Texas Game Wardens Stepping Up Patrols along Border
FALCON LAKE – The Texas Game Wardens’ role has changed as they place more patrols on Falcon Lake following a fatal shooting last week.
The game wardens are watching out for drugs and others dangers on the waters. A boat stacked with usually three wardens is now armed with a heavy machine gun.
The main purpose of game wardens is to enforce hunting and fishing laws in the state. But the ones who patrol the border do a lot more.
Falcon Lake sits on the border and is known for heavy drug trafficking.
Brad Whitworth said they can tell who’s legit in the area and who isn’t.
“Coming straight from Mexico, back and forth, running back, straight across, number of people in the boat might be an indicator,” he said.
They’re working to stop the drugs from coming across. However, game wardens are not allowed to cross a certain point that could lead them into Mexico waters.
Whitworth spoke about the most recent incident.
“On the lake, for me, yes, first time for shots being fired on the water,” he said.
Two men had exchanged words with some people on another boat. Investigators said once they saw what appeared to be a weapon, they sped off.
Shots were then fired; one man was hit and died. The other man managed to jump off and swim to a buoy.
The boat was found with the man’s body inside. The other boat may have sped off into Mexico.
Patrolling at night brings a challenge to the game wardens.
“We’re trying to come out; we’re trying to get out here fast to save people. We’re trying to keep ourselves safe. And at the same time, it’s dark. You don’t know if there are other boats out here. Maybe the people that were shooting are still here. You have no idea,” Whitworth said.
He said he believes it’ll never be just enforcing hunting laws anymore with more border security tasks and more agencies working together.
“A lot of the direction has changed for our department,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll ever go back to the way it was.”
The game wardens will continue their patrols and keep people safe.