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BROWNSVILLE— The Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector’s Combined Enforcement Unit addressed more than 80 commercial truck drivers Nov. 29 as part of an initiative called “Texas Hold ’Em.”
The initiative is a collaborative effort between the Border Patrol and the Texas Department of Public Safety that aims to reduce the trafficking of contraband in commercial vehicles such astractor-trailers, buses and freight carriers by using existing state laws to revoke the commercial driver’s license of a person convicted of a smuggling-related offense.
According to the Texas Transportation code, a person who holds a CDL is disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for life if convicted of using any motor vehicle during the commission of a felony.
At the request of a Brownsville trucking company, Border Patrol agents educated drivers on the dangers associated with transporting contraband as well as the consequences of a smuggling conviction.
For fiscal year 2013, which began Oct. 1, 2012, and ended Sept. 30, nearly 70 cases were submitted for the cancellation of CDLs. As recently as October, the commercial driver’s licenses of three people convicted of smuggling narcotics or humans were revoked.
Additionally, “Texas Hold ‘Em” seeks to engage businesses, landowners and other community members to help prevent crime and to increase the overall security of the region and ultimately the nation.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity, call the sector’s toll-free telephone number at 800-863-9382.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.