Florida Officials Interact with Over 10,000 Undocumented Migrants Including One MS-13 Gang Member on U.S. Terror Watch List and Human Smugglers
BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida teams have made contact with over 10,000 undocumented migrants and 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 human smugglers and drug traffickers with over 230 pounds of drugs worth an estimated $184,000 seized over the weekend.
For B-roll of Florida’s operations available for use courtesy of the Governor’s Office, click here.
For an interview available for use courtesy of the Governor’s Office with Sergeant Yuknavage, a Florida Highway Patrol Officer deployed to the border, click here.
The following state resources remain deployed in Texas supporting the mass migration crisis at the U.S. southern border:
Florida National Guard (FLNG)
  • Over 300 personnel continue to support the Texas Military Department with service members to assist with the mass migration on the southern border. Mission sets include assisting with static observation points, roving patrols, and engineer assistance with obstacle improvement.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)
  • Thirty FDLE special agents and nine support team members remain deployed assisting Texas law enforcement agencies investigating criminal activity along the border associated with human trafficking and drug and weapon smuggling.  
  • FDLE agents have assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) with arrests of violent felony suspects including gang members. Suspects were arrested on various Texas state charges including human smuggling, burglary, firearms, smuggling of persons, smuggling of persons with a firearm, child endangerment, escape from federal custody, and possession of controlled substance. As part of the arrests, FDLE agents helped seize cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, firearms, and boxes of ammunition.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) – Florida Highway Patrol (FHP)
  • 101 FHP troopers are deployed in support of Operation Lone Star.
  • Troopers assisted Border Patrol and Texas DPS with 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.
  • An FHP sergeant and two troopers received intel and were able to assist DPS troopers and Border Patrol with the seizure of 231 pounds of drugs worth an estimated $184,000.
  • Troopers have been involved in 2,541 traffic stops, 79 commercial vehicle inspections, and 47 pursuits, one of which was a post-crash from a double fatal vehicle incident as well as a traffic stop which led to gaining intel about a stash house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
  • Troopers have assisted with 27 crashes (three of which were fatal) and nine DUIs.
  • These efforts have resulted in 38 narcotic-related charges along with 32 federal and/or state warrant arrest on fugitives as well as the seizure of two firearms. Throughout the course of their duties, troopers have identified gang members and recovered undocumented migrants concealed within vehicles.
  • FHP has been involved with more than 160 human smuggling/human trafficking arrests.
  • Troopers responded to an area on the United States border due to reports of gunfire occurring in Mexico. Troopers provided perimeter security for a local school in the immediate area. Additionally, troopers have responded to and assisted with an attempted suicide, aggravated battery with a firearm, and an incident that resulted in a battery on a law enforcement officer in the United States Border Patrol. 
  • FHP has deployed unmanned aircraft on 531 occasions while facilitating multiple missions and assisted in identifying the location of 1,560 undocumented migrants previously documented in the count.
  • FHP has detained two suspects involved in smuggling people into the United States, both of whom have been turned over to the United States Border Patrol. Troopers have had encounters with multiple undocumented migrants originating from Brazil, China, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, and Middle Eastern countries. FHP has also encountered African, Cuban, Bolivian, and Iranian undocumented migrants who were detained and turned over to U.S. Border Patrol.
  • 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.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
  • A fourth wave of 20 sworn FWC officers and two mechanics deployed to Texas to assist federal, state, and local agencies with response efforts, including interdictions and turnbacks. A total of 88 FWC personnel have deployed to Texas to assist state and federal agencies.
  • FWC’s law enforcement assets will provide assistance to responding federal, state, county, and municipal agencies with border security, information gathering, humanitarian response, search and rescue efforts, officer safety and assistance, emergency medical services, and other similar duties.
  • FWC officers are partnering with Texas law enforcement to conduct high-visibility water patrols along the border.
  • FWC officers are conducting land-based border patrol activities in conjunction with Texas law enforcement.
  • Ten shallow draft vessels and two airboats capable of navigating variable depth river environments are being used by FWC and Texas law enforcement to assist federal, state, and local efforts.
  • Twenty four-wheel-drive patrol vehicles are in use by FWC officers.
  • FWC officers have worked with Texas DPS and local law enforcement with the arrest of 25 individuals for various charges.

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