Northeast of Houston, Liberty County law enforcement captured and detained a drug smuggler armed with a handgun and carrying an estimated $650,000 worth of cocaine in a spare tire.

Local reports indicate that the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office is being “tight-lipped” about the investigation that began as a traffic stop.

According to Bluebonnet News, “A Ford Raptor driven by a Hispanic male was stopped for traffic violations by the Criminal Interdiction Unit for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office at the intersection of SH 146 and SH 105 in Moss Hill.”

Todd Bensman, a senior fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, highlighted that this stop occurred, “In Liberty County Texas, 20 minutes drive from Colony Ridge, which is said to be the largest illegal immigrant community in America where law enforcement tells me Mexican drug cartels operate with relative impunity.”

Notably, “Colony Ridge Communities”—the land development company responsible for providing loans for the construction of one of the largest illegal alien settlements in America—is funded by one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s major donors.

In the past, the development has been associated with the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels. In 2013, 300 acres of Liberty County lands were used to host the “largest and most sophisticated marijuana-growing operation” in U.S. history. The area broke another record in July 2021, when the Drug Enforcement Administration raided a multimillion-dollar methamphetamine manufacturing lab in Colony Ridge.

Some have compared the development to a colonia, which the Texas Attorney General defines as “substandard housing developments, often found along the Texas-Mexico border; where residents lack basic services such as drinking water, sewage treatment, and paved roads.”

The developers refuted this claim.

Courtesy of Texans for Strong Borders

However, Texans for Strong Borders President Chris Russo told Texas Scorecard, “I recently photographed the Colony Ridge development from a helicopter and two things stood out to me: the scale of the expansion and the overall poor living conditions within the development. We saw many, many houses in terrible states of disrepair and yards littered with junk. The mix of living conditions is reminiscent of much of Central America.”

“In addition to the obvious concerns about illegal immigration and crime, it is clear that there is significant erosion and improper drainage that could result in further property damage for citizens whose homes are downstream of the development,” Russo added.

The development is also straining local resources as illegal alien children flood Cleveland ISD schools.

Courtesy of Texans for Strong Borders

“Recent satellite photos do not do justice to the size of the expansion: once completed, the land area encompassed by the development will be equivalent to about a third of the area inside Houston’s I-610 loop,” said Russo. “Business is clearly booming and the pitch is: ‘Become the owner of your own land in Houston, United States…’”

Terrenos Houston, the marketing program for Colony Ridge, advertises to illegal aliens by indicating they do not require traditional bank loans, nor do they need Social Security numbers or a proven job history. Instead, they operate through owner-financed lots for illegal aliens who don’t qualify for certain loans.

The company is particularly active on international media platforms and produces marketing videos in Spanish, promoting incentives like discounts and video tours of their new schools.

The Colony Ridge settlements are believed to have a population of 22,000, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.

Texas Scorecard asked the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office for comment, but did not receive a response before publication.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.