Border Crisis: Where are we now?

At more than 150 miles from the Mexican- U.S border, our small city of Victoria is still a front row witness of the issues and struggles a dividing river can cause. From drugs to organized crime, Victoria is no stranger.

“Every one of those guys is very familiar to Victoria, they’ve worked in and around the area.
They’ve been sent up here for various reasons, or they pass through going to Houston to conduct their business and these are scary people. These are people, it’s not like you see in the movies it’s a completely different mindset, and completely different person than what you’ll see depicted by Hollywood. But it’s scary nonetheless. We’re talking people who are willing to kill you for a few thousand dollars.” says Chief Deputy Roy Boyd with the Victoria Sheriff Department.

Currently, VCSO has cases open that are directly connected to cartel business, according to law officials, up to four. Their biggest challenge is outsmarting the level of effective structure within these organizations.

“In the old days, each county was like an island, the sheriff was in control of the island, took care of your business inside of your county and that’s a failed model at this time. The cartels are so expansive, and they’ve replicated the model of Mexico into the United States.
We have to work together in a cohesive effort in order to combat this because as VCSO we can’t just investigate things until they get to the county border, if we do, we’ll never get to the source.” adds Boyd.

Staging areas are common within the county, designated spots where human trafficking makes a pit stop only to continue their route towards Houston.

“A lot of people think we’re three hours from the border, we’re insulated from it. It’s not true. In the course of investigations I’ve gone down to the valley with homeland security in order to pick up sicarios on some cases that we’ve worked out of Victoria. If you’re not familiar with sicarios, it’s a hit man- someone who kills for money,” explained Boyd.

The Crossroads has always been a route for drugs and smugglers, from the 2003 tragedy that made our city a national headline, where 19 immigrants died in the back of an abandoned 18 wheeler, to the frequent bail-outs that we report.

Taking you back to 2013 we reported on our neighboring county, Goliad, which is no stranger to this type of activity.

Sheriff Kirby Brumby explained back in 2013 the efforts in his county saying, “We are certainly using our resources to better educate and train our officers to be able to learn the routes and the types of vehicles these smugglers are using, we send them to classes in other counties… [learning] how to better deal with these chases that we’re encountering in our Goliad county.”

Stay tuned for the next three days as we recount our trip to the border and dive deeper into the effects in our own communities.

Watch exclusively on Newscenter 25 at 5, 6 and 10.