(Photo above courtesy of Getty Images)
As part of Operation Lone Star (OLS) and under the direction of Governor Abbott, DPS continues its presence, including air, ground, marine and tactical security assets, along the border to combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas.
OPERATION LONE STAR: QUICK FACTS
- Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 488,500 illegal immigrant apprehensions.
- In addition, OLS has resulted in more than 37,300 criminal arrests, with more than 33,800 felony charges reported.
- In the fight against the fentanyl crisis, Texas law enforcement has seized more than 450 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.
*Numbers as of 12/8/2023.
OPERATION LONE STAR: NEWS FROM THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT
Operation Lone Star Cracks Down On Illegal Border Crossings (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | November 17, 2023)
DPS special agents from the Criminal Investigations Division assigned to Operation Lone Star seized weapons, body armor, and ammunition from a human smuggling ring with ties to the Nuevo Cartel De Juarez and La Linea Cartel operating in West Texas and New Mexico. Agents first identified a human smuggling organization in October.
The extensive investigation and collaboration with other law enforcement agencies resulted in the seizure of 10 firearms, body armor and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Operation Lone Star Secures Fronton Island From Mexican Cartels (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | November 10, 2023)
DPS troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers secured Fronton Island in the Rio Grande River to gain operational control and prevent cross-border criminal activity from Mexican cartels.
The island has long been known as a hotspot for cartel smuggling operations involving narcotics, weapons, money, and high-value individuals. The densely wooded island provided concealment for transnational criminal activity and has been a problem for decades according to law enforcement familiar with the area.
Texas Bolsters Historic Border Response To Combat Human Smuggling (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | October 27, 2023)
Governor Abbott is ramping up construction of the state's historic border wall to protect Texans. This week, new sections of Texas’ border wall went up in Cameron and Maverick counties. Texas is the first and only state in U.S. history to build its own border wall.
- Operation Lone Star Buses Over 50,000 Migrants to Sanctuary Cities (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | October 6, 2023)
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez described law enforcement efforts on Fronton Island, including the use of DPS drones to scan the area and establishing security points on the island to prevent cartels from smuggling dangerous drugs like fentanyl, weapons, and high-interest criminals across the river into Texas.
“We’ve been talking about it for years, that’s why we have to look at it as a much broader issue than just immigration,” said Lt. Olivarez. “We need to focus on the threats, not only to public safety, but with a national security aspect and how close these cartels are operating to Texas. It validates every single piece of evidence of how these cartels are operating, not only in Mexico, but in the United States, especially in Texas.”
Governor Abbott Proclaims October 2023 Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month in Texas (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | October 3, 2023)
In recent years, the drug has gained traction as an illicit substance, resulting in a dramatic rise in fentanyl-related fatalities. Fentanyl is now the leading killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. Fentanyl-related deaths in Texas increased over 500% from 2019 to 2022, taking the lives of more than 4,800 unsuspecting Texans in just three years and leaving untold numbers to cope with sudden loss.
Under our historic border security mission, Operation Lone Star, Texas has seized more than enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in America. Despite this progress, deadly fentanyl is still being smuggled into Texas communities from Mexico.
Fentanyl is a scourge, with Mexican drug cartels strategically manufacturing and distributing the drug disguised as painkillers, stimulants, anti-anxiety drugs, and even candy. Victims of fentanyl poisoning are unaware that an alleged prescription pill or other substance they bought online or received at a party is laced with the deadly drug.
Therefore, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim October 2023 to be Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month in Texas and urge all Texans to observe the occasion with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
- Governors Abbott, Noem, Pillen, Reynolds, Stitt Band Together To Secure Border (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | August 21, 2023)
Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference in Eagle Pass with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to provide an update on their joint efforts under Texas' Operation Lone Star.
"These Governors here with me today are deploying military and law enforcement officers to help Texas secure the border," said Governor Abbott.
Prior to the press conference, Governor Abbott held a border security briefing with his fellow Governors where they received updates from Director McCraw, Major General Suelzer, and Border Czar Banks on the multitude of effective strategies used by Operation Lone Star to secure the border, including Texas' floating marine barriers installed in the Rio Grande River.
During the briefing, Governor Abbott thanked the Governors for their support in Texas' Operation Lone Star border security mission and highlighted the value of their states' resources being used to secure the border and curtail the influx of illegal immigration, dangerous weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl coming into Texas from Mexico.
