Texas sheriff highlights successes of Operation Lone Star after three years

Three years into Operation Lone Star, the Texas border security mission, a Texas sheriff is shining a spotlight on the commendable work of his deputies. They have been actively participating in a multi-county operation aimed at tackling crime associated with cartels.

Retired Jackson County Sheriff Kelly R. Janica played a crucial role as one of the founding members of the Operation Lone Star (OLS) Task Force, led by Goliad Sheriff Roy Boyd. Although Janica had initially entered semi-retirement, he stepped up to fill an open sheriff’s seat in December 2021, and soon after, he became an integral part of Boyd’s OLS task force. Comprising law enforcement officers from approximately 30 agencies across almost 20 counties, the task force is committed to putting an end to trafficking and smuggling operations associated with cartels.

Janica, in a video created by his office to inform county residents and Texans about the achievements and perilous tasks undertaken by the task force, emphasized the daily risks faced by these brave men and women. The video showcases deputies who have successfully thwarted cartel-related crimes, engaged in intense car chases, and executed daring bailouts. Additionally, the video includes an audio clip from former President Donald Trump’s 2017 commencement speech at Liberty University, where he motivates graduates and all Americans to persist and never surrender.

Janica expressed her dedication to criminal law enforcement in her county, emphasizing that she and Sheriff Shannon Srubar are the final links in the enforcement chain on US 59. She firmly stated that they will not allow the cartels to establish a foothold in their county, using it as stash houses or staging areas. Moreover, they are determined to prevent the cartels from freely passing through their counties, protecting the well-being of their fellow Texans from their predatory activities.

Jackson County, Texas Sheriff Kelly Janica, a member of the Operation Lone Star Task Force formed by Goliad County Sheriff Roy Boyd, has shown unwavering dedication in safeguarding the residents of the county, as well as the people of Texas and America at large. Despite his upcoming retirement this year, Sheriff Janica has remained resolute in his mission to protect and serve.

OLS task force members in Jackson and Wharton counties are known as the “linebackers” and serve as the final barrier against cartel-linked smugglers before they enter Fort Bend and Harris counties to the north. These two counties are considered the “end zone” because the law enforcement agencies there do not collaborate with the OLS task force.

The members of the OLS task force have dedicated their efforts to combatting traffickers involved in the illegal trade of people, weapons, drugs, and stolen vehicles along highways 281, 77, and 59 that connect to Houston. Throughout their mission, Janica’s deputies have displayed exceptional skills in recovering stolen vehicles. In the initial year alone, they successfully apprehended over 100 vehicles, setting an unprecedented record for the small county.

According to Janica, the stolen vehicles being utilized for this purpose are originating from Harris County. She explains that cartels are compensating fugitives to transport these vehicles to the border in order to collect illegal aliens and transport them back to Houston.

They are not only apprehending stolen cars, but they are also preventing attempted smuggling incidents.

Janica, the deputy, and his team apprehended Hondurans whom they suspected of illegally entering the country and being smuggled to North Carolina. The Hondurans claimed to be family members, but Janica expressed skepticism, stating, “we don’t believe that for one minute.”

Janica stated that under normal circumstances, his deputy would have arrested the driver and front passenger for human smuggling if federal law was being enforced. However, they were unable to make the arrests because Border Patrol refused to come and apprehend them. Additionally, the individuals had been given papers with court dates set for 2026.

According to Janica, The Biden administration is actively working on a strategy to bring individuals into the country through a court process within a span of three years. This involves relocating people to North Carolina. Janica expressed his concern, stating that not only have Biden’s policies resulted in a disastrous situation, but the federal government is also participating in what he calls “legalized smuggling.”

Janica stated that in addition to these types of stops, his deputies have been engaged in perilous and high-speed car chases and bailouts in Jackson and other counties that are part of the OLS program. According to him, this kind of activity has become the standard in South Texas, as crime rates have experienced a significant surge in 2021 and 2022.

According to Janica, the effectiveness of Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas legislature’s response to the situation was amplified by the surge of resources and allocation of funds. Their commitment, along with the collaboration of like-minded motivated sheriffs, has yielded positive results. Although active patrolling is still ongoing, there has been a decrease in apprehensions.

“Now that the governor has successfully halted the invasion in Eagle Pass, we are fully prepared to carry on the battle for Texas,” he asserted. He was referring to the state’s determined efforts, which have effectively shifted illegal activities towards neighboring states lacking the same level of operations. The Center Square was the first to report on this development.

Janica previously held the position of Jackson County’s sheriff from 1988 to 2005 and also served as the county’s emergency management coordinator. He was appointed as sheriff by county commissioners to complete the term that had been left vacant by the previous sheriff.

Edna Police Chief Rick Boone, who has a background in serving on the Edna City Council and as chief deputy at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, stepped forward to fill Janica’s shoes. He emerged victorious in the unopposed primary election and is poised to secure the position in the upcoming November elections. Boone expressed his commitment to upholding the county’s participation in the OLS task force during a recent meeting in Goliad, as he continues to serve as its chief.

Boyd, Janica, and Srubar are part of a group of over 100 Texas sheriffs who endorse OLS. They argue that federal policies have resulted in an “unsecure border” and a deliberate, destructive, and inhumane violation of Texas and federal law.

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