Texas 'navy' to patrol the Rio Grande
Texas will deploy a fleet of six gunboats on the Rio Grande.
February 29th, 2012
02:11 PM ET

Texas 'navy' to patrol the Rio Grande

Texas is getting its own navy.

Next month, the state's Department of Public Safety will deploy the first of a fleet of six gunboats on the Rio Grande, the river that forms the border between the state and Mexico, CNN affiliate WFAA-TV reports.

The 34-foot-long boats, each powered by three, 300-horsepower outboard engines, will have bulletproof plating and six machine guns apiece, not unlike the river patrol boats the U.S. Navy used during the Vietnam War.

The vessels will be able to operate in as little as 2 feet of water, according to the report, and will work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to combat drug smuggling coming across the Rio Grande.

"They're finding out when those people are coming across, and one of the things they need to be able to do is interdict them on the water," Texas state Rep. Paul Workman told CNN affiliate KVUE-TV when the first of the boats, the JD Davis, was christened in December.

"If you're trying to suppress organized smuggling activity, there's no substitute for putting people on the ground," Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven C. McCraw said at the December ceremony. "The way they're operating right now, you need them on the water as well."

"It sends a message: Don't mess with Texas," Jose Rodriguez, a regional commander of the Texas Department of Safety, told WFAA.

The six boats will be named after Texas state troopers killed in the line of duty. The first was named after Jerry Don Davis, who was shot and killed in 1980. Another, to be commissioned Thursday in Austin, will be named in honor of  trooper David Irvine Rucker, who was killed in 1981, according to The Brownsville Herald.

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Filed under: Crime • Drug violence • Drugs • Texas
soundoff (1,047 Responses)
  1. MikeInNebraska

    Totaly agree! Mexico is a bigger threat than both Iran & North Korea combined with the illegals, drug runners and anchor babies.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. DEPORT ALL ILLEGALS NORTH OF THE BORDER AND I DON'T MEAN CANADA

    Texas, California, Arizona!!! All states with Spanish names! So who's the real illegals now yanks?

    March 1, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • B-Hut

      I am sorry, how much does just one of the six of these thing cost?

      March 1, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      The people that were born in one country and entered another illegally. Im of German ancestry, that doesnt mean I can walk into Germany and take up a job. Theyre not coming here because of their ancestry, the history, or for the land. Theyre coming here because of the infrastructure put in place by AMERICANS, and LEGAL residents in the past 100-150 years. Get your facts straight.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeInNebraska

      YOU are a idiot Deport. This is NOT your country but ours. YOU lost the war with the USA back in the 1830's and then we paid you for it. So shut up and make your crappy country a better place instead of wreaking OURS.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. J From Texas

    Right on Texas!! Great move in the border wars!

    BTW this is for the folks that are not from Texas: Did you know that Texas is the only state in the Continental US that can have its own milita? Well lets start flexing those Texas sized muscles and make a difference now!! Cant speak for AZ, CA, NM though.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd W. Olson

      Nonsense. Several states have state guards (armed forces exclusive of the National Guard) including California.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • HPNIII

      Pity we spend near 1 trillion dollars a year for National Defense by the federal govt. yet a state has to come up with its own Navy,

      March 1, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeInNebraska

      @ Jose. YOU ROCK! I am with you on the 'No pay' thing also protecting our southern border. Illegal isn't a race, it is a crime!

      March 1, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Please seceded like Ricky (your failed Presidential candidate) wants? God knows we do not need you. Just go away. Texas the state that executes more people (and women and mentally challenged people also), the most polluted state in the country, a state that rewrites history and teaches it to their children for political purposes, and a state that gave us boy George. You people seem to be proud of that. Only in America.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Publius Novus

      Texas balderdash. Modern "militias" are the various state National Guards. In addition, many states have state military departments. Maryland has the "Maryland Defense Force," authorized under 32 U.S.C. § 109(d). Texans are so SPECIAL–or so they think.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. BigFish

    I would love to go fishing on that BOAT!

    March 1, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeInNebraska

      Yeah, me too for the illegals and drug runners. Make it a carnival game. Ole!

      March 1, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. T%T

    Must be nice walking into a new country and the government letting you have a job and give you welfare

    March 1, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. tacc2

    I really, really, really, can't understand why we're trying to stop this at the border. It doesn't make sense. The border is just too large. We need to legalize drugs, this will cause the black market for them to evaporate, as long as we don't make the mistake of taxing them too high. And for you morons who say, "But the cartels will just do other crimes", no they won't. No other criminal enterprise even comes close to the profits that can be made in the illegal drug trade. Switching to other crimes to replace the revenue stream that would be lost from drugs is simply not an option. As for the people coming across the border, let them. All we really need to do is reallocate the resources wasted on deporting people and trying to keep them out. Instead, use them to ENFORCE the labor laws. We will also need to pass and ENFORCE laws that TOTALLY deny government services (school, cash/food assistance, hospital, etc.) to non-citizens who are here illegally. If they can't get work, and they can't get services, they won't come here. It really IS as simple as that. Problem solved. But that would make too much sense. Let's just keep doing what we've been doing, it works sooooo well. I mean we ONLY have MILLIONS of illegals in the country.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • nolesfan

