#minorsextrafficking | DeSantis Announces Local Task Force, Other Efforts Targeting ‘Biden Border Crisis’ (Photo Gallery) : NorthEscambia.com

In Pensacola Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced three actions Florida is taking to address what he called the “Biden Border Crisis”, including a law enforcement task force operating locally.

Speaking at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, DeSantis said Florida has formed a strike force of state and local law enforcement to interdict human smuggling, human trafficking, and to seize illegal weapons being transported through the state.

“Illegal aliens are being smuggled across the border in record numbers, which the reckless policies of the Biden administration facilitate,” said DeSantis. “Today, Florida has taken additional action to protect our state from the effects of what is a full-fledged border crisis.”

For a photo gallery, click here.

The strike force is already in place in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties. It’s comprised of the Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Law Enforced and sheriff’s offices from the four counties.

In the span of just three days, mostly along I-10 in Northwest Florida, law enforcement interdicted five illegal aliens from Honduras and two from El Salvador who were arrested and charged with human smuggling or solicitation to commit human smuggling.

The strike force also recovered almost four grams of fentanyl, which the governor said is enough to kill nearly 2,000 Floridians.

Across the state, FHP has identified 40 human smuggling cases with 150 undocumented individuals since January 2021 that resulted 140 charges, according to FHP Director Gene Spaulding.

“I can’t emphasize enough, that is just scratching the surface,” Spaulding said. “If we were able to go out and dedicate full resources to this issue, it would be much higher than that. I’m confident.”

DeSantis filed a petition to the Florida Supreme Court for an order to impanel a statewide grand jury to identify and investigate persons and international human smuggling networks that move illegal aliens, particularly children, across the southwest border to more desirable states such as Florida.

The grand jury will examine these networks’ impact on the State of Florida and how they have violated state laws. In addition, the grand jury will investigate local governments that are aiding this smuggling scheme by intentionally violating state law, which requires them to cooperate with the federal government on immigration matters.

Friday morning, DeSantis also signed SB 1808 that prohibits any Florida government from ding business with any company that carries undocumented immigrants, unless they are being transported for deportation or detention.

State Attorney Ginger Bowden Madden said her office will continue working with local and state law enforcement to make sure they present strong cases in court. She has assigned a prosecutor to be available to law enforcement 24/7 as they build cases in the field.

“The administration currently in Washington may not be controlling our nation’s borders,” Bowden Madden said. “But we’re going to do everything that we can to control the borders of the state of Florida.”

For a photo gallery, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

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