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|  TPWD News Release 20041213a                                            |
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[ Note: This item is more than 10 years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Kristen Everett, 512-389-8046, tpwd.news@tpwd.texas.gov ] [KE]
Dec. 13, 2004
Wardens Made Much Progress on the Border Last Month
ZAPATA, Texas -- At and around the Falcon Lake area on the Mexican border, game wardens had a busy November.
"Efforts of game wardens in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies have been very successful in the past few weeks in the Falcon Lake area," said Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Law Enforcement Director, Col. James Stinebaugh. "We intend to keep the pressure on all of our border areas to enforce game laws and assist other agencies in their missions when called upon to do so."
Following are some of the November accomplishments of the wardens:
--Wardens observed a Mexico commercial fishing vessel enter into United States waters on the Rio Grande River. When the officers attempted to stop the vessel, the subjects evaded arrest and went to Mexico. During the pursuit, the officers noticed a large number of plastic-covered bundles in the center of the violator boat which they suspected to be drugs. When the officers back-tracked the pursuit route, they discovered one of the plastic bundles floating in the water. The bundle, which was later determined to be marijuana, was turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol and weighed 41 pounds. The investigation continues.
--Wardens received a call advising that a vehicle loaded with drugs had just left a border location and was traveling toward Laredo. U.S. Border Patrol initiated the vehicle stop and Game Wardens were backing them up. The suspect vehicle drove off the highway and crashed into some thick brush and the driver fled. The officers were unable to locate the suspect; however, the vehicle was seized along with 348 pounds of marijuana.
--Wardens observed a vessel enter into U.S. waters from Mexico. The wardens followed the vessel to a public boat ramp in Zapata and initiated a water safety inspection. While inspecting the vessel, the game wardens noticed an open compartment that contained what they believed to be a bundle of marijuana. Upon further inspection of the vessel, the wardens located a total of 11 bundles of marijuana which was later weighed and totaled 125 pounds. The case was turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.
--While working at Falcon Lake, wardens observed a Mexico commercial fishing vessel enter into U.S. waters. When the vessel entered into Arroyo Tigre, game wardens stopped the vessel. The operator of the vessel beached his boat on the bank and he and his passenger fled into some thick brush. The officers searched the area but were unable to locate the two subjects. The officers seized the vessel along with 3,000 feet of gill net.
--Wardens observed a Mexico Commercial fishing vessel enter into U.S. waters around Zapata. The wardens initiated a stop of the vessel and two Mexico commercial fishermen were arrested for possession of illegal fishing devices (gill nets) and transported to the Zapata County Jail. The violators were fined $450 each and their boat, motor and nets (900 feet) were seized by the wardens pending forfeiture proceedings.
--Other general seizures made in November include 3,000 feet of unattended gill nets and one unattended hoop net.
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