Border-Security Push is Reshaping Role of Texas Game Wardens

The early morning sky brightened to a slate blue, providing Luis Sosa with just the right camouflage. Sosa, a state game warden, steered a 65-foot boat over open water at the southern tip of Texas.

Sosa and three fellow game wardens from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department watched the horizon and the radar screen aboard the boat, the Captain Williams. They were looking for signs of the Mexican fishing boats they had seen the day before, operating illegally in Texas waters.

But the game wardens also kept an eye out for illicit activities of an altogether different kind. Over the summer, they had worked with federal agents pursuing a tip that one of the Mexican fishing vessels would unload a shipment of drugs on the beach at South Padre Island. The operation resulted in the seizure of nearly 1,000 pounds of marijuana.

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