Director McCraw outlined the success of Operation Lone Star's border security efforts, noting that just DPS alone has seized over 426 million lethal doses of deadly fentanyl—enough to kill every man, woman, and child in America. He also highlighted the importance of state law enforcement along the border, pointing to their critical role in supporting Border Patrol agents as the first line of defense against surges of illegal immigration between ports of entry.
- Operation Lone Star Combats Increased Cartel Activity Along Border (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | August 18, 2023)
In a joint effort, DPS Texas Rangers Special Operations Group seized 120 pounds of cocaine valued at $3.8 million. Rangers detected the drugs while conducting drone aerial surveillance. Drone operators guided DPS Special Operations Group and agents to the illegal drugs, which were turned over to Border Patrol.
- Operation Lone Star Statement On Orders Addressing Illegal Crossings (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | July 18, 2023)
The Office of the Governor today issued a joint statement from Texas Border Czar Mike Banks, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw, and Texas Adjutant General Major General Thomas Suelzer following reporting on directives given under Operation Lone Star:
"No orders or directions have been given under Operation Lone Star that would compromise the lives of those attempting to cross the border illegally. The Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Military Department continue taking steps to monitor migrants in distress, provide appropriate medical attention when needed, and encourage them to use one of the 29 international bridges along the Texas-Mexico Border where they can safely and legally cross."
- Governor Abbott Signs Pivotal Measures To Combat Fentanyl Crisis (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | June 14, 2023)
Governor Greg Abbott today signed four laws to combat the growing national fentanyl crisis passed during the 88th Regular Legislative Session at the Texas Capitol. The laws signed by the Governor today represent a significant step in the state's fight against the deadly opioid that will prosecute fentanyl deaths as murder, ensure death certificates reflect when people are poisoned by fentanyl, provide more life-saving NARCAN to Texas colleges and universities, and educate young Texans about the dangers of fentanyl.
“The fentanyl epidemic has taken far too many innocent lives, but thanks to the work by brave parents and loved ones, like those here today, we have made Texans aware of this crisis,” said Governor Abbott.
- Governor Abbott Hosts Fellow Governors For Border Security Briefing in Austin (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | May 23, 2023)
Governor Greg Abbott hosted nine of his fellow Governors for a border security briefing to provide an update on the ongoing crisis and share insights into Texas' unprecedented response. Adjutant General of the Texas Military Department Major General Thomas Suelzer, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, and Texas Border Czar Mike Banks participated in the border security briefing and provided on-the-ground intelligence about the border crisis.
During the briefing, Governor Abbott provided an overview of Texas' comprehensive Operation Lone Star border security mission and explained effective tools and strategies the State of Texas has utilized to deter and repel illegal immigration along the southern border.
Director McCraw discussed ways Mexican drug cartels control the illegal drug market, including smuggling in deadly fentanyl. Director McCraw noted that the State of Texas and DPS prepared for mass migration scenarios.
- Governor Abbott Applauds Texas National Guard, DPS For Combating Border Crisis (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | May 19, 2023)
Governor Greg Abbott today thanked Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers for their selfless service at the southern border and provided an update on Texas' response to the ongoing border crisis during a press conference in Brownsville.
“I’m here in Brownsville today to thank the hardworking men women who are defending our border for their bravery and courage,” said Governor Abbott. “Their extraordinary efforts have had a direct effect of keeping illegal immigrants out of Texas. These men and women in uniform here today, they're considered to be heroes by their fellow Americans. They should be proud of what they've done. I'm proud of what they've done. I thank all the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers for working around the clock to hold the line and defend our border."
- Governor Abbott Deploys New Texas Tactical Border Force (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | May 8, 2023)
Governor Abbott announced the deployment of the new Texas Tactical Border Force to the Texas-Mexico border to respond to the growing border crisis. The Governor is enhancing Texas’ unprecedented border security efforts with the tactical deployment of hundreds of Texas National Guard soldiers to join the thousands already deployed as part of Operation Lone Star and serve on the new border force for targeted responses as the nation braces for an expected spike in illegal immigration.
- Operation Lone Star Thwarts Thousands Of Human Smugglers In Texas (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | April 28, 2023)
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.
- Operation Lone Star Ramps Up Historic Offensive Against Fentanyl Crisis (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | April 14, 2023)
Governor Abbott on Wednesday announced that DPS seized over 3.1 million lethal doses of fentanyl, or about 14 pounds, during a single Operation Lone Star traffic stop in Mission. This seizure marks one of the largest single fentanyl seizures by the border mission to date.
