Operation Border Star recovers stolen vehicle, results in arrest


Gonzales County Sheriff’s deputies recovered a stolen vehicle and arrested a convicted felon who was in possession of a firearm after a traffic stop earlier this month.

A deputy was working Operation Border Star and monitoring traffic on Interstate 10 near Waelder at about 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, when he conducted a registration check on a black Kia passenger vehicle traveling west towards San Antonio and learned the vehicle was reported by the Austin Police Department as having been stolen on Nov. 13, 2023.

The deputy was able to safely bring the vehicle to a stop and detain the driver, who was identified as Richard Allen Strickler, 40. During the stop, the deputy located a loaded handgun in the vehicle and learned Strickler is a convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing a firearm. Strickler was arrested on charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. He has been released from the Gonzales County Jail after posting $25,000 total bond.

“It was unclear what (Smith’s) intentions were driving a stolen vehicle while possessing a handgun, but the deputy was able to safely apprehend this male preventing any further criminal acts from being committed in the Gonzales County community,” GCSO said in a release. “We are extremely thankful and proud of our deputies who work day and night and even chose to work extra hours all in an attempt to make the Gonzales County community a better place to live.”