Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents found a small cache of Mexican cartel weapons on the Texas bank of the Rio Grande. This is the second suspected armed cartel incursion incident in the South Texas border town during the month of August.
As migrant apprehensions surge along the Texas border, law enforcement officers face a growing threat of Mexican Cartel violence in South Texas. Border Patrol officials reported the seizure of two cartel rifles and ammunition found Friday on the U.S. bank of the Rio Grande near Fronton, Texas. There were no arrests made in relation to the incident.
In a Friday morning post on “X,” formerly Twitter, Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez of the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Sector highlighted the seizure and stated, “Our U.S. Border Patrol Agents confront threats daily as they do their best to secure our border. Agents working jointly with our L.E. partners made a significant discovery of weapons and ammunition hidden by criminal organizations near Fronton, TX.”
The Border Patrol released photos of the weapons seizure of two rifles, several rifle magazines, and an ammunition carrier. The weapons appear to be an AR-15 style rifle and a Kalashnikov-style rifle. One photo shows the Kalashnikov rifle submerged in the river. The agency did not provide any other information regarding the multi-agency discovery other than to indicate no suspects were arrested in connection with the finding.
The small border town of Fronton, with a population of 167 residents, has been the scene of other cartel-related border activity in recent months. On Saturday, the images of three suspected Mexican cartel gunmen crossing the Rio Grande were captured by law enforcement cameras, according to Fox News report. One of the men depicted in the images on Saturday appeared to be wearing body armor. The three suspected Mexican cartel gunmen were not arrested despite a coordinated effort by the Border Patrol to locate them.
On Friday, an armed cartel gunmen crossed the Rio Grande with a group of migrants. He allegedly pointed the rifle at members of the Texas National Guard patrolling near the international railroad bridge in Eagle Pass, Texas, a law enforcement source told Breitbart Texas. A video shows the gunman returning to Mexico dragging a barrel and carrying the rifle.
In June, Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol troopers working in the same area arrested five suspected Mexican cartel members and seized two AR-15 style rifles in the same area. In that incident, DPS Spokesperson Lieutenant Chris Olivarez told Breitbart Texas the men were believed to be connected to the Cartel Del Noreste faction of the Los Zetas cartel.
Olivarez told Breitbart Texas, “One of the men told CID special agents they came under fire from Mexican law enforcement and fled across the Rio Grande.” The men were wearing camouflage clothing, complicating the search to find them in the thick brush along the banks of the river.
In addition to the recent incursions by suspected Mexican cartel gunmen, law enforcement agencies are also dealing with a significant surge in migrant crossings in the area. Weekend migrant apprehension numbers provided by the Border Patrol for the Rio Grande Valley Sector show a nearly 200% increase over the last month. A total of 1647 migrants were encountered during the weekend ending July 8. During the weekend ending August 6, the agency reported migrant encounters had climbed to 4,660.
During the first ten days of August, RGV agents apprehended more than 10,000 migrants, according to a confidential law enforcement source. During the same period, Del Rio Sector agents apprehended more than 6,000 migrants.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.