“I know it’s hard to believe and wrap our mind around that men, women and children are a commodity, but they truly are to them,” said Jaeson Jones.

Jones, a retired Captain from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division, is currently dedicating his life to border security and touring the country to bring awareness and urgency to the issue. 

He spoke to a crowd of about 100 Texans in Karnes City on March 24 about “them” — the Mexican cartels. The event was hosted by the Karnes County Republican Party and sponsored by the Latinos for America First, formerly known as the Latinos for Trump.

“Our own government is not admitting we have a problem and Mexico’s government is going in the wrong direction,” said Jones. “Tonight, I’m going to show you how the crisis at the border is directly affecting you and your families.”

During his career, Jones managed the daily operations for the Texas Rangers, Border Security Operations Center (BSOC). He also supervised Human Intelligence (HUMINT) operations in several nations and managed intelligence lead operations for Operation Secure Texas.

“The public is not being told what the cartel is doing to people and the billions of dollars it is costing taxpayers,” said Jones. 

He shared recently updated statistics from the border for 2021 including totals that filled the room with gasps and scoffs. Jones shared that there have been 100,441 apprehensions,26,825 “gotaways”and 37 deaths.

However, the most shocking number involved children. So far this year there have been 29,729 “unaccompanied alien children.”

Jones promised the crowd that this problem could be fixed.

He pointed out that the hard work by local, state and federal law enforcement is keeping Texas safer and in a far better position than New Mexico, Arizona and California. These states who also share the border with Mexico have many gaps that cartels are taking advantage of.

“This is a national leadership problem,” said Jones. “I’m going to straight up blame the government for the rising number of overdose deaths. They have this information and they are not doing anything about it. The public does not understand what we are up against.”

Jones referred to the recent “Operation Python” led by the DEA, which targeted the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). CJNG owns and operates over 100 meth and Fentanyl labs and has increased the production to between three to seven tons a week.

Jones said the U.S. government knows exact locations for these labs but refuses to destroy them. His solutions included designating the CJNG as foreign terrorists to limit their mobility.

Bianca Gracia, president of Latinos for America First, said she invited Jones to speak in Karnes County because of its central location to seven adjacent counties. She pleaded with the crowd to contact their state and national representatives.

“We need to hold our leaders accountable for the job we elected them to do,” said Gracia. “This is how we shut the border down. By using our voices as Texans and Americans and demanding security at our southern border.”

Jones flipped through slides and censored videos of barbaric executions, armored vehicles, military grade guns and weapons and explosives. He also told stories of firsthand interviews with cartel members and migrants who are indebted to them.

“People are the gift that keeps giving,” said Jones. “Those are their words, not mine. We’re so busy blaming each other and taking sides that we have divided our country. The only ones winning right now are the cartels.”

•arivera@mysoutex.com

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