Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

'Don't mess with Texas,'; Gunboat Fleet as Used in Vietnam Will Now Combat Drug Traffickers

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 |



The Texas Highway Patrol, which works alongside the U.S. Border Patrol to stop illegal drug smuggling from Mexico, is getting new means to chase down the black hats: six 34-foot gunboats, outfitted with automatic weapons and bulletproof shielding, according to  a report by KHOU television in Houston.

The vessels, which are similar to U.S. Navy gunboats used in rivers during the Vietnam War and are capable of operating in as little as 2 feet of water, are scheduled to launch in March.

(The video below was shot from a helicopter shows a "splashdown" escape, in which suspected drug traffickers being pursued by authorities drive their truck into the Rio Grande river, where it forms the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. They are then picked up with their cargo and ferried back to Mexico in rafts)
video

Officials quoted in the story said that drug cartels increasingly were using the river to smuggle drugs into the United States, or fleeing safely back to Mexico if detected.


The new vessels, emblazoned with "Texas Highway Patrol" logos, are part of a growing presence on the border by the Texas Department of Public Safety, which also has a $4 million reconnaissance helicopter which was purchased with seized drug money, according to KHOU

"It sends a message," Jose Rodriguez, Texas DPS Regional Commander told the station. "Don't mess with Texas."

The boats -- costing about $3.5 million -- were funded with a combination of Texas legislative money and federal grants, according to DPS spokesman Tom Vinger. They will operate on the Rio Grande and lakes that feed it as well as on the Intercoastal Waterway, a narrow channel between the coast of Texas and South Padre Island.
Drugtraffickers caught on video boats & aircraft equipped with cameras

He said they were in part a response to the "splashdown" strategy that drug traffickers have used in recent years to avoid arrest and confiscation of the drugs. When pursued, some smugglers drive into the river where they are met by boats that take the people and cargo back to the Mexico side of the border river.

"Just like any patrol unit, the (gunboat) patrols give higher visibility to deter and, if necessary, to interdict," said Vinger.

The nonprofit Texas Border Coalition said resources to stop drug smuggling and other illicit activities -- including smuggling of illegal immigrants -- would be more effectively utilized by investing in legal border crossings.
video

The border checkpoints are "woefully lacking" in technology and personnel, said Julie Hillrichs, spokeswoman for the organization, which studies a range of issues that affect border communities. The result is not only continued smuggling, but hours-long wait times for legitimate commerce, she said.

In a recent report the coalition said an estimated 90 percent of the cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine and MDMA smuggled across the border comes through checkpoints alongside legal commerce.
"We're not suggesting that these vessels would not be needed," said Hillrichs. "We’re just saying that we have identified what we believe to be a weaker link. Drug cartels don’t send drugs through the river; they smuggle it through the border crossings," she said.
Schedlued to launch in March 2012
The federal government has spent more than $90 billion over the last decade to secure the U.S.-Mexico border — a significant portion of which has funded use of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, to bolster U.S. Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection forces, the coalition said.
SOURCE: Kari Huus, msnbc.com

Share it:

42 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice, now the Z will think twice about shooting at American Boats.. I say Z bc they are the only ones that lack the intelligence and logic of why attacking Americans is a bad thing for business..

Anonymous said...

what amazes me is they actaully use wool so the helicopters won't detect drugs very smart drug dealors

Anonymous said...

Seriously. Texans should take shifts every 100yds down the river with a dart gun. POP and there goes the $20 Walmart raft with 2mill in drugs. And those people cant swim. Oh well. I don't, nor ever will feel sorry for these people ruining the US. I'll feel the same about Canadians if they were doing the same thing.

Siskiyou_Kid said...

If "90 percent of the cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine and MDMA smuggled across the border comes through checkpoints alongside legal commerce", what is the point of throwing away $3.5 million on the boats and $4 million for a reconnaissance helicopter?

It sounds like a bunch of toys for boys on the government payroll, while the real weight rolls through the checkpoints day-in and day-out. I have to say that the (relatively) new scanners work pretty well, but what's the point when only 1-in-1,000 get sent to secondary?

Anonymous said...

