Protecting Our Borders

Well, I feelsafer already.

EAGLE PASS, Texas – Three members of the Texas National Guard were being held in the Maverick County Jail on charges they fired shots in a residential area while drinking alcohol, a sheriff’s official said.

The guardsmen face felony charges of deadly conduct for the alleged shooting spree last Wednesday in a neighborhood north of Eagle Pass on the Texas-Mexico border.


“They were riding in their vehicle, shooting out the window. Each one took turns. They had some beer in the vehicle and had been drinking,” said Ruben Cano, chief deputy for the Maverick County Sheriff’s Office.


The guardsmen were deployed to the border as part of Operation Jump Start, President Bush’s plan help local and federal law enforcement stop illegal immigration by deploying National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border. About 1,500 troops have been assigned to the Texas border.

National Guard Capt. Dick Jinks, the public affairs officer for Operation Jump Start, would not provide additional information about the three men.


Cano said the suspects didn’t cooperate at first.

“They gave us a bunch of yahoo military talk,” Cano said. “We advised them we weren’t playing with them. Once they had spent a night here (in jail), they changed their attitude.”

Maverick County Judge Pepe Aranda said the incident is an example of how things can go wrong when armed strangers come to the border. He opposed bringing guardsmen to the county.

“They are not familiar with our region. They don’t know our customs or our culture,” Aranda said. “They think they are back home, or they take everything for granted, and we have a situation like this.”

Eagle Pass is located 130 miles southwest of San Antonio.