Galveston County Constables return to help with border crisis in Kinney County

Border crisis
Border crisis

Two Galveston County Constables returned to Kinney County again to answer calls for help from a sheriff who is short-handed and facing an increasing number of calls for service because of what is happening on our border.

“Until Border Patrol gets back to full staff and do what they’re actually designed to do, we’re going to continue to be overrun,” said Sheriff Brad Coe.

Coe, who is a retired border patrol agent, said the county has dealt with a sharp increase in migrants crossing through ranches this year, damaging fences and other pieces of equipment.

“The burglaries are through the roof,” said Coe. “In years past, it was just food and water, now it’s just whatever they can get their hands on.”

Kinney County only has six deputies, and when Coe asked for help through the governor’s office, Galveston County Constables Justin West and Jimmy Fullen answered.

“The influx of migrants coming across still hasn’t slowed down, and they just need our help down here,” said Fullen.

This is the second time the constables have been to the county. During the last visit, the pair said they spent much of their time helping state troopers stop migrants stowed away on trains. That has now changed.

“Traffic is not slowing down, it seems like with the cooler weather we’re seeing more foot traffic and fewer groups on trains,” said Precinct 4 Constable Justin West.

Fullen also brought water and energy drinks donated by the League City Police officer Association, Galveston Municipal Police Association, Robbie Nelson, Crossroads Realty and Sonya Poretto.

“We noticed a lot of troopers going out and buying their own cases of water and sticking them in the back of their car,” said West.

State records between July 1 and Aug 16 of this year, 35 property owners in several border counties reported border-related damage to their properties through a Texas Division of Emergency Management survey. Lt. Col. Rodney Kelley with the Texas Military Department also said more teams are heading to border counties to install temporary security fencing in areas state troopers identify as having the most traffic.

“They’re going to locate and point out the places with the biggest need and we will flow teams there,” said Kelley.

Kelley said three miles of fencing have already been installed in Val Verde County. Donations also continue to come in for Gov. Greg Abbott’s planned border wall. Through a series of open records requests, KPRC 2 Investigates has received a list of 7,698 individual donations totaling more than $1 million through Sept. 8. However, the Governor’s border wall website showed donations reached $54, 323, 095 by the end of August. When KPRC 2 asked about the discrepancy, we were told the paperwork for a donation of $53 million in securities had not reached the governor’s office by the time of our request.

KPRC 2 has submitted another request regarding who donated such a large amount and is awaiting a response.