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. Larry

    I just wanted to let you boys in Texas know that you a guy in Pa supporting ya'll

    February 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. J.Mac

    Gotta wonder how long before the Obama administration and Justice Department file a lawsuit against the Texas Highway Patrol for enforcing border laws which Obama doesn't want enforced.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan S

      Good point, Mac. The Obama administration does have an amazine track record of using the Justice Department to suppress State laws and officials who are trying to enforce the immigration laws.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slewatha

      Obama has deported more people than any other president.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Taylor

      All evidence, i.e., increased number of border patrol agents, record-level deportations, and decreased rate of illegal entry stand as facts against your baseless assertion.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • daveinla

      Halder and the Justice Department will go nuts. If the Black Panthers wanted to cruise the Rio Grande it would be O.K.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality Checker

      Another non-eality "fact"?

      I guess the U.S. should go back to the Bush era border policy... oh wait, that's when the bulk of the multi-millions just walked into the US and were hired by those who wanted cheap labor. Don't hire them and no reason to come here right?

      February 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. newaddict

    It won't be bad ss until you use those machine guns!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    Drugs never come in through Canada.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wulf

      Is that sarcasm or ignorance? LOTS of drugs come in through Canada... open your eyes man.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • EatYouAlive

      It's OK, we will share!

      February 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      How do you think granny can afford them?

      February 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality Checker

      Really? Never? How do you know?

      I'd be more concerned about terrorists slipping into the U.S. from Canada, but no one seems concerned about that.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      RC:
      They flew over, not "slipped in", resulting in the tightening of security at all of the airports; something I'm sure people forget about every time they want to fly, due to the long lines at checkpoints....but that's OK.
      At least they are in place.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. reader10

    What good is it if they are not shooting.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. At 72 in Arizona

    Give them hell Texas.....

    February 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robert

    Texas is setting an excellent example for the other 49 states + territories. One has to wonder why the Coast Guard hasn't already been doing this on the Rio Grande.

    Good job Texas! I would support some of our Federal tax dollars to subsidize this program.......

    February 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Charleton Heston

    Looks like nicer toys for cops to play with. That's all.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom

    Excellent. Maybe put a couple on Falcon Lake also.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. newaddict

    Any minute now...all the anti American's will be screaming how racist we are for wanting our solvency respected!

    February 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Taylor

      Solvency? You should consult your dictionary.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality Checker

      I'm all for protecting our borders but really... What TV show told you to say that?

      February 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Well, this person IS a new addict.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. daveinla

    GOD Bless Texas!

    February 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Coastal

    3x 300HP motors? Druggies & Illegals will never be caught by these – they'll hear them coming from a mile away and run!

    February 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fERIT

    a grenade would do it for them.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ron miller

    what a wast of money this will do nothing but wast time an resourcess thell just build tunnles uner there nosess 40 year drug war what a wast of money now just more wast vote ron paul get some comen sence back into goverment

    February 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      Did you drop out of school?

      February 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      What the....nah, don't have the patience today.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      wow bro, learn how to spell.. even some illegals can probably spell better than you..

      February 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. RED SOLO CUP

    IF THEY REALLY LOVED AMERICA THEY WOULD FENCE OFF TEXAS FROM THE REST OF THE U.S.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
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