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Gov. Abbott Updates Texans on Operation Lone Star Successes

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Gov. Greg Abbott speaking during a press conference. Image by Ricardo B. Brazziell via Austin American-Statesman

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Operation Lone Star has been a controversial attempt to stem the tide of illegal migrants flooding the Southern border since it was announced in 2021. On March 18, Governor Greg Abbott gave an update on the operation. He highlighted some of the successes agents have had in catching human smugglers and arresting migrants who have crossed into Texas illegally. 

A press release issued by the Governor’s Office states that since its inception, Operation Lone Star has resulted in the apprehension of more than 215,000 migrants and has resulted in more than 12,400 criminal charges that include over 9,000 felony crimes. The multi-agency project has seized 3,300 firearms and recovered $30 million in currency. Additionally, at least 288 million doses of fentanyl have been confiscated. 

“We’ve apprehended enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in Texas, and fentanyl is the leading cause of death in the United States for people between the age of 18 and 45⁠ – not COVID-19, not cancer, not car wrecks, not guns⁠ – it’s fentanyl,” said Gov. Abbott in an interview with Breitbart News. “In Texas, more than 1,300 people lost their lives over the past year because of fentanyl. There are lives that have been lost because of the Biden Administration’s refusal to secure the border, and conversely, there are lives that have been saved by all of the fentanyl and other drugs we’ve seized through Operation Lone Star.”

Among the success stories Abbott’s office highlights, the press release shared details of a major bust on March 11. According to the release, a white Kenworth tractor-trailer rig towing a gas tanker led Border Patrol agents on a pursuit after attempting to use a by-pass road to evade a checkpoint. As part of Operation Lone Star, Texas Department of Public Resources agents joined the chase and apprehended the truck driver.

Hidden within the fuel tanker, investigators found sixty-two migrants. None of the migrants were injured during the pursuit or arrest. The driver of the truck is reported to be a 41-year-old citizen of the United States who has an extensive criminal background that includes felony human smuggling convictions. One DPS agent was injured during the apprehension and has since been released from the hospital.

DPS agents working alongside U.S. Border Patrol as part of the Operation Lone Star Brush Team announced on March 9 that they had apprehended a large group of migrants totaling twenty-four individuals, fourteen of whom were arrested and charged with crimes. 

In addition to finding and stopping immigrants, Operation Lone Star focuses on halting the transportation of fentanyl into the U.S. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be as much as 100 times as potent as morphine. Fentanyl is often used to increase the potency of other drugs while reducing the cost. Fentanyl overdose deaths are currently growing in the U.S.

In February, a Southern California court sentenced Jahvaris Springfield to 25 years in prison for causing the death of a U.S. Army veteran who had purchased counterfeit oxycontin pills laced with fentanyl. The sentence is the longest issued by a U.S. court relating to the death of a consumer of illegal drugs. 

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Henry Mahan
Henry Mahan
8 months ago