KIMBLE COUNTY, Texas — Kimble County, roughly 90 miles from the Texas-Mexico border, has not had traffic pursuits related to human smuggling right now, but this could change at any time.
This month, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a revised disaster declaration in response to the border crisis. The declaration provides resources and strategies to combat the ongoing influx of undocumented immigrants for 28 counties, including Kimble.
Kimble County Sheriff Allen Castleberry said his department has apprehended close to 100 undocumented migrants.
"We've had three pursuits. Two of the deputies were injured. Not seriously, but they were injured. We've had one undocumented person. He was injured. He suffered a broken collar bone, a broken arm. He attempted to run through a fence due to the pursuit," Castleberry said. "We've seen people locked in trunks for eight hours and beaten and taken to who knows where."
Castleberry said other issues his department is seeing include migrants walking around and bypassing United States Border Patrol checkpoints, and getting picked up.
"The ones that we have apprehended we have caught on access roads on the interstate. It hasn't caused in pursuits yet...they are using a GPS to get to pick up points," he said.
The sheriff said back in the 1990s, human smuggling took place in the Kimble County area. However, it was not of this magnitude. He also said the department has noticed issues connected to the Texas-Mexico border have made their mark on the internet.
"The cartels and organizations that are doing human smuggling are advertising on social media where they said they are going to pay you x per head if you go here and pick these up and you know; it's wrong to do those things," Castleberry said.
He said it is also causing people to be more aware of their surroundings.
"There have been several incidents reported where groups have come up and assaulted a rancher and have taken their vehicle and other things."
Castleberry said if you see anything, it needs to be reported by calling your local sheriff's office, police department and or the U.S. Border Patrol to file a report.