      Unfortunately our federal government frowns upon asking someone if they are illegal

      March 1, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Legalize cocaine and heroine? No thanks.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Friend58M3

      How about instead of legalizing something that kills people, we abolish the US hard currency? Then the black market will have no way to trade, no form of cash. And all the cash they have now will be worthless. We go to all electronic money.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • nanna

      You are right-

      March 1, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • William

      Yeah. We need more laws, more government; I really need to be told what to do. I don't want that liberty crap, I want the government to tell me what I should think, tell me what I can do on land that I own, but have not control over (permits to do anything), and tell me what is moral and amoral sos I knows. I am too damned stupid to think, ya know! STFU and color. Leave expressing opinions to people who actually think and not just hope for more laws.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dott

    If you read all the blogs against illegal entry into the USA it appears 99% are aganst it so why is it allowed to continue. I don't have facts to support my opinion but here is what I think. Big business such as farms and chicken processors hire the illegals because they will work for less and the tax payers chip in with free medical, food stamps, section 8 housing and they begin to have little citizens that we pay to be delivered then the welfare check comes in. The Mexican makes $5.00 and hour but all the benefits gives him about $25.00 an hour. WHY NOT come to the land of the freebees? Will our leaders ever wake up and stop this insanity? Put the employers in prison, send the illegal back with all the family. Start making the baby born here the same nationality as the mother.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeInNebraska

      Because we have a bunch of idiots in charge. OVER 70% of AMERICANS want something done to stop the illegal immigration. Then you have groups liek the anti-American ACLU sueing states and cities that have illegal immigrantion laws in effect. On the other side you have cities like Los Angeles, San Fran, Detriot and Chicago that just loveee illgelas and are a safe haven for them. Wake up America!

      March 1, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. Yes1fan

    So what happens if Mexico shows up with THEIR boats? An international incident?

    March 1, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeInNebraska

      LOL, the "Mexican Navy is a frickin' joke. Blast 'em out of the water in 3 seconds.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. MikeInNebraska

    About time that we take OUR country back from the illegals and drug runners from Mexico! They don't care about our country let alone theirs.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. okie

    This Navy thing is a good step closer to Texas becoming it's own country. When that happens, I'm moving from my home in OK to Texas.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. Doug

    Wow, there's absolutely no question that one of these will be attacked by a cartel at some point and ignite a firestorm of controversy. Not sure about the legality of a state executive force patrolling an international border, but clearly if they spent the money on the boats they feel confident in their legal position.

    Northern Mexico is one of the most dangerous regions in the world right now, and its largely due to it being America's chief drug dealer. I predict this move will accelerate the national conversation we'll eventually have recognizing this fact.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. Robert

    A CHEAPER and FAR BETTER alternative would be to just release crocodiles into the river. The illegal crossings would stop immediately. Besides, crocs are on duty 24 hours a day and they work for free.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. MIKE

    Go Texas! Guard those borders to keep those pesky Latins out of the country! Concentrate on the southern border, while the Canadian border is less than 1% protected! No amount of troops is gong to keep drugs, people, or Al-Queda out of the US! What a waste of Texas Taxpayer's money! Keep it up!

    March 1, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Geoffrey Hamilton

    That war on drugs is really going well...

    March 1, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. louclou

    GO TEXAS! It's about time.

    Something to keep in mind, if you smoke pot, do other drugs, you're financing the cartels.
    Something else to keep in mind, those cartels force illegals to carry drugs for them. When they're caught and deported, they're murdered by the cartels.

    Does border protection make a tiny bit more sense to you now?

    March 1, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • saopaco

      Maybe, but legalizing pot makes more sense.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • dutspup

      I dont know anyone who smokes Mexican dirt weed. Everyone I have ever encountered smokes Krippy which is hydroponic and grown at home.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • OregonTom

      That boat appears to have a belt fed machine gun on it. I honestly think this may be a job better suited for the military not local law enforcement.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • indymid

      You might want to check your facts; about 95% of all weed in the states is grown in the STATES!!!

      March 1, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Really You think so?

      I would disagree, as a matter of fact I would go as far to posit that since the legalization of medical cannabis in multiple states the majority of cannabis consumed in the United States comes from internal sources not external. Why is this you might ask? Well its a simple cost to risk calculation. It costs less to grow it here in the US in states where its legal and then ship it between states then it does to grow it in mexico and ship it over the boarder which has a much higher probability of getting intercepted.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • T

      Legalizing Pot is stupid and dangerous. All it does is fries your brain. PERIOD.
      Recreational drugs should NEVER be legalized at any level, just a dangerous, slippery slope to ruin.
      You'll never see it happening until it's too late.
      Dudes and Dudettes, just stay clean, especially in the noggin area, it's your most important part.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
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