WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral/Border Report) — More state funding is coming toward efforts to stop drug and people smuggling into Texas, according to a press release Thursday from the governor’s office.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s Public Safety Office will award more than $36.4 million in grants that support the efforts of Operation Lone Star.
A total of $22.3 million will be available for to help with prosecution, while $14 million will go toward counties along the border “to enhance interagency border security operations supporting OLS, including the facilitation of directed actions to deter and interdict criminal activity as well as detain and prosecute individuals arrested for state crimes related to the border crisis.”
Abbott’s announcement came the same day the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department held their third briefing with updates on Operation Lone Star.
At the briefing, officials gave an update on the increase in armed individuals near the riverbanks in Starr County.
“This activity we’re seeing on the Mexican side of men that are armed and have body armor, that’s of interest,” said DPS regional director, Victor Escalon.
Escalon said there’s “no doubt” the armed men want to intimidate law enforcement.
Officials also gave an update on the number of migrants and drugs that have been seized since the start of Operation Lonestar in March.
According to officials, since March 4, DPS has seized:
- 9,698 pounds of marijuana
- 1,200 pounds of cocaine
- 1,563 pounds of methamphetamine
- Over 29 million lethal doses of fentanyl
They have also apprehended 71,000 migrants.
Included in the briefing was footage of a car chase involving a human smuggler. The video, which was streamed live on Facebook by the driver, shows her losing control, crashing and being arrested.
The briefing can be watched in full below: DISCLAIMER — This is a recording from a previously LIVE event – foul language, graphic video is heard, shown.