Texas Game Wardens and Department of Public Safety troopers arrested two suspected members of the Cartel Del Noreste and seized rifles and ammunition near Fronton. The ammunition included armor-piercing rifle rounds.
The discovery came on August 8 when DPS camera monitors observed two people on an island on the Rio Grande near Fronton. According to a DPS report obtained by Breitbart Texas, one of the men appeared to be wearing tactical gear and was carrying a rifle. Investigators reported this as the same area where armed men wearing tactical gear had been spotted the week before.
Texas DPS Special Operations Group (SOG) agents and Parks and Wildlife Rescue Operations Group (ROG) game wardens responded to the location of the border crossing area. Border Patrol BORTAC agents and a National Guard Blackhawk aircrew joined in the search, Breitbart Texas reported. The search of the area led to the discovery of three people who had illegally crossed the border.
Law enforcement teams took two border crossers into custody while the third absconded to Mexico. The men were found to be wearing tactical gear, including a “tactical chest rig containing six magazines.” Officials report the magazines were loaded with .556 green-tip armor-piercing rounds.
The search did not uncover the location of the rifle observed being carried in the initial video. At the time of this incident, officials reported that Mexican military units were involved in a gun battle upriver of this location.
Border Patrol agents took custody of the two Mexican nationals.
The following day, the SOG and ROG teams returned to the area to follow up on intelligence information gathered from the interview of the two Mexican nationals. Border Patrol agents joined the teams. The teams began a search for the two rifles believed to be hidden in the area.
During a search of the river bank Texas Parks and Wildlife K9 Izzy alerted to the possible presence of an article she is trained to detect. The ROG agent made contact with an object in the river with his boot. The object turned out to be an AK-47 rifle with a loaded magazine inserted. No round was loaded in the chamber.
As the search continued, the teams found an M4 rifle. The rifle was loaded with a round chambered, officials reported. The teams also found a cell phone in the area. All items were removed and taken as evidence.
DPS confirmed the reports obtained by Breitbart Texas.
“In a multi-agency effort, DPS Texas Rangers Special Operations Group, Texas Game Wardens, and U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended two Mexican nationals with suspected ties to a transnational criminal organization,” DPS spokesman, Lieutenant Chris Olivarez told Breitbart Texas. “The men were in possession of two rifles and armor-piercing ammo.”
8/15: @TxDPS & Tx Game Wardens located a backpack containing Russian-made 7.62 #ammo left abandoned near the Rio Grande in Fronton, Starr County. This is the same area where DPS Tx Rangers Special Ops, Game Wardens, & #USBP located two suspected cartel members, 2 rifles, & armor… pic.twitter.com/2QCeZB5ZR8
— Chris Olivarez (@LtChrisOlivarez) August 17, 2023
“There is no greater public safety and national security threat than the Mexican drug gartels, who have exploited the security vulnerabilities due to an unsecured international border,” Olivarez explained. “This effort highlights the importance of collaborating with local, county, state, and federal agencies for one common goal — keeping our state and country safe.”
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This is the type of cooperative effort that U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) seeks to bring to an end. CBS Austin reported that Congressman Castro called upon the Biden administration to “end all cooperation” between the Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Border Patrol agents.
“I’m calling on the Biden administration to end all cooperation between U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Public Safety,” Castro said during a press conference following a tour of the border near Eagle Pass, Texas on Tuesday.
Castro was on the border to get a briefing from Texas DPS officials regarding the floating border barriers put in place by Governor Abbott last month. During his visit, the Texas Democrat decried the State’s use of “razor wire” along the border to deter migrant crossings. He made no mention of the same type of wire being used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at ports of entry, Breitbart Texas’ Randy Clark reported.
Bob Price is the Breitbart Texas-Border team’s associate editor and senior news contributor. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.