BROWNSVILLE, TX — The Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector’s Combined Enforcement Unit addressed a group of more than 80 commercial truck drivers Friday 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 and aims to reduce the trafficking of contraband in commercial vehicles such as tractor-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.