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Ahead of trip to Texas, DeSantis highlights Florida’s role in border security

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(The Center Square) – Ahead of his trip to the Texas border, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis highlighted his state’s role in aiding Texas’ border security efforts through Operation Lone Star.

The governor, as part of his presidential campaign, will be in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Monday to discuss border security efforts.

This trip follows a border security event he held in Arizona announcing the creation of a strike force with multiple sheriff’s departments nationwide to combat crime coming from the southern border.

Over a month ago, on the same day Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called on fellow governors for help to secure the Texas-Mexico border, DeSantis was among the first to pledge support. Within a week, hundreds of Florida boots were on the ground in key areas along the Texas-Mexico border.

When announcing his commitment to border security efforts, DeSantis said, “Florida stands ready to help defend the southern border and is deploying assets to aid Texas’ border security crisis. The impacts of Biden’s Border Crisis are felt by communities across the nation, and the federal government’s abdication of duty undermines the sovereignty of our country and the rule of law. … While Biden ignores the crisis he created, Florida stands ready to help Texas respond to this crisis.”

Over the past month, Florida teams have interacted with more than 10,000 illegal foreign nationals and worked with Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to make over 600 arrests. The arrests include felony charges for human smuggling, drug paraphernalia, unlawful carrying of weapons, a suspect with a capital murder warrant, and an MS-13 gang member on the Terror Watch List.

These apprehensions are up significantly from two weeks ago when Florida personnel interacted with 5,800 foreign nationals and helped make over 190 arrests.

Currently, over 300 Florida personnel are working with the Texas National Guard, including assisting with static observation points, roving patrols, and engineer assistance with obstacle improvement. Another 30 Department of Law Enforcement special agents and nine support team members are also assisting Texas law enforcement agencies investigating criminal activity.

An additional 101 Florida Highway Patrol troopers are also deployed in support of OLS. Those deployed in the Brownsville area are assisting Border Patrol and Texas DPS with repelling hundreds of foreign nationals attempting to illegally enter between ports of entry and under the port of entry at the Brownsville International Bridge.

FHP troopers have also been involved in 2,541 traffic stops, 79 commercial vehicle inspections, and 47 pursuits, including a post-crash from a double fatal vehicle incident and a traffic stop that led to gaining intelligence about a stash house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Troopers have also assisted with 27 crashes, three of which were fatal, and nine DUIs.

Their efforts have resulted in 38 narcotic-related charges, 32 federal and/or state warrant arrests on fugitives, and firearms seizures. They’ve also been involved with making over 160 human smuggling/human trafficking arrests.

Troopers have encountered citizens of Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, African and Middle Eastern countries who’ve all illegally entered the U.S.

Since Abbott launched OLS in March 2021, Texas law enforcement officers have apprehended over 383,000 illegal foreign nationals, made over 29,000 criminal arrests, with more than 26,000 felony charges reported. They’ve also seized over 418 million lethal doses of fentanyl enough to kill everyone in the United States.

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