WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas Military Department (TMD) held their weekly briefing on Thursday, providing an update on Operation Lone Star and the construction of a barrier along the border.

The briefing was led by DPS South Texas Region Media Lt. Christopher Olivarez and TMD Major Michael Perry.

Olivarez provided updated figures on the amount of apprehensions along the border.

Since the start of Operation Lone Star, there have been:

  • 9,089 criminal arrests
  • Over 167,000 migrant apprehensions
  • Over 13,000 pounds of marijuana seized
  • Over 2,000 pounds of cocaine seized
  • Over 1,000 pounds of methamphetamine seized
  • 37 pounds of heroin seized
  • 160 pounds of fentanyl seized
  • $7.4 million in currency seized

OLS Task Force Engineer Commander Lt. Colonel Dan Garrison joined the briefing to provide information on the construction of a border fence in several counties.

This is the latest move following Gov. Abbott’s emergency declaration to complete the Texas border wall in a response to the migrant crossings.

According to Garrison, the operation has expanded, featuring an increased number of those building the fence.

“The intent is to stop the crossings in places where people could potentially get hurt,” Garrison said.

Garrison stated that Task Force engineers have put up 6.16 miles of a chain link-type fence with a “supporting wire obstacle” on top that prevents individuals from crossing over the top easily.

Olivarez spoke about dangers that migrants face when trying to cross the border.

“There’s areas along the river that are very dangerous for some of these illegal immigrants to come across, especially with children, on rafts,” Olivarez said. “These human smugglers have no regard for the safety of who they’re smuggling, it’s all profit to them.”

This was the tenth briefing held by the departments.