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Operation Lone Star officers apprehend human smugglers, gang members | Texas

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www.thecentersquare.com – By Bethany Blankley | contributor – 2023-06-20 13:37:00

(The Center Square) – Texas National Guardsmen and women and law enforcement officers working through Operation Lone Star continue to apprehend human smugglers and build fortifications at the border to block illegal entry.

Since Gov. Greg Abbott launched OLS in March 2021, OLS law enforcement officers have apprehended more than 383,000 illegal foreign nationals and made more than 29,000 criminal arrests, with over 26,000 felony charges reported. They've also seized more than 418 million lethal doses of fentanyl, more than enough to kill everyone in the United States.

“Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps left by the Biden Administration's refusal to secure the border,” Abbott said. “Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Joe Biden's open border policies.”

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Many of the human smugglers being apprehended near the border are from Houston, one of the largest human trafficking hubs in America, law enforcement officers have explained to The Center Square.

A recent apprehension of a man with a Texas identification card, who is from Houston, shows the length to which smugglers are willing to go to avoid getting caught. In this case, he led DPS troopers on a high-speed chase reaching 115 mph on a rural road in Kinney County, according to law enforcement. He sped through neighborhoods, along county roads and went off road and crashed through a ranch fence. This type of damage is what occurs on a regular basis, costing private citizens a combined several million dollars that insurance companies won't cover, law enforcement officials say. To help cover their damages, the Texas legislature passed legislation, which Abbott signed into law this month.

After the car crashed, the smuggler and two Mexican nationals who'd illegally entered at the southern border bailed out of the vehicle and ran onto private land and were caught. DPS troopers trekked through the brush to apprehend them.

The Houston man was arrested and charged with evading, criminal mischief, and smuggling of persons. Of the Mexicans, the man was charged with evading and criminal trespass, the woman was referred to Border Patrol.\

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A human smuggler led a DPS Trooper on a high-speed pursuit reaching 115mph. The driver, from Houston, eventually hit a highway sign, crashed into a ranch fence and bailed out into the brush. The smuggler was arrested and charged with evading, criminal mischief and smuggling of persons. Two illegal immigrants were also located. The male was charged with evading and criminal trespass. The female was referred to Border Patrol.


OLS officers are also engaged in interdiction along train tracks, primary routes for human smugglers. After entering the U.S. illegally, smugglers and illegal foreign nationals make their way north, following power lines and railroad tracks, officials have explained to The Center Square. When they can jump into grain cars, they do because it's a way to hide and get farther into the U.S. without getting caught.

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However, Texas Rangers and a Special Operations Group with an OLS Train Interdiction Team are working with Border Patrol agents to apprehend people illegally using trains to get farther into the U.S.

In one recent apprehension, officers located and arrested a Honduran man who was hiding in a grain hauler in Maverick County. Using facial recognition and biometric data, they confirmed he's an MS-13 gang member on the Transnational Organized Crime Watchlist.

In just the few first months of the year, Border Patrol and CBP agents apprehended 125 known suspected terrorists at the southern border alone.

At the riverbank in Eagle Pass, Texas, Texas National Guard soldiers are continuing to clear heavy brush and erect miles of concertina razor wire. Their efforts have successfully deterred and prevented people from illegally entering Texas between ports of entry, they say.

“The soldiers have been pulling some very long days to accomplish this operation in a very short amount of time,” Major Michael Riley, Task Force Eagle operations officer, said. “We have brought out equipment to remove the significant vegetation out there that has impeded our ability to both access the riverbank and has provided a safe haven for transnational criminal organizations to smuggle people and goods into the United States.”

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Texas restaurant named one of the most beautiful in the US, according to OpenTable

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www.kxan.com – Devin Willems – 2024-05-18 09:00:00

SUMMARY: OpenTable, in collaboration with People’s magazine, has compiled a list of the 50 most beautiful restaurants in America, offering unforgettable dining experiences. From great halls to homes-turned-eateries, these restaurants can be found in every corner of the country. One example is Tillie’s in Texas, located in a 200-year-old Vietnamese town hall with impressive antiques, offering a modern interpretation of classic gourmet dishes. Other restaurants on the list include The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil in California, The Garden Room in Georgia, and Verōnika in New York. To learn more about each restaurant or to book a reservation, check out OpenTable’s full results.

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These are the highest paid employees in the City of Austin

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www.kxan.com – Christopher Adams – 2024-05-18 07:30:00

SUMMARY: The City of Austin pays its employees over $1.3 billion annually in base salaries as of March 26, 2024. There are 15,164 paid full-time employees and 2,771 paid part-time employees, with an average full-time salary of $82,727.13 and an average part-time salary of $31,439.93. Almost 3,900 employees earn over $100,000 annually, with the highest-paid being General Manager Robert Kahn at just over $475,000. City Manager Jesus Garza, who was replaced by T.C. Broadnax with a base salary of $470,017.60, ranked second. The top 10 highest base salaries also include other city officials and department heads.

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Actor Dabney Coleman, known as bigoted boss Mr. Hart in ‘9 to 5,’ dies at 92

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abc13.com – AP – 2024-05-17 23:53:56

SUMMARY: Dabney Coleman, the iconic character actor known for playing smarmy villains in films like “9 to 5” and “Tootsie,” passed away at the age of 92. Coleman’s daughter confirmed his death, stating that he passed away peacefully at his home in Santa Monica. With a career spanning over four decades, Coleman was recognized for his versatile talent and deadpan delivery. He won awards for his work in TV shows like “The Slap Maxwell Story” and “Sworn to Silence.” Known for playing obnoxious characters, Coleman also appeared in popular films like “War Games” and “You’ve Got Mail.” Despite his success, some of his TV shows struggled to find a mass audience. Throughout his career, Coleman remained a reserved and shy individual, leaving behind a lasting impact on the entertainment industry.

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