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. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    Wow...being in Texas and all, they shouldn't have a problem burning up the gasoline.
    Go ahead and burn up all the oil reserves. Show 'em what good stewards you are for the environmenrt.
    Make sure you stay on the American side of the Rio Grande and not the Texas side.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. pogojo

    Bout time, is there somewhere we can contribute to this effort? maybe americans can help buy more boats.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Commojoe

      They need to make sure they mount some M-60s and .50 cals on the boats, and USE them!

      February 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. john

    Won't this conflict with President Obama's anti-illegal immigration plan? Sorry. My bad. He DOESN'T HAVE ONE!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dd

    Liberals need mind altering drugs to exist. The Cartels supply the inner city drug gangs who supply the liberal drug users. Meanwhile the Cartels and Gangs kill thousands of people each year. Why aren't we charging the Liberal drug users with murder! It is their money that is causing the killings!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • what?

      You're on crack yourself I think. Drug use has nothing to do with political affiliation. However, if you want to argue that i does, fine. Where are the highest rates of prescription drug use? Places like eastern Kentucky, where you can't find liberal one. I actually know a whole lot of pot smokers, and every one of them is a Republican. Only a few of the Dems I know smoke pot. I also saw a study on convicted drug dealers, meth cookers, etc. Over two thirds of them self-identified as conservatives and Christian. Makes you think, huh?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ted

    I have to wonder if any of these people who are commenting here so much as think a little before they type their senseless banter. You folks can argue all you want this way, it'll accomplish nothing. Being a Border Patrol Agent has opened my eyes to one thing: this issue is incredibly complex and cannot be solved with folks on opposites sides of the aisle trading punches day in and day out. You want a secure border? Then ante up for more fence and more border patrol agents. That still wont stop all of them, though. A compromise in the law must be made that meets somewhere in the middle that makes it more desirable to legally immigrate for work and what not. The battle will never be won if you think we shoud either have a 2,000 mile demilitarized zone or an open border. Never.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacob M

      I'd like to hear more about what you have to say; you're clearly experienced at this. Could you elaborate on your statements?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stella

      If you're looking for reasonable comments and people who think intelligently about a topic and then present a detailed argument you're barking up the wrong tree. These forums are filled with people who base their opinions on cherry-picked, incorrect information that serves their particular bias and who aren't smart enough to draw logical conclusions so they just rant and rant and rant. These forums represent the worst of humanity and the most extreme views on both sides. That's the only value in reading them, to keep an eye on the loonies for safety's sake. Take heart in knowing that most people don't write here or think or talk the way these people do. Read the posts and move on, don't let it bother you.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jacob M

    I'm not sure of the legality of this under international borders. The Rio Grande is (part of) the border between the US and Mexico. To my knowledge, the legal demarcation line splits the river in twain. Texas DPS officers should not be able to cross this line or fire across it.

    I'm all for keeping out illegal aliens, but I'm also for not starting international incidents.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      From what I understand, because the river is in both countries, both countries have free use of it (obviously not applying to illegal immigrants and criminals). This should really give both countries the freedom to patrol it. Mexico can't say squat a about this.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacob M

      If that's true, Dan, then it's interesting. I don't claim to be an expert on the subject. I'm just asking the question.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bobby

    Obama and his Democrat drones will hate this, as it is going to help stem the flow of illegals and drugs coming across the border in Texas. Go Texas, go!!!!!! It's good to see that there are still good people that care not only about their state, but also about defending this country against criminals, unlike the Democrats, who only keep allowing them in, sell guns to drug cartels and sue states that try to defend themselves. NOBAMA 2012!!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Greek American


    Are you replying to me to let me know that McCain is from Arizona???

    February 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. tellitlikeitis

    The topic is about using boats to combat drug smuggling coming across the rio grande, but I see most comments were directed towards illegal aliens it means too many potheads read the article and now is the illegal aliens fault that this action was taken by the Texas highway patrol,and it is going to affect the prices of the drugs they use and are mad as hell.,potheads,ignorants,racists,bigots they are all the same,and are breeding more of the same it is a never ending story.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacob M

      You're absolutely correct. I found myself caught up in the hurricane of illiteracy, too. My own comments reveal this.

      Even so, I still wonder about the legality of firing upon drug runners along or across a sovereign border (relating to my comment above).

      February 29, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nodat1

    I'm for a secure boarder, but this seams a bit silly. and a waste of money I'm sure they spent a 1 mil + on each one not to mention the operating and maintenance cost I think they could have used the money on something else

    February 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frdhotrod

    remember the Alamo!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. andy

    When they send Destroyers and SSN's into the Gulf of Mexico I'll be impressed.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. andy

    when they start sending Destroyers and SSN's to the Gulf of Mexico I'll be impressed.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. leeintulsa

    @rdh: tell that to all the farmers in alabama and mississippi that lost all their workers and can't get anyone else to do it.

    what they get paid has nothing to do with minimum wage. if they were paid a decent wage, provided insurance and everything like a real job..? corn would be $5 a can.. i know zero grown americans that will work, without benefits, for 25 cents a bushel..

    February 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    Be a whole lot cheaper to put Sniper towers at 500yd intervals along the border. 1 shot, 1 kill and leave the body to rot in the sun as an example. Give the illegals/drug runners something to think about!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • cambridgeben

      See how well that goes over after the first few American citizens they shoot by mistake.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Morvegil

      Yeah right, 500 yds? You know how many snipers youd need?

      February 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy

      about 7,000 snipers to cover the border, a sniper every 500 yards is around 3 per mile with about 200 yards left over

      February 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
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