WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Texas Military Department (TMD) and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) held a briefing to provide updates on Operation Lone Star on Thursday morning.
The briefing was led by DPS Regional Director Victor Escalon, Segovia Senior Warden Felipe Gonzalez and TMD Major Michael Perry.
The briefing began with an update on the number of migrants and drugs that have been seized since the start of Operation Lone Star in March.
According to officials, since March 4, there have been:
- Over 9,300 criminal arrests
- Over 163,000 migrant apprehensions and referrals
- Over 10,000 pounds of marijuana
- Over 1,700 pounds of cocaine
- 1,500 pounds of methamphetamine
- 137 pounds of fentanyl
- 37 pounds of heroin
- Over $5.6 million seized
Escalon also detailed the ongoing effort to stop trespassing.
According to Escalon, a Criminal Trespass Initiative began on July 20 in Val Verde and Kinney County. Escalon said the initiative will expand to other regions in South Texas soon.
“We have teams that meet with landowners, and we get their consent to be on their property… We also get consent before operation for them to be a complainant for criminal trespassing. It’s a partnership between us and the landowner to file these charges,” Escalon said.
Once that is established, Escalon said they pair with Texas National Guard and TMD to carry out operations, at times using drones or other aircrafts.
The briefing also provided an update on the processing center used during Operation Lone Star.
Escalon said the processing center is located in Del Rio to, and was put in place to prevent local county jails from becoming overwhelmed, as 20 to 30 individuals are arrested per day.
Afterwards, they are taken to a TDJC facility. Segovia Senior Warden Felipe Gonzalez spoke about the conditions at the facilities.
“There’s no overcrowding,” said Gonzalez. “There haven’t been any issues. The confinees have been very cooperative. They’re provided very healthy meals, medical services, mental health services and we’re even providing them with educational services as well.”
This was the seventh weekly briefing held by the departments.