Texas Hold ’Em unit takes CDLs, trucks of accused smugglers

| 12/1/2009

A multi-agency law enforcement group is seizing trucks from and issuing lifetime CDL bans for drivers who smuggle illegal aliens, drugs or cash in the Lone Star State.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has combined efforts with the Texas Department of Public Safety to create the Texas Hold ’Em Initiative. Texas Hold ’Em aims to reduce the smuggling of humans and contraband in commercial trucks and buses.

The initiative uses state laws to:

  • Revoke the CDL of any person convicted of felony smuggling transportation charges;
  • Seize “the conveyance” of anyone who causes death, injury, receives profit from smuggling;
  • Pursue the death penalty for anyone who causes the death of an alien or other while smuggling;
  • Pursue up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for anyone who smuggles an alien or other person who is injured; and
  • Pursue up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for anyone who profits as a result of smuggling aliens or individuals.

“We have canceled 152 CDLs through the Texas Hold ’Em Initiative and have a 57 percent decrease in commercial vehicle smuggling cases in the Laredo Sector,” read a Texas Hold ’Em statement.

The unit has the authority to enforce a lifetime ban of CDL privileges, as well as take possession of trucks used for smuggling illegal aliens or drugs.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer