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. sybaris

    Funny, looks like they have some protective shielding topside but I bet the hull won't stop a .22

    "Patrol boat sunk by squirrel gun, film at 11"

    February 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CharlieSeattle

    Traitors Obama and Holder will try to put a stop to ii

    February 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • scott

      The only traitor is you!

      February 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek in Houston

      Charlie, take another Valium and go to bed. You'll bust a blood vessel and your nose will grow longer if you keep getting worked up like this.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Make corporations pay for this.

    The corporations started this. bringing in illegal people to bust the unions. watch Food, Inc. they should be held responsible for all of the trouble they caused from this.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Annexian

    Just check the books on employers, randomly and frequently. Close down for a week, ref to the feds, fine and fully prosecute any who hire illegals. Simple as that.

    The "Health inspector" already can enter the businesses and casually fine them thousands for a light switch 1" too high/low whatever. Just check the books and prosecute.

    No need for fence, profiling, insane vigilante actions.

    No jobs, no flood of illegals, no flood of illegals, no "Underground Community" for the worse criminals among them to hide within. As far as drugs go, why not go on Jury Duty and NULLIFY. Make drugs legal so people can grow mary jane in their back yard, no need to buy "Ditch weed" from a mexican mafia likely grown in a Mercury polluted river

    February 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hawk in Texas

      And what of all the innocent children that were born in america. would you deport them too?

      February 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • jojo

      Children should be with their parents. That's an accepted principle. So if the parents go.... so do the children. Until they are emancipated. Simple... ;-))

      February 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee S

      @Hawkintexas, you gotta draw the line somewhere. If there parents came here illegally, sorry charlie. There were plenty of legal channels for you to enter the country in the first place. NTM ESL and special needs programs for the millions of kids, who were probably delivered in a hospital here, without compensation. that dont speak english are are a complete waste of resources. Other countries around the world take pride in defending their borders. Theres nothing wrong with it.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    Strafe every boatload in the water. Word will get around.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |


    February 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sensible Joe

      ILLEAGAL? Better go to college yourself... Or buy a dictionary or use the spell check on your 'puter. The word is "illegal" in English.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |


      February 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reyone

      whO Is sensible JoE the english patRol Polcie? one of thE Problems with our people Can't look pasS, hOw peoplE loOks, dresS TheY can look at the CONTENT!!!!

      February 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • panz4ever

      Darn... I am a Viet Namn vet. I was up in I Corp 68-69 on riverboats. I would volunteer to do that job for free.

      Go Texas! Get some!

      February 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pat evans

    Awesome Boats! And I'm all for it....I'm in the boat business too. Only problem I see is...The Cartel guys will probably ambush our guys at the right place and at the right time! We'll probably have some Dead Cops and stolen Boats out of the deal....I'm sure those Mexican's will envy those Boats enough to pull it off! Then CNN and the rest of the Obama Media won't hardly even bat an Eyelash, or report about it!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hawk in Texas

      Do you realize just how long the rio grand is?

      February 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sensible Joe

      Bad punctuation, incorrect pluralization and overcapitalization of standard English hardly convinces us you're someone we should listen to...

      February 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • bannister

      Hawk in Texas – if the Rio Grand is long, then all the more reason to have a fleet of super fast boats that can patrol it I say double that fleet!

      February 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. larry5

    It's a drop in the bucket.....

    February 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Billy-Bob Henry

    The GREED of the government is appalling! I can't believe they "laid-off" all those drug tunnel diggers just for more security in the guns for drugs trade. Now nobody but the government profits. And nobody knows how much profit they take in.

    How many more US citizens must die before the liars and thieves in Washington allow the doctors to prescribe medical marijuana? The cannabis plant may just hold the cure for cancer. But you'll never know unless you vote these greed-motivated lying politicians out of office.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hawk in Texas

      I do believe that you are a pot head.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. toons1

    Great Idea to Stop the illegal invasion next DEMAND E-Verify for 100% of employers

    February 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike in SA

    First order – shoot to kill. Second order – shoot again to be sure.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tumblin

    Youall are freakin stupid ! Good luck strokin your muscle here in west tx , and good luck findin 2 ft of water .

    February 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Greek American

    Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand....just like that river running through a dusty land....

    February 29, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill Mosby

    I seem to remember that when Texas was admitted to the Union, it was allowed to bring its Navy with it. The only ship in that Navy up to now has been the Battleship Texas, which has long been a museum berthed near the San Jacinto Monument. Guess it will be getting a little company now.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Doh

    "Texas is getting its own navy." But paid for by the rest of the country.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • seyton

      Guess we owe you a thanks.

      Thanks for the boats playa

      February 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • bannister

      If it keeps out illegals, that's one expense I'm happy to pay for!

      February 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
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