Operation Lone Star, the Texas border security initiative, was briefed to the public for the third time on Thursday. According to Valley Central News, which covers events in the Rio Grande area, the briefing announced that an increase in funding will be allotted due to the program’s success.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office granted $36.4 million more towards the program on Thursday. According to the Border Report, around $22 million will be given to assist in prosecution, and the remaining $14 million will be used to “enhance border security” in critical counties.
Operation Lone Star was launched in March 2021 with Governor Abbott’s help. The Office of the Texas Governor said in a March press release that the operation “integrates DPS with the Texas National Guard and deploys air, ground, marine, and tactical border security assets to high threat areas to deny Mexican Cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas.”
Governor Abbott criticized the Biden Administration’s handling of the border issue in the same press release. Abbott stated that Texas “supports legal immigration” but that they will put in the effort to combat illegal smuggling and crime.
In Starr County, along the border, authorities have reported that armed cartel members have been “taunting” border security. A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety told reporters in early October, “These are assault rifles, OK, AK-47s. They’ll stand in the middle of the river, and then they’re brandishing their weapons and taunting the National Guard, who’s across on the U.S. side.”
DPS Officials totaled their efforts in confiscating contraband since March 4, 2021. They released a list on Thursday of their progress. Here is the list of seizures in its entirety: “9,698 pounds of marijuana, 1,200 pounds of cocaine, 1,563 pounds of methamphetamine, and over 29 million lethal doses of fentanyl.”