Texas Rangers with the Department of Public Safety have planted a Texas Flag on Fronton Island in the Rio Grande River.
Today the @TxDPS Rangers Special Operations Group planted a Texas flag on Fronton Island.
They continue to disrupt and stop Mexican cartel operations there and along the border. pic.twitter.com/J527yqR8oX
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 2, 2023
The 170-acre island situated in the Rio Grande River between Starr County and Mexico is a hot spot for cartel trafficking.
Three suspected cartel members armed with rifles were documented crossing Fronton Island in August.
Two of the three men were later arrested by DPS.
In September, Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham authorized DPS policing and patrolling on the state-owned island.
Buckingham told Fox News, “Law enforcement has found some ammunition, suspicious devices on it. And we just feel like with the border crisis, it was really important to ensure that Texas law enforcement have access to these islands, so we can help secure our border.”
“While the federal government refuses to safeguard Texas communities, the General Land Office will step up and assist our state in its robust border security efforts,” said Buckingham.
The Rangers began clearing vegetation from Fronton Island to assume operational control of the area late last week.
“This is OUR land,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “We’ve taken control of it away from transnational criminal organizations that were using it to facilitate illegal immigration & drug smuggling.”
Abbott ordered the Rangers: “Plant the Texas flag.”
Earlier this year, the General Land Office granted law enforcement access to two islands in the river by Eagle Pass for border security purposes.
“With these islands being located in the heart of the border crisis, where enough fentanyl has been seized in this region to kill a quarter of the US population, it is my hope that granting access to Texas law enforcement will aid in our state’s robust push to control this unprecedented border surge,” said Buckingham.
The border crisis has continued to worsen, with Fox News reporting that sources within U.S. Customs and Border Protection say encounters at the southwest border hit a record-breaking 260,000 in September.