Florida state troopers and guardsmen now patrol the Texas border

FLORIDA – Gov. Ron DeSantis said the death of St. Johns County Sheriff Sgt. Michael Kunovich only reinforces his determination to help Texas secure its southern borders and prevent people from trying to cross illegally from Mexico into Texas.

Kunovich, 52, a 25-year veteran of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, died of medical problems after 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 resisting law enforcement with violence.

“Sergeant 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 are with the Kunovich family and the entire St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office community during this time. Joe Biden’s reckless immigration policies are deadly. It’s not the way to run a country.”

To prevent more illegal border crossings, DeSantis announced last week that he would send 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 cross the border illegally into the United States, Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

The deployment is in response to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s request last week for help from the governors of other states through the federal Emergency Management Assistance Compact. He said the number of undocumented immigrants trying to cross the border after Title 42 expired on May 11 has overwhelmed all his resources.

Title 42 is a pandemic-era policy that closed virtually all avenues for migrants to seek asylum in the US and called for the immediate removal of migrants at the border.

EMAC allows other states to provide resources in times of emergency. The EMAC process also ensures that resources and personnel deployed for emergencies are eligible for reimbursement from FEMA.

In response to Abbott’s request, DeSantis sent 101 Florida Highway Patrol troopers, 200 Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers, 20 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers, 800 Florida the National Guard and 20 radio technicians, mechanics and planners from the Florida Division of Emergency Management. to Texas


DeSantis reported that the Florida National Guard is stationed at Texas Military Department static observation points, participating in roving patrols and helping design obstacles to prevent crossings. He said 436 guardsmen have also completed use-of-force and narcotic overdose medicine training, and are now working closely with members of the Texas National Guard.

In addition, FDLE agents and eight members of the support team have been sworn in, allowing them to enforce Texas law. They are assisting Texas law enforcement agencies with investigations into the smuggling of people, drugs, and weapons along the border.

So far, they have assisted with 32 arrests, including several gang members on charges of people smuggling, firearms, and possession of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Meanwhile, 101 state troopers arrived in Texas with two fixed-wing planes to patrol the border, as well as two mobile reconnaissance vehicles. One is stationed in Weslaco and the other in Del Rio to serve as operational command centers, provide communications and remotely operate drones used to patrol the border.

Also ashore at Del Rio are 20 FWC sworn officers and two mechanics equipped with 10 shallow draft craft capable of navigating rivers of various depths and 24 four-wheel drive patrol vehicles.

“Communities across the country are feeling the impacts of the Biden border crisis, and the abdication of duty by the federal government undermines our country’s sovereignty and the rule of law,” DeSantis said. “While Biden is ignorant of the crisis he created, Florida stands ready to help Texas respond to this crisis.”

Texas border at a glance

Here are a few examples of what the Florida deployment will encounter on the Texas border.

In the last 24 hours, the US Border Patrol found 1,001 people crossing the border illegally and seized 95 pounds of narcotics.

In the 72 hours to Tuesday, Border Patrol apprehended 8,750 illegal crossers, including three sex offenders and one gang member, and seized 1,000 pounds of liquid methamphetamine, 97 pounds of marijuana, 36 pounds of cocaine, 7 pounds of fentanyl and five guns

They also rescued 112 people locked in a semi-trailer that were being trafficked.

And in the week leading up to May 19, three border patrol agents were robbed and the agents seized 132 pounds of fentanyl, 5 pounds of methamphetamine, 248 pounds of marijuana, 50,532 rounds of ammunition, and 15 weapons.

In the week leading up to May 12, 18 officers were robbed, seizing 113 pounds of fentanyl, 66 pounds of cocaine, 323 pounds of marijuana, and 11 firearms. Additionally, 28,473 people were caught crossing the border, including eight sex offenders and four gang members.

From October to April, Border Patrol apprehended 1,246,371 illegal crossers, including 5,928 with criminal records and 377 gang members. The patrol also rescued 17,810 human trafficking victims and seized 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.