DPS and TMD eyeing cartel activity across the border

Local News

WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) gave an update Thursday morning on Operation Lone Star (OLS).

A month after the Haitian migrant surge in Del Rio, immigration activity in the valley continues to be business as usual.

Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director for DPS said “We’re seeing about 2,000 apprehensions a day according to U.S. border patrol.”

However, on the Mexican side of the border – across from Starr county – Texas DPS and the Texas Military Department (TMD) are seeing more armed cartel members. Escalon said cartel activity has always been here, but now they’re getting bolder.

“That is something that, in my years of experience, is fairly new to be so obvious and overt about their operation,” Escalon said.

There hasn’t been any confrontation between cartel members and DPS or TMD, but the groups are monitoring the situation as officials say it’s unclear exactly why it’s happening.

“This activity that we’re seeing on the Mexican side with men that are armed and have body armor, that’s of interest. What are they going to do?” asked Escalon.

Escalon said cartels might be fighting between groups and even amongst themselves to control the territory along the border.  

“[Cartels] want to make money. Migrants is one way, drugs one way. To them, it’s just contraband. Whether it’s people or it’s drugs, it matters not; they’re all about the dollar sign,” Escalon said.

Today Governor Abbott issued over 35 million dollars to Operation Lone Star to beef up presence along the border.

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