State-Led Security Operation Reduced Border Crime by at Least 65%
Five-County, Multi-Agency Effort is Second in Series of Planned Operations
AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today announced the completion of Operation Laredo, a multi-agency border security operation to target international criminal enterprises and reduce crime and violence in a five-county region along the Texas-Mexico border. Across the five counties, which included Duvall, Jim Hogg, LaSalle, Webb and Zapata counties, law enforcement officials report a 65 percent to 75 percent reduction in all crimes.
"I am pleased at the tremendous results of this operation, which greatly reduced all types of crime, led to dozens of arrests, and shut down the activities of international crime syndicates across a five-county region," Perry said. "Last month we completed a similar successful effort in the Del Rio area, which provided a model for operations that will be conducted in every county along the Texas-Mexico border. The international drug cartels and human smuggling rings will not know when or where law enforcement operations like this will occur or how long they will last. The message we are sending to criminals who exploit our border is that the cost of doing business in Texas is going up substantially."
The operation brought together the sheriffs from the five counties, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Public Safety, the Texas National Guard, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Civil Air Patrol, the Texas National Guard and the Governor's Division of Emergency Management.
State assets involved in the operation included a team of DPS Highway Patrol troopers with communications support personnel, a DPS SWAT team, DPS helicopters and crew members providing 24-hour support, a team of Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens and ground Units with all-terrain vehicles.
"We are proving that the Texas model works: when we increase law enforcement patrols and coordination, we see a decrease in every kind of crime which protects our border and our communities. Criminals are forced off the streets, fewer Texans make emergency phone calls to local sheriffs, and drug smugglers shut down their operations because the risk of being caught is too great," Perry said.
The effort was conducted as part of Operation Rio Grande, Perry's comprehensive border security initiative that coordinates local, state and federal assets. Planning began weeks before the operation was launched, and intelligence to support the operation was coordinated through the state Border Security Operations Center.
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