Florida personnel in Texas round up guns, drugs, money and undocumented migrants
Florida law enforcement agencies and Florida National Guard are participating in Operation Lone Star. Photo courtesy of Gov. Ron DeSantis' Office.

Operation Lone Star
The personnel was sent in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott putting out a call for help controlling the southern border.

Florida muscle — hundreds drawn from the Florida National Guard and other law-enforcing agencies — have swung into action in Texas, making contact with more than 5,800 undocumented migrants since May 25, according to information provided by state officials.

More than 550 Florida personnel have been on water patrols, foot patrols and even provided perimeter security around a school in the immediate area near the Texas/Mexico border where gunfire was reported. Florida has assisted in 190 arrests, 700 traffic stops and even the apprehension of an MS-13 gang member on the U.S. Terror Watch List, according to a news release from the Florida Department of Emergency Management.

On May 16, Gov. Greg Abbott put out a call to his fellow 49 governors for help securing the southern border. Within hours, Gov. Ron DeSantis had answered. And Florida’s boots for Operation Lone Star were officially on the ground May 25. Governors in Idaho, Virginia and West Virginia also responded to the call.

At an Arizona roundtable with Attorney General Ashley Moody on Wednesday, along with Arizona and Florida Sheriffs, DeSantis expounded on the need for it.

“Our country is falling on its face with respect to ensuring the sovereignty of our country,” he said.

He took aim at drug cartel activity at the southern border, even hitting on China and Mexico working together, causing a major threat to the United States.

“They are controlling our own border in our own country, and they’re getting away with murder, killing tens of thousands of Americans by moving all this product into our country,” DeSantis said.

“Obviously the federal government could solve most of these (problems) if it had the will to do so. And maybe it will get the will to do it at some point in the future. But in the meantime, I think we need to come and work hard together.”

A news release broke down the extent of the Texas operation, agency by agency.

Activities include:

— More than 400 Florida National Guard personnel supporting the Texas Military Department, assisting with “mass migration” on the border with static observation, roving patrols and overcoming obstacles.

— 30 Florida Department of Law Enforcement special agents and nine support team members assisting with more than 190 arrests, including one with a capital murder warrant. Charges have involved human smuggling, drug paraphernalia, unlawful weapons and money laundering.

— A total of 101 Florida Highway Patrol members conducting nearly 700 traffic stops, eight commercial vehicle inspections and seven pursuits that resulted in gang members identified and undocumented migrants concealed within vehicles.

— 20 officers with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assisting with rescue efforts, officer safety and emergency medical services.

So far, the Floridians have encountered undocumented migrants from Bolivia, China, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Columbia, El Salvador and Middle Eastern countries. They were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol, according to a news release.

A joint task force investigation with FDLE and Texas state and federal partners resulted in seizures worth more than $263,000 in cash, coins, one kilo of cocaine, and one pound of cannabis.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Terri

    June 7, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    What in the hell are Florida Guard Troops doing in Texas. Texas aren’t paying for them we are.

    • Jamie Simos

      June 8, 2023 at 7:38 am

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    • Josh Green

      June 8, 2023 at 9:23 am

      Executing a political stunt for Rhonda.

  • Eduarde Slaveen Nation 👍

    June 7, 2023 at 7:08 pm

    A state sponsored, racist, far right militia sponsored by unwitting taxpayers sent to Texas from Florida. The border patrol should arrest them and put them in confinement with the Mexicans that they rounded up. No wonder nobody wants to pay taxes anymore. You got thousands of Hitlers in government doing whatever in the hell they want. Democracy is rotting on the vine. A good governor couldn’t be found in Florida. Just pathetic.

  • Joe

    June 7, 2023 at 7:09 pm

    “Hey, Tiny Gov — what about us?”

    -half of Florida

  • Jake

    June 7, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    “Pitiful little man” dropping the “sovereignty” buzzword that excites extremists out west.
    Why hasn’t anyone filed a lawsuit for the misappropriation of our tax money to fund desantis’ illegal transport of migrants? Yes Deeesantis, your stunts are illegal.

    • Dont Say FLA

      June 8, 2023 at 11:24 am

      I have to wonder, how is being called “Dee” while getting beat up by bullies any better than getting called “Rhonda” while getting beat up by bullies?

      But in answer to your question, no lawsuits have been filed because Ron “Dee” Santis got himself exempted from the Sunshine State’s sunshine laws.

      It’s not allowed to know anything about State of Florida money that’s spent on, for, or by Ron “Dee” Santis.

      Same as he exempted himself from Resign to Run and even from Human Trafficking laws.

  • PeterH

    June 7, 2023 at 8:10 pm

    This political stunt is costing the Florida taxpayer millions of dollars in National Guard housing and meals.

    One MS 13 member has been arrested.

    Ron DeSantis was in Congress for YEARS ….. and passed no legislation to increase border security.

  • University of North Florida

    June 8, 2023 at 6:16 am

    Cool, now do it here for the people that [pay you instead of having our local tax funded personnel be tax funded campaign props.

  • Dont Say FLA

    June 8, 2023 at 7:39 am

    It was cute at first having a special needs couple being Florida’s Governor and Florida’s other Governor, but the novelty’s worn off.

  • woke all right

    June 8, 2023 at 8:04 am

    Rona, Rona, Rona. I’m of the view that Texas leave the union and become its own country. Problem solved. That way, Florida taxpayers save money and our law enforcement and national guard personnel can come home to be safe with their families. Texas is big enough to be a stand alone nation and the electric grid isn’t connected to the national grid. Trump can build the wall on the State’s northern boundary!

  • Michael K

    June 8, 2023 at 10:06 am

    Please remind me what, exactly, then-Congressman DeSantis did to address immigration reform? I’m drawing a blank.

  • Guns, drugs, money and workers

    June 8, 2023 at 11:43 am

    Florida personnel in Texas round up guns, drugs, money and undocumented migrants, all of which presumably will be taken as campaign contributions for Ron DeSantis.

    I mean why else exempt yourself from the Sunshine State’s sunshine law and then send an army to round up guns, drugs, money and workers?

    Prove it ain’t true, Ron. Prove it ain’t true. Show us the money, Ron.

    Stop hiding all State of Florida financial transactions that involve you and your campaign.

Comments are closed.


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