Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s valuable border mission has evolved from their mission to crack down on drug smugglers and human traffickers, and is now taking on a different kind of “criminal”: American citizens. who have in their possession more than 2 oz of marijuana.
Abbott points to more than 14,000 criminal arrests as proof that his multi-billion dollar campaign to secure the border with Mexico is a huge success.
But, according to The Dallas Morning News, which obtained open files from the Texas Department of Public Safety, about one in five Operation Lone Star arrests are for low-level marijuana charges that would only trigger one ticket, or less, in some of the state’s largest cities. Fewer than 100 people were actually arrested with more than 5 pounds of drugs.
Abbott pointed to an increase in illegal immigration as justification for funding other departments and injecting nearly $4 billion into its border security mission. He is now accused of bragging about inflating the numbers to get tough on immigration in an election year.
Cited for possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana, according to DPS reports:
— A 71-year-old Vietnam veteran pulled over in Pecos County for tinted windows and was ticketed after an officer found a “green leafy substance.”
–The San Angelo cosmetologist pulled over for speeding in the West Texas town and was arrested for a “marijuana cigarette in the ashtray.”
–Jerald Perkins, pulled over in West Texas leaving his oilfield job and received a citation for possession of two blunts.
The department did not respond to questions about how these cases line up with Operation Lone Star.
“It looks like a trap,” Perkins, who is trying to hire an attorney to handle the case in court, told the Dallas Morning News.