BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz assuring the public that safety and law remains priority during COVID-19.
“Right now, I see more unity than ever before. COVID-19 has brought uncertainty to our communities, but also hope. Hope that we can continue to work together and make a safer today for those that are most vulnerable to the virus. I ask that you take precautions, but that you also act like a good neighbor and remain orderly while following our laws.”Luis V. Saenz, Cameron County District Attorney
Saenz also adding that law enforcement WILL continue to enforce laws. His office WILL continue to prosecute offenders. Justice WILL continue to be served.
New and Enhanced Laws During Disaster Declaration
Governor Greg Abbott’s Disaster Declaration results in enhanced punishment grades for specific crimes committed during this disaster period, including:
- Burglary of a Vehicle
- Criminal Trespass
The office will continue to monitor the growing demand placed on local retail sectors, such as grocery and supply stores. Please remain patient and calm, and remind you that Price Gouging, selling food, gas, building materials, or other necessities for a premium, is a crime. This disaster declaration also triggers greater penalties under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. If you see price gouging, please contact the Office of the Attorney General at (800) 621-0508 or go to their website.
Additionally, people who willfully make false statements about being infected, or about the potential exposure of people to COVID-19 are subject to prosecution under Penal Code 42.06. There Code states, “A person commits an offense if he knowingly initiates, communicates, or circulates a report of a present, past, or future emergency that he knows is false or baseless…”. This applies to claims made verbally or via social media.
The DA would like to thank the medical teams, truck drivers, grocery, restaurant, and retail workers, and all others who are on the front lines, working around the clock to help keep our communities running. Rest assured that public safety remains the number concern of local, state, and federal law enforcement, and that we are grateful for your cooperation during this trying time.