All that to stop people from smoking weed? Seems fucked up.

Anonymous said...

YEAP-DONT MESS W/ TEXAS! This goes out to all them Cartels, u mess with Texas and its over for yall. This Cartels better pray that the USA dont get involved 100% cus it will be over for them if the US Marines,Army,Navy,Air Force,etc. goes to Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Great, I hope Texas troopers seize more drugs and money to equip themselves even better, with drones, attack helicopters. We must stop the blood spill to the other side (Mexican) of the border.

Anonymous said...

My thinking is the narcos will simply work around the presence of these really cool toys.

badanov said...

Downright romantic, they are...

Anonymous said...

I hope they get to use those shiny new guns on those criminals.

Anonymous said...

You have to laugh. DPS is just pissed that they don't get some of those drug loads so that they can peddle it themselves. This will give them better leverage for bribes. ALL LE on the border is corrupt and on the cartel payrolls. Same with the politicians.

Anonymous said...

@ Kid

Don't believe all the hype. Read up on Starr county. Over a million pounds of marijuana was seized in that area alone last year. That's only about 70 miles of river front. Not to mention the thousands of aliens apprehended as well.

Anonymous said...

dont mess with texas? jajaja dey being doing it for more than half a century.canadians have being doing it too smuggling small quantities.for years.fuck even the C.I.A. does it only pendejos and biggots racist blame the mexicans.get ur head out of ur culo.

Anonymous said...

Fed and Texas Beaurocrats throwing away money BS, the rules of engagment are a joke , US law enforcement stand around and watch until the criminals get on US soil then they chase them. Helicopters,boats,video all politically correct BARK with no BITE.

Anonymous said...

The military wont get involved.. Drug trafficking is a muliti billion dollar business. The us government gets there cut..

Anonymous said...

Just what in the hell is the HIGHWAY Patrol doing on the lakes and rivers? Kinda outa the jurisdiction.

Anonymous said...

Why is the HIGHWAY PARTROL in a damned boat?

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. Nobody is praying my friend. The USA would send nothing but money for the dope and more guns. And who is messing with texas? The cartels? Really? Well I got news for you friendo. Drug traffic has been for a loooong time. Its nothing new.And is gonna stay the same. This boat fleet ain't gonna make a diference.

Anonymous said...

oh shut your ass up mexicans dont force no one to do drugs americans are addicted to drugs illegal or not

Anonymous said...

the toys are useless in iraq troops cant shoot unless they are shot at cartel members know this

Anonymous said...

If it were just weedtheywere worried about then there wouldn't be all these problems and this website etc.

Time to educate yourself some more.

Anonymous said...

Lol... Here we go again with the "the US makes money off of the drug trade" bull shit.

SERIOUSLY?

If the would would think things through a bit deeper, we might not have as many problems. Such is human nature that reacts first and MAYBE thinks later.


~Peace

Anonymous said...

Don't mess with Texas?

Hehehe / Jajajaja

It's the testosterone filled sound of mindless chest thumping!!!

Anonymous said...

this is a smoke screen the dps should be embarrassed to use these boats. i patrol a border town and the dps boats are useless the river is too shallow and narrow that they can't turned around so they are useless there certain areas of the river that those boats can't patrol because the boats are too big such a waste of the taxpayers money

Anonymous said...

They should just Blast them out of the water with Missiles and Gatling Guns and if they run on land ...Just Blast them from helicopters with 30mm Gatling Guns ,..I bet they will stop !

Anonymous said...

These politicians should make an effort to combat money laundering in this side of the border and corruption within the US Customs Service instead of wasting taxpayers money with useless toys. Most of the mexican drugs pass every day through the god damn bridges in trucks and freight trains. i'm a retired texan police officer.

Anonymous said...

Hey they upgraded now the cartels will put them bazookas and RPGs to work! Lol

Chivis said...

Texas uses funds from drug property seizures. those funds paid for the expensive helicopters.

To say something won't work is a silly presumption. Soley, perhaps but more equipment can only help. Kudos to Texas for not giving up and in. I prefer equipment and boots on the ground than the woeful waste of funding for useless fences.

Siskiyou_Kid said...

