Operation Lone Star Prevents Cartels From Smuggling Illegal Drugs And Weapons | Texas Governor’s Office

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October 7, 2022 | Austin, TX | Press release

Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas National Guard continue to work together to secure the border; stop the smuggling of drugs, weapons and people into Texas; and preventing, detecting and interdicting transnational criminal behavior between points of entry.

Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to 311,000 migrant arrests and more than 20,500 criminal arrests, with more than 18,000 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, the DPS seized over 337 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.

Texas has also transported more than 8,200 migrants to the nation’s capital since April, more than 3,100 migrants to New York since August 5, and more than 920 migrants to Chicago since August 31. The Bus Mission brings much-needed relief to our overwhelmed border communities. .

Operation Lone Star continues to fill dangerous voids left by the Biden administration’s refusal to secure the border. Every individual apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would otherwise have entered communities in Texas and across the country because of President Biden’s open border policies.

RECENT OPERATION LONE STAR HIGHLIGHTS:

WATCH: Lt. Olivarez says DPS is seizing increasing number of weapons crossing border

DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez told Fox News this week that his agency is seeing a significant increase in weapons smuggling. He said the DPS seized thousands of weapons associated with border-related criminal activity across the state, with AR-15s, AK-47s and .50-caliber rifles among the weapons seized. He also notes that the DPS is noticing more smugglers with guns in human smuggling attempts involving high-speed chases with DPS soldiers.

“We are seeing the smuggling of weapons, humans and drugs, as well as illicit currency and funds being smuggled back into Mexico to supply the cartels,” Lt. Olivarez said. “The cartels have been able to expand their criminal networks across the southern border because there is essentially an open border policy, and they are taking full advantage of it. Policies must be put in place to slow the flow of mass migration so law enforcement can focus on the criminal elements.

DPS grabs 126 pounds. Cocaine is worth more than $1.2 million in traffic stop

On Wednesday morning, DPS seized 126 pounds. of cocaine after a traffic stop in Hidalgo County. The DPS Criminal Investigation Division, with the assistance of the Texas Highway Patrol, stopped a pickup truck towing a trailer in McAllen for a traffic violation. While inspecting the vehicle, a soldier discovered 55 tape-wrapped packages containing cocaine concealed in a hidden compartment inside the trailer.

The Michigan driver was arrested and charged with criminal manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance. The drugs seized have a street value of over $1.2 million.

WATCH: Lt. Olivarez discusses recent increase in smuggling attempts by plane

DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Fox News this week to discuss how the federal government’s open border policies allow transnational criminal organizations to expand their businesses into the United States by chartering private flights for trafficking. of human beings. Within 30 days, the DPS stopped three separate attempts to smuggle people by plane from three different airports in the Rio Grande Valley to Houston, a known smuggling hub.

“The situation of illegal immigrants being smuggled on planes by these criminal organizations is a serious threat to national security,” Lt. Olivarez said. “For example, one of these immigrants was in possession of a fake Texas ID. We apprehended him, and he was a deported felon with an active warrant out of Wisconsin for child molestation.”

WATCH: Texas National Guard apprehend gang members crossing border

A Texas National Guard soldier described how the Tactical Response Unit is able to use real data compiled for the week to set up operations in areas where non-family units are crossing the border in order to focus on the criminal side of illegal border crossings. He explained how a recent group they encountered included Mexican gang members.

“We are able to track gang members coming from the other side [of the border] and apprehend them to take them to the appropriate areas,” said Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Mata.

WATCH: DPS finds 17 illegal immigrants after gravel hauler car chase

Maverick County DPS troopers attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a gravel hauler for a traffic violation. After a car chase, the driver parachuted out and ran into the brush.

A total of 17 illegal immigrants were apprehended and turned over to Border Patrol.

Texas National Guard platoon apprehends more than 30 illegal immigrants a week

A Texas National Guard soldier explained how his platoon apprehends more than 30-40 illegal immigrants crossing the border each week, the majority of whom are gang members, scouts and lookouts for gangs, or coyotes charging for money to guide illegal immigrants across the border. He notes, however, that the soldiers’ proactive approach to patrolling the area near Hidalgo has improved with the help of sensors and cameras, which makes locating illegal immigrants more strategic.

“We know a lot of them are gang members because if they run away and get into the river they throw gang signs and we get upset,” the Staff Sergeant said. Riener Mongerson, Echo Company, 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Platoon Leader. “We don’t get a lot of people coming to our area, mostly people running.”

WATCH: A teenage smuggler leads the DPS troopers on a high-speed chase

An 18-year-old smuggler led DPS soldiers on a high-speed chase through Uvalde County. After disabling the vehicle, the smuggler bailed out and was later apprehended.

A total of 13 illegal immigrants from Mexico were apprehended and turned over to Border Patrol.

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