"Fentanyl is the single greatest drug threat our state and country has ever known, and this record amount of fentanyl seized would have otherwise made its way into communities across Texas and the nation," said Governor Abbott. "Through Texas' historic Operation Lone Star mission, a DPS trooper prevented 3.1 million lethal doses of fentanyl—enough to kill every Texan in Austin, Dallas, and El Paso combined—from taking more innocent lives during a single traffic stop."
- Governor Abbott Announces Statewide Initiatives To Fight Fentanyl Crisis (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | April 6, 2023)
Governor Abbott today announced two major statewide initiatives to combat the growing national fentanyl crisis and save innocent lives in Texas during his One Pill Kills Summit in Austin.
During a press conference following panel discussions, the Governor unveiled a new $10 million multimedia awareness initiative through the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to educate Texans on how to prevent, recognize, and reverse fentanyl poisonings as part of the statewide "One Pill Kills" campaign. The Governor also announced the plan to distribute Naloxone (NARCAN) to all 254 Texas counties by the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
- Operation Lone Star Turns Back Over 30,000 Illegal Immigrants (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | March 24, 2023)
- Operation Lone Star Repels Rush of Illegal Immigrants at El Paso Border (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | March 17, 2023)
- Operation Lone Star Marks Two Years Of Border Security Efforts (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | March 10, 2023)
Two years ago, Governor Abbott launched Operation Lone Star to combat the escalating border crisis. The State of Texas is taking historic actions to protect Texans from transnational criminal activity and illegal immigration.
- Operation Lone Star Fortifies Border Barriers Ahead Of Spring Influx (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | March 3, 2023)
- Operation Lone Star Busts Mexican Drug Cartels’ Expanding Reach (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | February 10, 2023)
- New Texas Border Czar Joins Operation Lone Star Mission (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | February 3, 2023)
“As an award-winning Border Patrol Agent, with decades of federal law enforcement and border security experience, Mike is the perfect choice to oversee Texas' fight against the surge of illegal immigration, lethal drugs, and deadly weapons flowing into our state and nation,” said Governor Abbott.
- Governor Abbott Tours Enhanced Border Assets Ahead Of Title 42 Ending (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | December 16, 2022)
"The State of Texas continues taking unprecedented action to deescalate and decrease the influx of dangerous criminals, illegal weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl into our country," said Governor Abbott.
- Texas Leads Fight Against Growing National Fentanyl Crisis (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | December 2, 2022)
During a press conference following the tour, Governor Abbott detailed the decisive actions taken by the State of Texas to combat the growing national fentanyl crisis, including designating Mexican drug cartels as a terrorist organizations, signing legislation into law that makes it a felony to make or distribute fentanyl, and launching the "One Pill Kills" campaign to raise awareness of this deadly drug across the state.
- Governor Abbott Orders DPS, TMD To Use Every Available Strategy To Combat Border Crisis (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | November 16, 2022)
Governor Greg Abbott today ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Texas Military Department (TMD) to expand their unprecedented efforts to combat the growing illegal immigration along the Texas-Mexico border. In a letter to DPS Director Steve McCraw and TMD Adjutant General Thomas Suelzer, the Governor outlined the need for the Operation Lone Star partners to defend Texas against what amounts to an invasion of America's southern border.
- Governor Abbott Launches “One Pill Kills” Statewide Campaign (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | October 17, 2022)
Governor Greg Abbott today announced the launch of the State of Texas' coordinated "One Pill Kills" campaign to combat the growing national fentanyl crisis plaguing Texas and the United States. This announcement comes after Governor Abbott directed state agencies to ramp up efforts to combat the deadly fentanyl crisis last month.
"Fentanyl remains the single deadliest drug threat our state and nation has ever encountered, killing four Texans every day," said Governor Abbott. "Fentanyl is a clandestine killer, with Mexican drug cartels strategically manufacturing and distributing the drug disguised as painkillers, stimulants, anti-anxiety drugs, and even candy.
To learn more about DPS' efforts to combat the fentanyl crisis, visit DPS' One Pill Kills webpage.
- Operation Lone Star Mission Expands As Biden Ends Title 42 Expulsions (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | April 8, 2022)
Governor Abbott announced aggressive actions by the State of Texas to secure the border in the wake of President Biden's decision to end Title 42 expulsions. Governor Abbott has directed TDEM to charter buses and flights to transport migrants to Washington, D.C. Governor Abbott has also directed DPS to conduct enhanced safety inspections of vehicles, effective immediately, as they cross international ports of entry into Texas.
