Texas Launches Elite Taskforce To Combat Biden’s Record Gotaways
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 333,000 migrant apprehensions and more than 22,000 criminal arrests, with more than 20,000 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 354 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.
Texas has also bused more than 8,500 migrants to our nation's capital since April, over 4,000 migrants to New York City since August 5, more than 1,300 migrants to Chicago since August 31, and more than 260 migrants to Philadelphia since November 15.
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:
As part of Operation Lone Star, DPS recently launched a new elite border taskforce that includes tracking K9s and drone operators to detect, track down, and apprehend the record numbers of gotaways into the United States. The taskforce will also gather intelligence, disrupt human smuggling, and identify scouts. More than 73,000 gotaways were reported in November alone, and in fiscal year 2022 there were nearly 600,000 gotaways—a stark increase from about 389,000 gotaways in fiscal year 2021.
This week, Fox News’ Bill Melugin embedded with the new DPS unit and one morning witnessed the arrest of roughly 50 illegal immigrants actively looking to evade law enforcement by sneaking through the brush near La Joya and Mission.
Last month, Governor Abbott ordered DPS and the Texas Military Department to expand their unprecedented efforts to combat the growing illegal immigration along the Texas-Mexico border.
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez spoke with NewsNation about the record number of gotaways reported at the border last month and a new initiative to address the border crisis through a special joint taskforce. In conjunction with Operation Lone Star, this taskforce is tracking, detecting, and apprehending illegal immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley as the number of illegal immigrants attempting to evade law enforcement continues to climb.
“We are sending a message that we do have extra manpower working with Border Patrol,” said Lt. Olivarez. “We’ve made an impact, even in just the small area we’ve been working. We’ve been able to make apprehensions, where otherwise there would be no manpower there and these would have been gotaways.”
DPS told NewsNation it will continue to create and implement specialized teams and taskforces to address the border crisis.
DPS Specialized Taskforce Apprehends 30 Illegal Immigrants In Hidalgo County
As part of a specialized taskforce in conjunction with Operation Lone Star, DPS and Border Patrol apprehended 30 illegal immigrants in the brush in Sullivan City, Hidalgo County. The illegal immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador were referred to Border Patrol.
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Fox News to discuss the approaching end of Title 42 later this month, despite Mexican drug cartels using increasingly sophisticated methods of smuggling dangerous narcotics like fentanyl through U.S. ports of entry.
“We know for a fact that Mexican drug cartels control the border, who comes across and what drugs come across,” said Lt. Olivarez. “The federal government needs to designate these cartels for what they are, foreign terrorist organizations. Governor Abbott did it, and yet we’re still wondering why the federal government has not cracked down on these organizations to stop the flow of chemical precursors [of fentanyl] from China going into Mexico so they can develop this deadly poison and then smuggle it into the United States.”
Texas National Guard Station Armored Personnel Carriers Along Border
Last week, the Texas National Guard deployed 10 M113 armored personnel carriers to strategic locations in five counties along the border as part of Operation Lone Star. The M113s bolster the safety of soldiers amid escalating violence in the border region. On Saturday, soldiers sought cover in an M113 after receiving gunfire from unidentified individuals on the other side of the river.
During a commercial vehicle safety inspection of an 18-wheeler in Jim Hogg County, DPS troopers discovered the driver was smuggling 15 illegal immigrants, including a child, concealed inside a gravel trailer. The driver from San Antonio was charged with human smuggling, and all illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.
A human smuggler led DPS troopers on a high-speed pursuit on U.S. 83 in Starr County. During the pursuit, the driver and several illegal immigrants bailed out toward the brush. One illegal immigrant was located inside the trunk of the car and referred to Border Patrol.