ICYMI: Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Update on Operation Lone Star
~ Florida Officials Interact with More Than 5,800 Undocumented Migrants Including One MS-13 Gang Member on U.S. Terror Watch List ~
BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida teams have made contact with more than 5,800 undocumented migrants and assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety with more than 190 arrests including felony charges for human smuggling, drug paraphernalia, unlawful carrying of weapons, and a suspect with a capital murder warrant. In addition, Florida officials have assisted with the apprehension of an MS-13 gang member currently on the U.S. Terror Watch List.
For B-roll of Florida’s operations available for use courtesy of the Governor’s Office, click here.
For an interview available for use courtesy of the Governor’s Office with Sergeant Yuknavage, a Florida High Patrol Officer deployed to the border, click here.
The following state resources remain deployed in Texas supporting the mass migration crisis at the U.S. southern border:
Florida National Guard (FLNG)
- Over 400 personnel continue to support the Texas Military Department with service members to assist with the mass migration on the southern border. Mission sets include assisting with static observation points, roving patrols, and engineer assistance with obstacle improvement.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)
- Thirty FDLE special agents and nine support team members remain deployed assisting Texas law enforcement agencies investigating criminal activity along the border associated with human trafficking and drug and weapon smuggling.
- Florida law enforcement agencies continue to assist with more than 190 arrests on charges including human smuggling, drug paraphernalia charges, unlawful carrying of a weapon, money laundering, and a suspect with a capital murder warrant.
- FDLE agents have assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety with the arrests of violent felony suspects including gang members. Suspects were arrested on various Texas state charges including human smuggling, burglary, firearms, smuggling of persons, and possession of controlled substance. As part of the arrests, FDLE agents helped seize cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, firearms, and boxes of ammunition.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) – Florida Highway Patrol (FHP)
- 101 FHP troopers are deployed in support of Operation Lone Star.
- Troopers have been involved in nearly 700 traffic stops, eight commercial vehicle inspections, and seven pursuits. These efforts have resulted in nine narcotic-related charges along with 17 federal and/or state warrant arrest on fugitives as well as the seizure of two firearms. Throughout the course of their duties, troopers have identified gang members and recovered undocumented migrants concealed within vehicles.
- FHP has been involved with seven human smuggling/human trafficking arrests and nearly 100 overall arrests.
- Troopers responded to an area on the Unites States border due to reports of gunfire occurring in Mexico. Troopers provided perimeter security for a local school in the immediate area. Additionally, troopers have responded and assisted with an attempted suicide, aggravated battery with a firearm, and an incident that resulted in a battery on a law enforcement officer in the United States Border Patrol.
- FHP has deployed unmanned aircraft on 215 occasions while facilitating multiple missions and assisted in identifying the location of 652 undocumented migrants.
- FHP has detained two suspects involved in smuggling people into the United States, both of which have been turned over to the United States Border Patrol. Troopers have had encounters with multiple undocumented migrants originating from China, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Columbia, El Salvador, and Middle Eastern countries. Through the weekend, FHP encountered African, Cuban, Bolivian, and Iranian undocumented migrants who were detained and turned over to U.S. Border Patrol.
- Troopers participated in a traffic stop which led to seizing an estimated $500,000 of currency. During a joint task force investigation with FDLE and Texas state and federal partners, cash, coins, one kilo of cocaine, and one pound of marijuana were seized (estimated total value of $263,675.00). One undocumented migrant contact was identified as an MS-13 gang member who was also on the Terrorist Watch List.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
- A third wave of 20 sworn FWC Officers and two mechanics deployed to Texas to assist federal, state, and local agencies with response efforts.
- FWC’s law enforcement assets will provide assistance to responding federal, state, county, and municipal agencies with border security, information gathering, humanitarian response, search and rescue efforts, officer safety and assistance, emergency medical services, and other similar duties.
- FWC officers are partnering with Texas law enforcement to conduct high-visibility water patrols along the border.
- FWC officers are conducting land-based border patrol activities in conjunction with Texas law enforcement.
- Ten shallow draft vessels and two airboats capable of navigating variable depth river environments are being used by FWC and Texas law enforcement to assist federal, state, and local efforts.
- Twenty four-wheel-drive patrol vehicles are in use by FWC officers.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education, and enforcement. Learn more on our website.
The Florida Highway Patrol strives to achieve core values of courtesy, service, and protection. It is FHP’s job to help ensure the safety and welfare of millions of Florida’s residents and visitors every day.
To learn more about FHP or how to become one of Florida’s Finest, visit BeATrooper.com.