Texas Border Community Honors DPS Troopers for Disrupting Human Smuggling

by RANDY CLARK 11 Dec 2022

ENCINAL, Texas — Local officials celebrated the arrival of a contingent of more than 100 Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol troopers at a luncheon held for law enforcement officers and first responders on Friday. Constable Rene Maldonado requested Texas Governor Greg Abbot deploy the contingent of troopers to the area. According to the Constable, the arrival of the troopers significantly reduced the migrant smuggling activity on Interstate 35 and local highways.

Breitbart Texas attended the law enforcement luncheon with more than 100 local dignitaries, law enforcement officers, and first responders. At the event, Deputy Constable Manuel Sauceda told Breitbart Texas Governor Abbott moved the contingent of more than 100 Texas Highway Patrol troopers into the area within 13 hours of the written request being sent to Austin.

“Where our office was seeing multiple human smuggling events and highway pursuits daily, the presence of the additional troopers has reduced that to almost zero on many days,” Sauceda told Breitbart Texas. Sauceda says the difference is noticeable among the local law enforcement officials and by the community as well.

La Salle County law enforcement officials organized the event to honor DPS troopers and other first responders. (Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas)

Community leaders put the luncheon together to thank the troopers for the enhanced security brought to the area. Texas Ranger Lieutenant Randy Garcia attended the event and spoke to those gathered about his career and the current efforts of Governor Abbott’s Operation Lone Star in border communities. Texas DPS trooper Alena Gallardo, a member of the department’s mounted horse patrol, kicked off the event by singing the national anthem.

Trooper Alena Gallardo performs the National Anthem. (Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas)

U.S. Interstate 35 is one of the busiest smuggling corridors in the United States. The southern end stretches from Laredo, Texas, more than 1,500 miles to Duluth, Minnesota. Encinal sits off an exit ramp less than 30 minutes from Laredo. The interstate carries at least 200,000 vehicles per day in this area, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

The record-breaking migrant encounters at the southern border resulted in a corresponding increase in highway vehicle pursuits in communities like Encinal. The La Salle County Sheriff’s Department, Encinal Police Department, and Constables in the area have been increasingly involved in efforts to contain the rise in human smuggling. Despite their best efforts, Sauceda says more was needed.

Texas Ranger Lieutenant Randy Garcia Speaks to Attendees at Friday’s Event about Operation Lone Star. (Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas)

Sauceda and his constable’s office sought assistance from Governor Abbot as a means of reducing the vehicle pursuits to increase public safety. “We owe it to our residents to reduce this traffic, the troopers have done a tremendous job helping us get that done,” Sauceda emphasized.

In addition to the hazards posed to the public by the human smugglers during vehicle pursuits, the local authorities also frequently encountered traffickers who carried firearms during the commission of their crimes.

The luncheon honored the troopers along with local firefighters and EMS personnel for their response to accidents and injuries resulting from vehicle pursuits on local highways.

Texas Border Community Honors DPS Troopers for Disrupting Human Smuggling (breitbart.com)