(The Center Square) – Texas law enforcement officers working through Operation Lone Star are continuing to thwart criminal activity at the southern border, making record numbers of apprehensions including human smugglers.

On one night, for example, Texas National Guard soldiers assisted with apprehending a group of 717 people who illegally entered Texas, crossing the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass.

In another instance, DPS brush teams arrested a Honduran man who’d illegally entered the U.S. after he crossed onto a private ranch in Maverick County. After performing a criminal background check, they found that he had an active Interpol warrant for murder in Honduras.

In another instance, a DPS trooper apprehended a man in El Paso with three active warrants in Texas and New Mexico. The trooper also confiscated the man’s pistol and drugs he was transporting in his vehicle, including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl pills, and alprazolam pills. The man was charged and booked into the El Paso County Jail.

High-speed car chases of smugglers continue to be a regular occurrence, even several hundred miles from the border. In Kingsville, for example, DPS troopers pursued a human smuggler driving a utility truck. During pursuit, the driver and several illegal foreign nationals bailed out into the brush. At least 15 were apprehended and referred to Border Patrol.

Farther west at the border, in Uvalde County, troopers pursued a human smuggler in a high-speed chase who lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a pole. The driver was arrested and charged with smuggling of persons. All three foreign nationals inside the vehicle were referred to Border Patrol.

In another instance, as part of the state’s Stash House Reward Program, DPS received an anonymous tip that led to the discovery of a stash house where 10 illegal foreign nationals were hiding in east Laredo in Webb County.

Anyone who provides a tip that leads to the identification of a stash house used in transnational criminal activity can receive up to a $5,000 reward. Those with information are encouraged to call the Crime Stoppers hotline: 1-800-252-TIPS (8477). They can also submit an online tip here or a Facebook tip by clicking the “Submit a Tip” link under the “About” section.

“Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps left by the Biden Administration’s refusal to secure the border,” Gov. Greg Abbott said. “Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Biden’s open border policies.”

Since the state’s border security mission was launched in March 2021, Texas law enforcement officers have apprehended 314,000 illegal foreign nationals, made more than 20,800 criminal arrests, and reported more than 18,400 felony charges. They’ve also seized over 337 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough to kill everyone in the United States.

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