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 more than 265,500 migrant apprehensions and more than 16,400 criminal arrests, with more than 13,800 felony charges reported. More than 5,400 weapons and almost $42 million in currency have been seized. Additionally, law enforcement have turned back more than 22,000 migrants from crossing the border.
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:
Last week, Governor Abbott held a press conference at the Anzalduas International Bridge in Mission on the state’s ongoing border security preparations ahead of the latest migrant caravans headed to the Texas-Mexico border. The press conference followed a border security briefing with Operation Lone Star officials and National Guard soldiers in Weslaco.
“We know elements of the caravans are disbanding to some extent, but smaller groups of migrants are still headed straight to our border crossings,” said Governor Abbott. “The National Guard and DPS are conducting mass-migration rehearsals to implement flexible strategies to deter illegal crossings at any point along the border where they occur.”
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez provides an update to Fox News on the past month’s historic number of migrant encounters at the border, as well as reports of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s plan to keep illegal migrants in Texas.
Texas National Guard Conducts Maritime Safety Training On Boat Operations, River Recon
Texas National Guard soldiers conducted trainings for various water incidents earlier this month on Lake Amistad to prepare for real water hazards on the Rio Grande River. “First, we train on boat operations, then move on to river recon. Water recon is crucial in our help for [law enforcement],” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Sadikin.
The largest migrant caravan has grown to 12,000 illegal migrants and is expected to swell to 15,000 by the time it reaches the Texas-Mexico border. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials are apprehending at least 8,000 people a day, according to the report.
A DPS trooper in Del Rio also describes the aftermath of a high-speed pursuit of a smuggler that resulted in a head-on collision, killing eight people.
Texas National Guard Responds To Increased Illegal Crossings In The Anzalduas Area
Texas National Guard, 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company 3-141, were notified the morning of June 16 that several illegal migrants were spotted in a cornfield by the border wall in the Anzalduas area. A team led by Staff Sgt. Cruz-Perez went to help law enforcement apprehend five illegal migrants in the cornfield using military night vision and thermal scopes, as well as a Border Patrol search dog. The illegal migrants were apprehended, processed, and taken by law enforcement.
“This area has been a large hot spot of criminal activity as of late, with different shifts capturing hundreds of illegal migrants,” said Cruz-Perez.
Texas Army National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers assigned to Operation Lone Star rehearsed their response to illegal mass migration in Laredo last week as part of their 24/7 efforts to curb illegal activity. The joint exercise allows for interagency capability to surge dozens of vehicle and personnel especially equipped to deter and interdict illegal mass migration.
Soldiers assisted law enforcement in apprehending more than 100 illegal migrants who crossed the Texas-Mexico border during this period and attempted to evade capture within Laredo neighborhoods and shopping areas.
DPS Aviation Operations Division Assists U.S. CBP Agents In Apprehending Illegal Migrants, Seizing Marijuana
While conducting a border interdiction flight near the Sierra Blanca AOR, DPS Aviation Operations Division aircrew answered a call for assistance. Aircrew arrived on the scene and deployed ground assets to assist CBP ground agents in apprehending nine illegal migrants found hiding within a nearby rock formation.
During the apprehension, 10 large bundles of marijuana were found individually concealed within several nearby rock formations. The illegal migrants and evidence were turned over to CBP for processing.
Newsmax’s border correspondent Jaeson Jones rides along with DPS troopers working in conjunction with Border Patrol agents in pursuit of smugglers near Del Rio.
DPS troopers engaged in a high-speed pursuit with smugglers through a residential area in Laredo. The smugglers, as well as five of the seven illegal migrants, fled on foot through the brush. All of the illegal migrants were apprehended with the assistance of the U.S. Border Patrol.
DPS troopers stopped a driver out of Dallas attempting to smuggle one adult and two children into the U.S. illegally. The illegal migrants were apprehended and referred to U.S. Border Patrol. Troopers charged the driver with one count of smuggling of persons, a third-degree felony, and two counts of smuggling of persons under 18 years of age, a second-degree felony.