In response to an increase in the use of local roads by drug traffickers, the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office has formed a new task force in an attempt to deter these incursions.
According to KRGV5 News, the Cameron County DA said the issue can be linked to the increase in Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) personnel added to the western part of the Rio Grande Valley. Luis Saenz, Cameron County’s district attorney, told KRGV, “Brownsville, for whatever reason, is not included in that surge, so in Cameron County you don’t see the increase in DPS officers.” As a result, drug smugglers avoid the larger DPS presence to the west and converge on Brownsville.
Saenz told KRGV:
These drug carriers are choosing Cameron County to travel back into Mexico, and that’s what gave rise to the interdiction task force that we put together with San Benito. Drugs go up north and the money comes down south. On any given day, there’s money couriers that are coming south that have a choice of either coming through Starr County, Hidalgo County or Cameron county.
Local residents have also noticed the increase in illicit traffic. Lily Ramirez, a San Benito resident, told KRGV, “I think [the task force is] a good idea. I think we need to have an increase in the task force,” she said. “We need to have more policemen because there’s a lot of crimes committed.”
Cameron County is located at the very southern tip of Texas, and the Brownsville-Matamoros drug smuggling corridor is one of the busiest—and most lucrative—for Mexican traffickers. Just across the border from Cameron County is the home base for the notorious Gulf cartel, which has been fighting bloody battles both internally and with the rival cartel Los Zetas to the west and south. These battles have been covered extensively by Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles.
Saenz said the task force won’t cost taxpayers any money, and that it would be funded through drug money confiscations. He also said the task force will stay active as long as they need it.
Sylvia Longmire is a border security expert and Contributing Editor for Breitbart Texas. You can read more about cross-border issues in her latest book, Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer.