June 17, 2022 Updated 11:38 A.M. ET
PENSACOLA (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis wants a statewide grand jury to investigate human smuggling networks bringing people across the southern border under President Joe Biden.
The DeSantis administration filed a petition Friday with the Florida Supreme Court requesting a statewide grand jury.
“People coming illegally, a lot of them are trying to get here in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “This is something that absolutely affects us. The drugs that are coming in affect us.”
DeSantis said the grand jury would investigate individuals and organizations that are aiding in human smuggling across the southern border. It would also examine how these illegal networks affect Florida.
“The purpose of the grand jury will be to investigate individuals and organizations that are actively working with foreign nationals, drug cartels, coyotes to illegally smuggle minors, some as young as two years old, across the border and into Florida,” he said. “This is just wrong what they’re doing and we are going to go after it.”
A new strike force was formed with the $12 million Florida lawmakers approved in the budget. Governor DeSantis said the state and local law enforcement strike force will combat illegal drug smuggling, human trafficking, and illegal firearm smuggling.
The strike force just began in Northwest Florida where seven illegal immigrants were arrested for human smuggling and drug possession. Five of them were from Honduras and two from El Salvador.
Law enforcement found enough fentanyl on the smugglers to kill 2,000 Floridians.
“We do not want this in our state. And so we are going to react very strongly against that,” he said.
However, Florida Highway Patrol Director Col. Gene Spaulding said the recent strike force investigation is only “scratching the surface” of the illegal activity in Florida related to the border.
Since January of 2021, FHP has made more than 40 cases of human smuggling that involved 150 illegal immigrants resulting in 140 smuggling charges.
“If we were able to go out and dedicate full resources to this issue, it would be much higher than that. I’m confident.” Spaulding said.
FHP seized more than 9,000 lbs of marijuana, 115 lbs of cocaine, more than 20 lbs of heroin, 250 lbs of meth, 272 weapons, and $4.3 million in other contraband.
“These numbers are outrageous,” Spaulding said. “And like I said, there’s more to be done.”
The Governor also signed Senate Bill 1808 which he said penalizes contractors the federal government hires if they dump illegal immigrants into the state. The contractors would be ineligible for a tax contract.
The law also requires law enforcement agencies operating with county detention facilities to enter into a written agreement with ICE to help enforce federal immigration laws by identifying illegal immigrants.
Governor DeSantis called President Joe Biden’s border policies and “abject failure” Friday.
In the last year and a half, more than 3 million people illegally crossed the U.S. Mexico border, according to the Governor. Florida is taking legal action against the Biden administration for its “unlawful” immigration policy. DeSantis slams the president for releasing illegal immigrants into the country once they have been caught.
“And so what has that gotten us?” DeSantis asked. “It’s gotten us record human trafficking, record sex trafficking, and record drug trafficking we now have in this country.”
Share This Post
Florida’s Voice is a patriotic news network that you can trust to deliver the truth with no hidden agenda. Founder and Editor in Chief Brendon Leslie left his job in mainstream news to practice journalism as it should be, unbiased and unbossed.