RANCHO VIEJO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Law enforcement agencies are cracking down on street racing after Rancho Viejo residents expressed concern over ongoing issues around the community.
“What I hear is the loud racing at night and if I’m asleep it wakes me up and it’s very startling to me because I have got two daughters that come in and out of town and they come in at night,” said Donna Goree, a Rancho Viejo resident.
Goree said the concern is not only for her and her family’s safety but also for the drivers and community.
“It’s very disturbing because you are just waiting for something to happen,” she said.
A special operation between the Cameron County Sheriff’s office, Rancho Viejo Police, Brownsville Police, and Precinct 4 Constables was held on Feb. 26 to combat the illegal activity.
ValleyCentral was provided an exclusive ridealong during the operation.
“In talking with Brownsville PD, Rancho Viejo, and Precinct 4, we set up an operation. We knew where there were going to be at, we knew around what time they were going to be there,” said Cameron County Sheriff, Eric Garza.
A few hours after the agencies gathered for a private briefing, the first racers were spotted at about 11 p.m.
“It’s a trend that’s been going on for years and recently, across the state, it’s been increasing,” said Robert Oyervidez, an investigator with the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office.
In order to put a stop to the trend, the agencies set up along the frontage roads near Carmen Avenue ramps and other areas of concern near Rancho Viejo.
The operation led to two arrests.
Ruben Saldivar Jr., 19, and Emmanuel Saldivar Jr., 21, were both arrested and charged with Racing on Highway.
“Speeds did reach up to 100 miles per hour but thankfully with the assistance of our unmarked units they were able to give that information to the marked units and they were able to give that information to the marked units,” said Sheriff Garza.
The arrests did more than take racers off the roads.
“During the course of the arrest, the 19-year-old was found with a weapon and that was an AR-style rifle,” he said.
Ruben Saldivar Jr. was also charged with Unlawful Possession of Weapon.
Sheriff Garza said during the operation another vehicle hit a Precinct 4 Constable’s unit before taking off going over 100 miles per hour.
He explained that because of the high speeds, the pursuit was called off but deputies got the vehicle information and are investigating.
He said anyone caught racing faces arrests and other consequences if they are convicted.
“Fines, fees, eventual forfeiture of their vehicle,” he said.
The agencies involved agree the operation was successful and residents are hopeful for a change.
“I hope they keep up the vigilance patrolling this area and just keep it down. We’re very grateful. I hope it’s a deterrence,” said Goree.
Sheriff Garza said they will continue street racing operations throughout Cameron County.