Texas Border Business
AUSTIN, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott today issued an executive order designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations and instructing the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to take immediate action to keep Texans safe amid the growing national fentanyl crisis. At a roundtable discussion and press conference in Midland today, the Governor also sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris requesting federal terrorist classifications for the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel, as well as other cartels producing and distributing deadly fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is a clandestine killer, and Texans are falling victim to the Mexican cartels that are producing it,” said Governor Abbott. “Cartels are terrorists, and it’s time we treated them that way. In fact, more Americans died from fentanyl poisoning in the past year than all terrorist attacks across the globe in the past 100 years. In order to save our country, particularly our next generation, we must do more to get fentanyl off our streets.”
The Governor was joined at the roundtable discussion and press conference by DPS Director Steve McCraw, DPS Regional Director West Texas Region Jose Sanchez, Midland County Judge Terry Johnson, Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis, Midland County Sheriff Chief Deputy Benny Matlock, Odessa Police Chief Mike Gerke, Midland Police Chief Seth Herman, and Midland Memorial Hospital District Police Chief Steve McNeill.
Governor Abbott also directed DPS and law enforcement agencies to identify Texas gangs that support Mexican drug cartels and seize their assets in order to disrupt cartel networks operating in Texas communities, as thousands of Texans have been poisoned unwittingly by counterfeit pills laced with the deadly synthetic opioid.
With Mexican drug cartels disguising fentanyl as counterfeit pills and targeting children with “rainbow fentanyl” pills, the Governor emphasizes in his letter that immediate decisive action is needed from the Biden Administration to combat this deadly crisis impacting the nation.
Yesterday, the Governor sent a letter to state agency leaders directing them to ramp up efforts to combat the fentanyl crisis by preparing for the next legislative session with statutory changes, budget priorities, and other initiatives that will enhance Texas’ ability to combat fentanyl deaths across the state. The letter further directs state agencies to coordinate efforts to raise awareness of fentanyl’s lethality and prevalence.