BRACKETTVILLE, Texas—Days after a militia made its presence known in a rural Texas town, the county sheriff said he received a call from a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) official who threatened to pull all its resources from the county.
Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe said that during the call, the official said they “didn’t know who these people were” who were wanting to come help on the border.
“He basically said, ‘I’ll pull all my resources out,’” Coe said.
Coe said he understood the call to mean that all state troopers assigned to the county would be relocated, and other resources including jail space could be made unavailable to Kinney County if militia personnel were operating in the county, even on private ranches.
“I said, ‘They’re not working for me. They’re not deputized. They’re just here on their own accord. And they have that right to be here,’” Coe told The Epoch Times.
Sam Hall, leader of the militia Patriots for America, said the group planned to operate as a deterrent in areas of high traffic.
“As a militia, we can’t detain or arrest people. We can disrupt and frustrate until the county or DPS can get there,” Hall told The Epoch Times.
Border Patrol agents recorded almost 4,000 illegal aliens who evaded capture in the Del Rio Sector in the seven days from Oct. 18, according to provisional Customs and Border Protection numbers provided to The Epoch Times. Most have to pass through Kinney County to get from the border cities of Del Rio and Eagle Pass to San Antonio.
“What we’ve seen is an invasion of this county,” Hall said during a county commissioner’s meeting on Oct. 18. “What we’ve seen is residents that are scared to death right now, and they don’t feel like they have support from the state.”
Coe said he had spoken to Hall and requested to know where they’d be operating, for safety purposes. The sheriff said he understood the concerns DPS might have of a “friendly fire” incident if they don’t know where people are working.
DPS has had a significant impact in Kinney County since the governor’s Operation Lone Star border enforcement effort began in March, especially with the extra state troopers on the roads arresting human smugglers and on the ranches apprehending illegal aliens for trespassing.
DPS didn’t respond to requests for comment.