@anon 5:38

According to the DEA all of the South Texas HIDTA only had 2 million lbs. in marijuana seizures in 2010, and that includes the checkpoint seizures, which comprise the vast majority, as well as abandoned loads.

I'm not sure about aliens, I thought most of those were supposed to be landing up in New Mexico.

http://www.justice.gov/ndic/dmas/South_Texas_DMA-2011%28U%29.pdf

Siskiyou_Kid said...

So, Texas authorities are barred from passing the center of the river in many places, and they certainly can't fire into Mexico, except in self-defense.

So, What are they going to do when a group of mules paddle past the center of the river? They can't shoot them in the back, that's already been met with criminal prosecution.

Anonymous said...

Waste of my tax dollars! Those boats are more suited to the gulf than a very shallow river. Not to mention that once the illegals are in the water they cannot be touched. THe guns are also a waste because the agents cannot fire on the smugglers or immigrants, it's all for show! They would do just as well by putting a trolling motor on Nopalitanos fat ass and riding her up and down the river! She might actually scare the bad guys off. I operate boats on the Texas coast on a regular basis, mainly in water less than 2' deep, it takes a shallow draft tunnel hull and a jackplate to run in skinny water, not an offshore barge! These boats are the equivalant of using a sledge hammer to drive a nail. Useless as tits on a boar hog.

Anonymous said...

The root problem is a HUGE drug consumption
in USA, including "don't mess with" Texas.

eternalcode said...

I think that this article demonstrates that we need bodies at the border protecting it - not drones.

Their reducing National Guard. DHS is spending tons of money on drones for their corporate lovers. Its the nature of fascism. The drones have NIR, IR and UV technology that is so simple to hide from.

DHS knows damn well that the best way to secure the border is with feet on the ground - not toys in the air.

Anonymous said...

Ask Pablo Escobar if something worked?

Anonymous said...

I find it funny every time the US or Mexico implements some sort of law enforcement tool or equipment to combat the problem...you get negative comments from worthless individuals, who don't know shit! These are the same people, who have no viable solutions or suggestions...they just like to sit back and criticize both gov't efforts. And don't get me started on their bullshit conspiracy theories..especially from the Mexican point of view!

Also, for the ignorant jerk-offs, who don't understand what the Texas DPS...does or how they operates. They are the top tier law enforcement agency in the state of Texas, which means their jurisdiction covers the entire state to include: land, water, and air!

Anonymous said...

I saw one of these boats in Corpus Christi the other day and standing next to one they are very impressive looking. I hope the DPS has a chance to light up the river bank with these bad boys. Now they just need a couple of loud speakers and the theme song from Apacolypse Now playing. It would be great.

Anonymous said...

I wish everyone these days would stop banging on about how every fucking thing is some government conspiracy! EVERY government has its bad people and corruption but saying the US government gets its cut of the illegal drug trade is silly. Things are bad but seriously things are not THAT bad! some politicians do actually want to stop the chaos.

I so tired of idiots these days saying everything illegal is backed by a government its like people have become paranoid of every tiny thing the government is involved in.

Anonymous said...

Julie Hillirichs states the cartels aren`t smuggling through the river. Was she watching the videos???

Anonymous said...

Im from starr county and live walking distance from the river. There has been various shootouts along the river that dont get reported. Trust me i've seen and heard the shots myself. Dps received fire from the mexican side awhile back and not one agency that was present hesitated in firing back. Over 300 rounds where fired into mexico by border patrol dps and county. Theres been instances where the military chases cartel convoys to the river and they flee across the river in droves. This is where i can see these gunboats coming in handy. Its an intimidation factor and it'll work. I'm sure leo on the river dont wont mind having these boats on hand. Theyre the ones risking everything out there. Why not give them the best our state and government can afford?

Anonymous said...

Boy,dope is gonna get over the river even faster now...screw your wig on tight Jethro,your meth is on its way!!

Anonymous said...

Don't mess with Texas! Go get them DPS!

Anonymous said...

The united states is only mad because they're not making money off the narcotic trade. But yet the white people want the the drugs. Lets all admit united states are just bullies.

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;

borderlandbeat@gmail.com