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May 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Rio Grand Valley

CBP to End Surveillance Blimp Program Over High Costs

CBP’s surveillance climbs. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

CBP is discontinuing a seven-year-old program that funds the use of surveillance blimps in the Rio Grand Valley. 

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar said the Tactical Aerostats and Re-Locatable Towers (TAS) program has become too costly, reports

“It’s a self-inflicted wound because you all went ahead and got into contracts with vendors and you are paying too much, and I’ve been telling you for years to slow down and lower the price,” Cuellar said about Border Patrol leadership. 

The aerostats, equipped with radars and high-resolution and infrared cameras, can fly up to 5,000 feet. 

Cuellar said private contracts were paid too much. 

“The balloon is already paid for and all you are doing is paying millions of bucks to bring it up and down,” Cuellar said of the TAS contract.

CBP’s budget for the program has been $29 million a year since 2013. 

Cuellar is hoping to eventually revive the program by ending the use of private contracts to reduce the costs. 

“So what are they going to do with these aerostats now? So there’s a lot of questions once they get fully staffed at Homeland. I want to go into this,” Cuellar said.

Smuggler Sentenced to Prison for Trying to Run over Border Patrol Agent

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A 38-year-old human smuggler was sentenced to 44 months in prison Tuesday for trying to run over a Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agent.

The incident happened after authorities approached Miguel Mendez-Fajardo, a Mexican national, at his stash house in Mission on suspicions he was harboring undocumented immigrants.

Mendez-Fajardo responded by trying to run over a Border Patrol agent. He eventually crashed into a ditch.

Mendez-Fajardo was convicted in March 2019.

After serving his sentenced, Mendez-Fajardo is expected to be deported.

Border Patrol Finds 3-Year-Old Boy in Field with ID, Phone Number on His Shoes

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents found an abandoned, crying 3-year-old migrant alone in a cornfield near the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas on Tuesday morning.

The boy’s phone number and name were written on his shoes when agents found him in the Rio Grand Valley near Brownsville, Texas, officials told NBC News.

Agents aren’t sure why the boy was alone, speculating that he may have been with a large group of migrants who fled approaching Border Patrol agents.

Officials have been unable to reach the boy’s parents so far.

The bot was taken to a nearby border station, where he was given movies to watch.

The discovery comes amid an increasing influx of families with children are crossing the border. Last month, the influx prompted U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan to declare that border security was “at a breaking point.”

Border Patrol Investigates Claims That Agent Was Kidnapped on Christmas by Mexican Cartel

By Steve Neavling 

Border Patrol is investigating the reported kidnapping of one of its agents and has begun trying to account for all of its employees in the Rio Grand Valley area, according to several reports.

3KIII-TV reported that an agent may have been kidnapped by a Mexican cartel.

According to KRGV, the La Joya Police Department reported to the RGV sector that it received a report from Mexico that an agent had been kidnapped from the Rio Grand Valley area.

Details of the possible kidnapping remained murky this morning.

Other Stories of Interest

Texas Gov. Perry to Deploy National Guard Troops to Border Over Immigration Surge

Tex. Gov. Rick Perry/official photo

Steve Neavling

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is taking matters into his own hands and is reportedly planning to dispatch the Texas National Guard to the U.S. border to crack down on Central American immigrants, the Washington Post reports.

Perry plans to mobilize about 1,000 guardsman to the Rio Grand Valley.

“I won’t stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor,” Perry said Monday in announcing the plan.

Many Republicans applauded the plan.

Democrats questioned the move, especially following a recent drop in the flood of immigrants coming to the U.S.

“They’re trained in warfare,” said Sheriff Omar Lucio of Cameron County, which borders Mexico. “I don’t know what they’re really going to be doing.”