Governor Abbott also announced additional strategies being deployed immediately to secure the border. DPS and the Texas Military Department (TMD) are preparing additional boat blockades, deploying razor-wire at low-water crossings and high-traffic areas, and installing container blockades to stem the flow of illegal crossings. Additionally, all DPS troopers and specially trained Texas National Guard soldiers will be given riot gear in case of violence among caravans and migrants.
- Operation Lone Star Continues To Save Lives, Take Drugs Off The Streets, Apprehend Traffickers (Office of Governor Greg Abbott | April 1, 2022)
Governor Greg Abbott, 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 (OLS), multi-agency efforts have led to more than 225,000 migrant apprehensions, along with more than 13,027 criminal arrests — and more than 10,400 felony charges. Over 3,500 weapons and almost $30 million in currency have been seized. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 289 million lethal doses throughout the state.
- Governor Abbott, DPS, Texas National Guard Mark One Year Anniversary Of Operation Lone Star (March 4, 2022)
Officially launched on March 4, 2021, Operation Lone Star integrates DPS assets, including Texas Highway Patrol Troopers, Special Agents, Texas Rangers, Rotary and Fixed Winged Aircraft and Tactical Boat Teams, along with the Texas National Guard and local law enforcement to secure the border.
"Texans have never backed down from a challenge, and we won't start now, because our efforts are stemming the tide of illegal drugs and criminals flooding into Texas. Thank you to the many men and women who are protecting our southern border, including the DPS troopers, Texas National Guardsmen, Texas sheriffs, and all the law enforcement officers who serve and protect us every day." - Governor Abbott
Governor Abbott released a video to commemorate the achievements of the mission, Texas law enforcement, and soldiers.
"I want to say thank you to the men and women of the Texas Department of Public Safety for all that you do to keep Texans safe. DPS has a legendary place in Texas history, and at this moment in time, you play a more pivotal role than ever before as we work to secure the border through Operation Lone Star. Your work to secure the border, arrest dangerous criminals and crack down on human traffickers is saving lives, and it is making a difference in making our communities safer. Texas thanks you for your service."
Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today launched Operation Lone Star to combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas. The Operation integrates DPS with the Texas National Guard and deploys air, ground, marine, and tactical border security assets to high threat areas to deny Mexican Cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas.
“The crisis at our southern border continues to escalate because of Biden Administration policies that refuse to secure the border and invite illegal immigration,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas supports legal immigration but will not be an accomplice to the open border policies that cause, rather than prevent, a humanitarian crisis in our state and endanger the lives of Texans. We will surge the resources and law enforcement personnel needed to confront this crisis.”
- Governor Abbott Announces Expansion Of Operation Lone Star To Include Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts
Governor Greg Abbott today announced the expansion of Operation Lone Star to include efforts to crack down on human trafficking related to illegal border crossings. As part of this expansion, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers and agents, as well as the Texas Rangers, will conduct interviews with unaccompanied minors who crossed the border to identify victims of human trafficking and gain actionable intelligence that will aid in the arrest of traffickers.
- Governor Abbott Hosts Border Security Summit, Announces Comprehensive Border Security Plan To Crack Down On Unlawful Border Crossings
Governor Greg Abbott today hosted a Border Security Summit in Del Rio where he announced a new comprehensive border security plan to crack down on illegal border crossings in Texas. The Governor was joined for the summit by Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, Major General Tracy Norris of the Texas Military Department, and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw.
