Texas Arrests MS-13 Gang Members, Smugglers Known For Sexual Abuse

August 11, 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 406,500 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 32,700 criminal arrests, with more than 29,900 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, Texas law enforcement has seized over 422 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.

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 Bus Migrants Until Biden Secures The Border

On Thursday, Governor Abbott provided an update on Texas' migrant busing strategy to provide much-needed relief to the state's overwhelmed border communities. Since beginning the busing strategy last spring, more than 30,000 migrants have been transported to self-declared sanctuary cities, including: 

  • Over 10,700 to Washington, D.C. since April 2022
  • Over 11,500 to New York City since August 2022
  • Over 4,900 migrants to Chicago since August 2022
  • Over 2,100 to Philadelphia since November 2022
  • Over 520 to Denver since May 18

Over 290 to Los Angeles since June 14

WATCH: Lt. Olivarez: Armed Cartel Members Escorting Migrants Across Border

DPS Lieutenant Chris Olivarez joined Fox News' Neil Cavuto where he explained how President Biden's refusal to secure the border has emboldened Mexican drug cartels to arm their members as they help migrants cross into Texas from Mexico. 

"It really goes to show that they have taken it to another level of brazenness of showing how bold they are and that they really don't care what will happen," said Lt. Olivarez. "They know they're in control. That's what we're trying to do as far as a state agency—to show that we are the ones who are in control. We're going to prevent what's happening on the border and go after the criminals and arrest them. It all falls back to not having border policies in place to stop what's happening between the ports of entry—this is the clear result."

DPS Find 10 Children Abandoned By Smugglers Near Sullivan City  

DPS troopers working a joint operation with Border Patrol encountered 10 unaccompanied minors from Honduras and Guatemala near Sullivan City.  The smugglers guided the group of children, between the ages of 10 and 16, across the Rio Grande River on a raft. The children were referred to Border Patrol.

DPS Arrests Honduran National For Human Smuggling, Child Pornography 

During a traffic stop in Brackettville, DPS troopers arrested a driver for human smuggling. The passenger, Dagoberto Corea Mendez, an illegal immigrant from Honduras, possessed images of child pornography on his phone. Through further investigation, DPS Special Agents found five images of child pornography depicting female children. Corea Mendez admitted that he used the images for sexual gratification. He was jailed and faces criminal felony charges for possession of child pornography. 

WATCH: Lt. Olivarez Sets Record Straight About Texas' Floating Marine Barriers 

DPS Lieutenant Chris Olivarez joined Fox Business to set the record straight on claims made about Texas' floating marine barriers in the Rio Grande River. Lt. Olivarez explained that the marine barriers actually prevent migrant drownings, with the real inhumanity along the Texas-Mexico border being caused by President Biden's disastrous border policies.

"Drownings continue to take place regardless of the marine barrier," said Lt. Olivarez. "Ever since that marine barrier has been put in place, there has not be a single illegal crossing directly in front of that barrier or around that barrier. Now the activity has shifted either further up river or down river. The marine barrier is doing it's job—it's preventing illegal border crossings, and, most importantly, it's preventing death."

Texas Rangers Arrest Known MS-13 Gang Member In Maverick County

DPS Texas Rangers Special Operations Group arrested a known MS-13 gang member from Honduras, Emerson Lopez Fugon, after he was found hiding on a train in Maverick County near Eagle Pass. Lopez Fugon is also a registered sex offender with a violent criminal history, including kidnapping, abduction, and sexual violence.

Texas Rangers Locate Armed Migrant Guide Using Drone In Shelby Park

Texas Rangers Unmanned Aircraft System Operators in Eagle Pass conducted a patrol flight in Shelby Park and observed a male carrying a long gun guiding a group of illegal immigrants across the Rio Grande River. The unidentified male made it back to Mexico. Operators provided GPS coordinates to Border Patrol Agents and authorities in Mexico. 

DPS Stops Human Smuggling Attempt By Sex Offender, Locates Stash House

DPS troopers and Special Agents arrested a registered sex offender, Joseph Hamilton of Houston, after disrupting a human smuggling attempt in Eagle Pass. Troopers and Special Agents also located a stash house operated by Tyler Garza of Eagle Pass. Garza, a confirmed Latin King gang member, was arrested and a total of seven illegal immigrants were recovered and referred to Border Patrol.

Texas National Guard Brush Teams Act As First Responders Along Border

Corporal George Sulaica, a brush team leader for Task Force Center Alpha Company, describes his team's encounters with illegal immigrants while patrolling the border near Laredo. Task Force Center brush teams routinely contact groups of illegal immigrants near the banks of the Rio Grande River, many of whom Cpl. Sulaica says are found extremely dehydrated, hungry, and in need of medical attention. 

"It's not uncommon at all for us to find them," said Cpl. Sulaica. "They're extremely dehydrated, some are going to be hungry. They've been in some pretty bad situations so we'll usually give them water. If they do need medical attention, we do call our medics down the line to go and assist them with whatever issues they have. We've had instances where we are the first responders there to assist them."