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Texas DPS official: Cartels at the border ‘enriched’ with military-grade weapons and cash

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Lieutenant Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety appeared on “The Sara Carter Show” last week to talk about his department’s newest duties. Governor Greg Abbott recently launched an initiative to integrate DPS with the Texas National Guard to tighten border security.

While their main duties tend to pertain to criminal activity and traffic violations, DPS is lately pitching in to help with the border crisis, too. Since the governor launched Operation Lone Star on March 4th till now, Olivarez says they’ve seen 35,000 migrants cross the southern Texas border. That is a number “we have never dealt with before,” Olivarez says. So, they’ve got 1,000 troopers, investigators, Texas Rangers, tactical operators, marine aircraft and Intel personnel dedicated to the border.

Olivarez says that their efforts are helping national security, because many of the contacts they make are with migrants smuggling weapons. “We’re talking about military grade weapons, fully automatic weapons, 50 caliber rifles that are coming across, going into Mexico to supply the cartels. And it is a threat, it is a threat because they’re within miles from the southern border,” the lieutenant said. He’s also found others smuggling currency and narcotics.

“Just all we can say is regardless of political views,” Olivarez said, “there is a crisis right now that’s taking place, and we got to do something about it.”

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Immigration

$18 million dollars’ worth of methamphetamine hidden within a shipment of squash

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility discovered $18 million dollars’ worth of methamphetamine hidden within a shipment of squash.

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) revealed in a press release on Monday, at approximately 6:47 a.m.,that CBP officers encountered a 44-year-old male driving a commercial tractor-trailer with a shipment manifested for squash. The driver, a valid border crossing card holder, was referred for further examination by CBP officers along with the tractor-trailer and shipment.

Non-intrusive scanning technology was utilized to conduct a full scan of the tractor trailer which showed irregularities and CBP officers requested a CBP human and narcotics detection canine. The canine team responded and alerted officers to the presence of narcotics.

A total of 1,419 packages concealed within the shipment of squash was discovered and extracted. The narcotics were tested and identified as methamphetamine with a total weight of 11,469 pounds with an estimated street value of $18,350,400.

“Our officers’ commitment to duty, excellence, and the safety of our nation is truly commendable. These results serve as an outstanding display of effectiveness in thwarting the illegal importation of narcotics,” stated Rosa E. Hernandez, Otay Mesa Area Port Director. “Their exceptional efforts truly embody the highest standards of service.”

The seizures are part of Operation Apollo, a holistic counter-fentanyl effort that began on October 26, 2023 in southern California, and expanded to Arizona on April 10, 2024, the CBP release reveals. Operation Apollo focuses on intelligence collection and partnerships, and utilizes local CBP field assets augmented by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners to boost resources, increase collaboration, and target the smuggling of fentanyl into the United States.

The CDC states that more than 150 people die every day from drug overdoses related to synthetic opioids derived from fentanyl.

 

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