OPERATION LONE STAR | DPS REGIONAL COVERAGE:
- Sept. 29, 2022:
- May 11, 2022:
- March 14, 2022: DPS Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Seizure (DPS South Texas Region)
- Jan. 13, 2022: Smuggler Hides Illegal Immigrants Inside Plywood Crates (DPS South Texas Region)
- Jan. 11, 2022: Smuggler Conceals 28 Illegal Immigrants Inside Tractor-Trailer (DPS South Texas Region)
- Dec. 14, 2021: DPS Discovers 100 Illegal Immigrants in Semi-Trailer (DPS South Texas Region)
- Sept. 13, 2021: DPS Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Seizure (DPS South Texas Region)
- Sept. 12, 2021: DPS Seizes More Than 600 Pounds of Marijuana (DPS South Texas Region)
- July 7, 2021: DPS Traffic Stop Leads to Weapons and Drug Seizure (DPS South Texas Region)
- July 5, 2021: DPS Traffic Stop Leads to Cash Seizure in Maverick County (DPS South Texas Region)
- June 30, 2021: DPS Traffic Stop Leads to Seizure of More than $300,000 (DPS South Texas Region)
- June 20, 2021: DPS Pursuit Leads to Drug Seizure (DPS South Texas Region)
- June 12, 2021: DPS Traffic Stop Leads to Stash House (DPS South Texas Region)
- June 11, 2021: DPS Traffic Stop Leads to More than $100k Cash Seizure (DPS South Texas Region)
- June 7, 2021: DPS Traffic Stop Leads to Weapons Seizure (DPS South Texas Region)
- May 23, 2021: DPS Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Seizure (DPS South Texas Region)
- May 21, 2021: DPS Traffic Stop Leads to Weapons Seizure During OLS (DPS South Texas Region)
- May 7, 2021: DPS Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Seizure (DPS South Texas Region)
- April 28, 2021: DPS Traffic Stop in Webb County Leads to Drug Seizure (DPS South Texas Region)
OPERATION LONE STAR: NEWS COVERAGE
Check out some of the recent news coverage of Operation Lone Star below.
"This is the most violent region on the Texas-Mexico border," DPS spokesperson Chris Olivarez said. "These armed gunmen that are coming across, ammunition, border patrol found an explosive."
- NEWS4SA: Texas expands: Three islands in the Rio Grande will be used in border security efforts
- NewsMax: Up Close | Drug Border Battle
- FOX San Antonio: Del Rio native leads tireless efforts in curbing smuggling, ensuring migrant safety with Texas DPS Brush Unit
- KVIA ABC-7 News: Only on ABC-7: Inside a migrant pursuit in West El Paso
"There is no greater public safety and national security threat than the Mexican drug cartels, who have exploited security vulnerabilities due to an unsecured international border. This joint effort highlights the importance of collaborating with local, county, state and federal agencies for one common goal — keeping our state and country safe." - Texas DPS
- FOX News: Lt. Christopher Olivarez: Nothing is humane about leaving migrant children at river during summer heat
- FOX News: "Tidal Wave" Post-Title 42 Era Begins as Migrants Pour In
"If we have to do this for another two years, we're going to do it, because Governor Abbott believes in keeping this state secure; he believes in keeping this country secure." — DPS West Texas Regional Director Sanchez
- Operation Lone Star: Reinforcement Efforts in Brownsville, Texas
From DPS' South Texas Region: Take a look at efforts made possible through Operation Lone Star to secure the border near Brownsville, Texas, as the state prepared for Title 42 to end in May 2023.
- FOX NEWS: Human smuggler near Texas border nearly runs over Department of Public Safety trooper in high-speed pursuit
From FOX News: "Texas DPS Regional Director Jose 'Joe' Sanchez joins 'Fox & Friends' to discuss the massive migrant group that rushed into an El Paso port of entry on Sunday."
- FOX NEWS: Louisiana men arrested for human smuggling after Texas DPS troopers find illegal immigrants in car
Lt. Olivarez joined Fox News to discuss the threat to public safety that comes from having an open border and the importance of the work being done under Gov. Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star to secure the border and protect Texas communities.
- Operation Lone Star: Spotlight on Texas DPS Aircraft in Big Bend
Get a behind-the-scenes look at DPS Aircraft working as part of Governor Abbott's Operation Lone Star.
"Carter reported the Texas DPS seized 918 lbs of fentanyl in 2021, which officials said was only a small portion of what has come over the porous border."
Elite DPS Team Guards Against Illegal Immigrants Trespassing on Private Property as Part of Operation Lone Star
- FOX News: Fentanyl at the border
"Under Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s command, the Department of Public Safety has formed a boat blockade on the Rio Grande to keep undocumented migrants out of South Texas.
"DPS officials on Sunday posted a video taken by air showing at least 17 boats spaced out on the U.S. side of the river near the town of La Joya.
"A DPS Tweet called the “enhanced operations” necessary “to stop the flow of migrants entering TX illegally.” And it said the “heavy presence on the river” is part of Operation Lone Star, a state-funded Abbott-led initiative to guard the Texas-Mexico border."
