Services as authorities investigated his identity and tried to locate family. This week, DPS agents received information from Florida about a mother whose baby was being held for ransom.
Both the 45-year-old driver of the vehicle and a teenager in the vehicle face charges of smuggling of persons and aggravated kidnapping.
DPS troopers with Operation Lone Star found 11 illegal immigrants concealed inside a truck during a traffic stop in Del Rio. The driver was charged with smuggling of persons, and all 11 illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.