Florida State Troopers, Guardsman now on Texas border patrol
FLORIDA – Governor Ron DeSantis declared the death of St. Johns County Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Kunovich only strengthens his resolve to help Texas secure the southern borders and stop people from trying to cross into Texas from Mexico illegally.
Kunovich, 52, a 25-year veteran of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, died of medical issues following a fight with an 18-year-old Guatemalan national he was trying to arrest on May 19 .
Vergilio Aguilar Mendez, who is in the country illegally and is being held by ICE, has been charged with murder and violently resisting law enforcement.
“Sgt. Michael Kunovich was killed in the line of duty by an illegal immigrant who took advantage of our open border,” DeSantis said Friday. “Our prayers go out to the Kunovich family and the entire St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office community during this time. Joe Biden’s reckless immigration policies are deadly. This is no way to run a country. .”
To prevent further illegal border crossings, DeSantis announced last week that he was sending 1,100 people to Texas to help defend the border in what he calls Operation Lone Star.
Florida Border Defense “Troops” are now on the ground in Del Rio, Texas, ready to help the State of Texas control the masses of people trying to illegally cross the border into the United States, said Governor Ron DeSantis.
The deployment follows Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s request last week for help from other state governors through the Federal Emergency Management Assistance Pact. He said the number of undocumented immigrants attempting to cross the border after Title 42 expired on May 11 has exceeded his resources.
Title 42 is a pandemic-era policy that closed virtually all avenues for migrants to seek asylum in the United States and called for the immediate deportation of migrants at the border.
EMAC allows other states to provide resources in the event of an emergency. The EMAC process also ensures that resources and personnel deployed to emergencies are eligible for FEMA reimbursement.
In response to Abbott’s call, DeSantis sent 101 Florida Highway Patrol troops, 200 Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers, 20 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 800 National Guard troops, and 20 radio technicians, mechanics and Florida Division of Emergency Management planners. in Texas.
DeSantis reported that the Florida National Guard is stationed at Texas Military Department static observation points, participating in roving patrols and helping to design obstacles to prevent railroad crossings. He said 436 members of the guard have also undergone use of force and drug overdose training, and are now working side-by-side with members of the Texas National Guard.
Additionally, FDLE officers and eight support team members have been sworn in, enabling them to enforce Texas laws. They assist Texas law enforcement in their investigations of human, drug, and gun trafficking along the border.
They have been involved in 32 arrests so far, including several gang members charged with human trafficking, firearms and possession of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
Meanwhile, 101 state troopers arrived in Texas with two fixed-wing aircraft to patrol the border as well as two mobile recommendation vehicles. One is stationed in Weslaco and the other in Del Rio to serve as operational command centers, provide communications and operate drones used to remotely patrol the border.
Also on the ground at Del Rio are 20 sworn FWC officers and two mechanics equipped with 10 shallow draft vessels capable of navigating rivers of varying depths and 24 four-wheel drive patrol vehicles.
“The impacts of Biden’s border crisis are felt by communities across the country, and the federal government’s abdication of duty undermines our nation’s sovereignty and the rule of law,” DeSantis said. “As Biden ignores the crisis he has created, Florida stands ready to help Texas respond to this crisis.”
The Texas border at a glance
Here are some examples of what the Florida deployment will encounter at the Texas border.
In the past 24 hours, the US Border Patrol has encountered 1,001 people crossing the border illegally and seized 95 pounds of narcotics.
In the 72 hours leading up to Tuesday, Border Patrol apprehended 8,750 people crossing illegally, including three sex offenders and a gang member, and confiscated 1,000 pounds of liquid meth, 97 pounds of marijuana, 36 pounds of cocaine, 7 pounds of fentanyl and five guns.
They also rescued 112 people trapped in a tractor-trailer who were being trafficked.
And in the week leading up to May 19, three Border Patrol agents were assaulted and officers seized 132 pounds of fentanyl, 5 pounds of methamphetamine, 248 pounds of marijuana, 50,532 cartridges, and 15 firearms.
In the week leading up to May 12, 18 officers were assaulted, 113 pounds of fentanyl, 66 pounds of cocaine, 323 pounds of marijuana and 11 firearms were confiscated. In addition, 28,473 people were arrested crossing the border, including eight sex offenders and four gang members.
From October to April, Border Patrol apprehended 1,246,371 people crossing illegally, including 5,928 with criminal records and 377 gang members. The patrol also rescued 17,810 victims of human trafficking and confiscated 30,439 pounds of marijuana, 8,106 pounds of methamphetamine, 6,801 pounds of cocaine, 1,526 pounds of fentanyl, 87 pounds of ecstasy and 76 pounds of heroin .