- FOX News: Exclusive: Texas agents bust human smuggling operation at border
- Washington Examiner: Texas authorities apprehended 165,000 at border under state effort
"Texas law enforcement and soldiers sent to the border under a state initiative that began in March have encountered more than 165,000 people presumed to have illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border or are themselves smuggling people, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"Lt. Chris Olivarez, spokesman for the Texas DPS’s South Region, said during a press conference Thursday that his agency's troopers, along with National Guard soldiers, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have apprehended and referred 165,000 people to relevant law enforcement for arrest over the past nine months."
“Some of the landowners were voicing concerns that illegal immigrants were trespassing on their property, damaging their fences. They didn't feel safe around their homes because of these illegal immigrants who were coming across,” said Olivarez.
"Olivarez said troopers have arrested migrants who have criminal records, and criminal gang members including MS-13 and cartel members. He said some of the migrants have become aggressive when approached by officers.
“They resist our law enforcement. There's been several incidents where they throw rocks at our law enforcement personnel because again, they're trying to avoid apprehension,” said Olivarez."
- KENS 5: DPS: Arresting migrants for criminal trespass is deterring more from making the journey to the US
“The landowners there were getting frustrated. They had these illegal immigrants that were coming across in their property, destroying their properties. They didn't feel safe at their homes,” said Olivarez. “So, Texas had to step in, and that’s why we deployed DPS. We were able to get consent to be on those properties to make arrests for criminal trespass, as well as the rail yards.”
"Olivarez said the majority of the migrants who have moved through the Val Verde County processing facility were arrested for trespassing on private ranchlands and on the trains.
“These are individuals who are avoiding detection, avoiding law enforcement,” said Olivarez. “These are the single adults that are trying to get across and move further inland.”
- KENS 5: DPS troopers patrolling border from the sky as 1,000 migrants illegally cross border per day, officials say
- Townhall: The Lone Star State Steps Up to the Plate to Tackle Illegal Immigration Surge As Feds Are Overwhelmed
"In March, Gov. Greg Abbott initiated Operation Lone Star to address the surge that seems to have only gotten worse as the months have gone on. Similar to what I have heard from Border Patrol agents, the different state troopers I spoke with said they have never seen such a stark uptick in illegal activity at the border as to what they are seeing now. ...
"U.S. Border Patrol is overwhelmed with the constant illegal entries that are taking place because it involves a lot of processing, a lot of hours. That can't be ignored, that is a crisis. There is a problem right now. I know conversations have been out there that the border is closed. The border is not closed when you have 2,000 illegal entries taking place daily," said Lt. Christopher Olivarez, a DPS spokesman."
- Wichita Falls Times Record News: Clay County trooper 'held the baby like a football' to rescue her from drowning
"A Clay County trooper rescued a 6-month-old girl and her mother from drowning after smugglers threw them out of a raft floating in the Rio Grande, Texas officials said."
"On March 16, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s South Texas Special Operations Group helped U.S. Border Patrol rescue a 6-month old girl from the Rio Grande River.
"Texas DPS Lt. Christopher Olivarez told KVEO that the mother and child had been waiting in Mexico since December to cross into the U.S.
"The mother paid smugglers $3,500 to cross the Rio Grande River into the U.S. The mom was assaulted by the smugglers in Mexico, which resulted in a broken leg, according to Olivarez."
"Victor Escalon, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, says he worried the more people are smuggled across the Rio Grande, the more opportunities for criminal organizations to flourish in the area.
“As a parent, as a human being, you want to make sure (migrant children) are cared for. They are kids. They don’t know any different,” he said. “But the more people you bring across, the individuals who are in charge of coordinating the criminal element, the smuggling of narcotics they are going to look for opportunities.”
"While the press continues to get limited access to operations at the Donna tent facility, Texas State troopers allowed Channel 5 News to see first-hand what’s happening on the border during the migrant surge … In just two weeks since the start of Operation Lone Star, state police has been involved in 34 vehicle pursuits and has referred 8,000 migrants to Border Patrol. Although Texas DPS cannot enforce U.S. immigration laws, their presence aims to serve as a deterrent to drug and human traffickers."
"There was a gaggle of us, journalists, who couldn’t be along the banks of the river at several points of migrant crossings without the escort of either local, state or federal law enforcement. Texas Department of Public Safety troopers took us on a tour. On March 6, Gov. Greg Abbott and DPS launched Operation Lone Star. What we saw on this day was part of that effort."
"In a bird’s-eye view of the surge of migrants at the Southern border, new camera images show dozens of people, including families, crossing into the U.S. within minutes. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports for TODAY from Laredo, Texas."
- View Getty Images here.