CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Operation Lone Star is an initiative started by Governor Greg Abbott a little less than a month ago.
It enlists the help of the Department of Public Safety Troopers at the U.S.-Mexico Border. That means pulling troopers from different areas to help, including DPS Troopers from Corpus Christi.
"It's something we have never seen before," DPS Lt. Christopher Olivarez says, referring to the number of illegal immigrants and criminal activity at the border area right now.
"When I say we are pulling assets from the Corpus Christi area, it's beneficial because without them we would not be able to carry out this mission," Olivarez adds.
The mission is for DPS Troopers to help U.S. Border Patrol slow down what the Governor says is a surge of illegal activity at the U.S.-Mexico Border.
But not just along the Rio Grande itself.
"Now we're talking about troopers that are on the blacktop, the roadways that are stopping cars that are stopping human smugglers that are smuggling people north past the checkpoints," he said. "Now, you're dealing with these gangs, criminals that are coming across as well that are involved with the stash houses."
So just how many DPS Troopers from our area are going to the border?
Olivarez says because it involves operational security, he can't share those numbers. However, he says there are 100 troopers in the Corpus Christi District and are using a small percentage to assist in Operation Lone Star. And that they still have enough personnel in our area to maintain regular patrol duties.
"We're very thankful for them because they (make the) sacrifice of coming down to the border for long stretches at a time, being away from home, away from their families," Olivarez said. "But they know what the focus is right now. What the mission is."
Olivarez also says DPS Troopers arrest 21 criminals per day along the border since Operation Lone Star kicked off.
They've also referred more than 16,000 illegal immigrants who have crossed over to the U.S. Border Patrol.