Multi-agency operation nabs undocumented aliens, makes 19 arrests


A multi-agency criminal interdiction operation last week in Gonzales County led to 302 traffic stops, 19 captures of undocumented aliens, 19 arrests, and seizure of more than $14,000 in currency, Gonzales County Sheriff Keith Schmidt announced Monday morning.

Speaking at Gonzales County Commissioners Court, Schmidt said GCSO hosted members of Operation Lone Star Task Force for interdiction operations on Wednesday, Jan. 18 and Thursday, Jan. 19. GCSO joined the task force in August 2022.

During this operation, agencies utilized marked and unmarked police units to conduct criminal interdiction activities in various areas of Gonzales County. Officers focused on narcotic activity as well as human smuggling. The areas included Gonzales, Harwood, Smiley, Nixon, Waelder and unincorporated areas of the county. 

Participating agencies included the Gonzales Police Department, Gonzales County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office, Nixon Police Department, Cuero Police Department, Yoakum Police Department, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Refugio County Sheriff’s Office, Wharton County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Goliad County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, DPS Air Unit 107, U.S. Border Patrol, San Patricio County Sheriff’s Office and Kleberg County Attorney’s Office Specialized Crimes-Narcotics Task Force.

Participating agencies in the task force assist each other and provide manpower, investigative resources and patrol units for combating illegal activities. Due to the sensitive nature of task force operations, the public is not notified prior to an operation beginning. 

The 302 stops made during the two days resulted in nine misdemeanor arrests, eight felony arrests and two warrant arrests, Schmidt said. Eleven drug seizures resulted in 42.3 grams of meth being confiscated, four vehicles being seized, one weapon recovery and $1,800 in fake currency being removed from circulation. Five people were also arrested and charged with human trafficking and smuggling of persons.

“We thought it was a pretty successful project and thought you might like to know some of the stats,” Schmidt said. “Many hours were put in to make this operation run as smooth as possible.”

The two days prior — Monday, Jan. 16 and Tuesday, Jan. 17 — the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office and Nixon Police Department also were involved in a similar interdiction operation with 28 other agencies in Wilson County.

That operation made nine felony arrests, 11 misdemeanor arrests, six warrant arrests, captured five undocumented aliens, made 14 drug seizures and three weapons seizures and one stolen weapon was recovered as well.