Florida officials have come in contact with roughly 10,000 migrants, including an MS-13 gang member on the U.S. terror watch list, as part of Operation Lone Star, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced this week.
Florida stands as one of four states that recently deployed resources to support Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, focused on addressing the illegal immigration crisis. On Monday, DeSantis provided an update, revealing that Florida officials have come into contact with roughly 10,000 illegal migrants, including an MS-13 gang-member on the United States terror watch list.
In an udpate the governor’s office said:
Florida teams have…assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety with over 600 arrests including felony charges for human smuggling, drug paraphernalia, unlawful carrying of weapons, a suspect with a capital murder warrant, and an MS-13 gang member currently on the U.S. Terror Watch List.
“Florida teams continue to intercede [sic] human smugglers and drug traffickers with over 230 pounds of drugs worth an estimated $184,000 seized over the weekend,” the press release added.
Deployed Florida resources include over 300 service members with the Florida National Guard (FLNG), as well as Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agents, Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) troopers, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers.
FHP alone has been involved in over 160 human trafficking arrests, and troopers have assisted with 2,541 traffic stops. They also assisted in “repelling over 100 undocumented migrants attempting to forcibly push towards the U.S. border at Brownsville International Bridge. All responding agencies utilized barriers to hold the line and prevent the migrants from illegally crossing,” according to the press release.
More per the press release:
Troopers participated in a traffic stop which led to seizing an estimated $500,000. 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). One undocumented migrant contact was identified as an MS-13 gang member who was also on the Terrorist Watch List.
In May, Abbott announced that Tennessee, Nebraska, Idaho, and Florida sent support to the Texas as part of this operation.
Florida National Guard service members arrived in Texas over the weekend.
Thank you to @GovRonDeSantis for deploying troops to support our border response.
While President Biden refuses to secure the border, we’ve stepped up to fill the gaps he created. pic.twitter.com/HSLlB3E9cI
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 23, 2023
“At my direction, state agencies including law enforcement and the Florida National Guard are being deployed to Texas, with assets including personnel, boats and planes,” DeSantis said in a statement at the time. “While Biden ignores the crisis he created, Florida stands ready to help Texas respond to this crisis.”
DeSantis sent an array of assets, as Breitbart News detailed:
According to the governor’s office, assets include 200 Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) officers, 800 Florida National Guardsmen, 101 Florida Highway Patrol troopers, 20 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers, and 20 individuals working in Emergency Management. Additionally, Florida is sending what the DeSantis office described as 17 “unmanned aerial vehicles,” ten vessels, two Mobile Command Vehicles, and “five available fixed wing aircraft with monitoring equipment and downlink capabilities with two aviation crew teams.”
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According to reports, the U.S. welcomed roughly 107,000 migrants in the three weeks following the end of Title 42.