Operation Lone Star Thwarts Thousands Of Human Smugglers In Texas

April 28, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

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 369,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 27,000 criminal arrests, with more than 25,000 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, Texas law enforcement has seized over 383 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.

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.


Through Operation Lone Star, DPS Stops Over 8,700 Human Smuggling Attempts

DPS troopers deployed under Operation Lone Star have stopped more than 8,700 human smuggling attempts since Governor Abbott launched the mission two years ago. Without Texas’ historic efforts, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl would have flowed into our country.

During the traffic stops conducted by DPS, troopers found an additional 39,100 illegal immigrants who smugglers had attempted to transport from stash houses and border regions to large cities throughout Texas. Of those illegal immigrants, about 900 were unaccompanied minors.

DPS Seizes Over Half A Million Lethal Doses Of Fentanyl, Weapons In Austin 

Governor Abbott yesterday announced DPS Special Agents seized over 507,000 lethal doses of fentanyl along with other narcotics, guns, ammunition, and several stolen vehicles Thursday morning in Austin. Using a number of investigative tools and tactics to further the investigation, DPS’ SWAT executed a search warrant and seized enough lethal doses of fentanyl to kill more than half of Austin’s current population, along with methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.

"Today marks one month since I directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide assistance to the Austin Police Department to help reduce crime and improve safety in the city, and I am proud to see the hard work of these brave men and women saving innocent lives from being taken due to President Biden's border crisis," said Governor Abbott. "The Biden Administration's reckless open border policies pose an imminent danger to communities across Texas and the nation, allowing record levels of deadly drugs and dangerous weapons to pour across our southern border."

Two people were taken into custody and will face federal charges. The defendants indicated the drugs had come from Mexico and the weapons were heading to Mexico later this week. The investigation remains ongoing at this time.

WATCH: DPS Lt. Olivarez Says Border Crisis Will Get ‘Much Worse’ Without Title 42

DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Fox News this week to point out how the Biden Administration’s complete lack of border enforcement has already led to historic levels of illegal immigration, but with the looming expiration of Title 42 on May 11, the border crisis will significantly worsen. 

“This is the responsibility of the federal government, yet we in Texas have been put in a predicament where we have to do something about it because the federal government has failed to secure the border and protect the American people,” said Lt. Olivarez. “Unfortunately, it’s going to get much worse once Title 42 is lifted. And yet, there still is no federal plan or policy in place.”

Texas National Guard Special Response Teams Secure El Paso Border

Texas National Guard Special Response Teams (SRT) are gearing up for the end of Title 42 next month, with engineers installing additional razor wire, constructing barriers, and deploying other strategies to stop illegal crossings in the El Paso region. One soldier with SRT 4 said his team has been installing roughly 720 feet of razor wire each day and setting up 50 rolls of razor wire around Gate 36, which has been rushed by illegal immigrants in the past.

“By limiting access and controlling the flow of people through Gate 36, we hope to prevent [groups rushing the gate],” said Pfc. Carver Dyck. “I’m extremely proud to be part of SRT 4. We’re making a massive difference.”

WATCH: Human Smugglers, Illegal Immigrant Taken To Hospital After Car Crash

DPS aircraft personnel this week observed four people running from a stopped vehicle along a road in Webb County. After the driver took off to evade arrest, he crashed the vehicle into a cement barrier. The driver and passenger, both 18-year-olds from Laredo, were arrested and charged with smuggling of persons.

Along with another illegal immigrant still inside the car, the driver and passenger were transported to the hospital for injuries. The four illegal immigrants who ran from the vehicle were apprehended and referred to Border Patrol.

WATCH: Human Smuggler Leads DPS Troopers On High-Speed Pursuit

A human smuggler led DPS troopers on a high-speed vehicle pursuit in Hidalgo County earlier this week. Because of the driver’s dangerously high speed, he lost control on a dirt road and rolled the vehicle, and several illegal immigrants took off running.

Troopers arrested the driver from Mission, as well as five illegal immigrants from Mexico. Those five were referred to Border Patrol. Seven more evaded by running into a neighborhood. The driver faces charges for evading arrest and smuggling of persons.

DPS Brush Team Locates, Arrests 14 Illegal Immigrants Dressed In Camouflage

A DPS brush team located and arrested 14 illegal immigrants from Mexico who were all dressed in camouflage and trying to avoid detection on a private ranch in Kinney County. All the illegal immigrants now face criminal trespass charges.

Texas National Guard Soldiers Assist With Bridge Surge Simulation In Eagle Pass

Texas National Guard soldiers assisted DPS and Border Patrol with a bridge surge exercise last week in Eagle Pass to practice how each agency would react to an emergency announcement of illegal immigrants storming the bridge into the United States. With Title 42 set to expire next month, Operation Lone Star partners are ramping up efforts to deter and repel the surge of illegal border crossings that is expected to ensue.

“This is the first time we’ve done a drill like this,” said Pfc. Jackson, assigned to Task Force Eagle. “I know that this is a real scenario with Title 42 possibly ending right around the corner. It’s a bit more advanced than our own CDO [civil disturbance operations] training.”