Written by Julie Silva Friday, 03 January 2014 08:00
PEÑITAS—Standing on a piece of property about a half-mile south of U.S. 83 with a clear view of Mexico, rancher Mauro Reyna could think of no better place for a pilot project aimed at tracking illegal traffic across the border.
It's the second phase of testing for aerostats, helium-filled balloons with infrared cameras, in the Rio Grande Valley. Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Rosendo Hinojosa said the equipment, originally deployed in Afghanistan by the Department of Defense, will undergo six months of testing on the Texas-Mexico border.
"Understanding that we've got 54 miles of what we call tactical infrastructure, which is the fence, the reality is that that fencing stops in Peñitas. I've seen several news reports from the police chief talking about the issues that impact this community as a result of that," Hinojosa said.