BORDER PROSECUTION UNIT

BORDER PROSECUTION UNIT FACTS The Border Prosecution Unit includes 16 prosecution offices from El Paso to Brownsville. In total, 44 counties along the Texas/Mexico border are involved in this partnership. (see shaded counties above) Activities are coordinated through the Border Prosecution Unit Board of Directors headed by Chairman Rene M. Pena, District Attorney for the 81st Judicial District (Floresville), and Vice-Chairman Isidro Alaniz, District Attorney for the 49th Judicial District (Laredo). The initial funding was granted through the 81st Legislature (SB 1, Art. IX, Sec. 17.04(4)), in the amount of $4,000,000 for the biennium. Its purpose is to create and supplement “prosecution resources: in aid of Border Security Operations”. The BPU grant is administered as a trusteed grant program through the Criminal Justice Division of Governor Perry’s office. The grant allows each District Attorney’s office to hire assistant prosecutors and/or investigators whose primary responsibility is to aggressively handle and coordinate prosecution of border crimes.

BPU has formed a partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety to develop first-of-its-kind protocol for handling border cases. BPU also participates in joint training exercises for prosecutors, state, local and federal law enforcement agencies. The main emphasis is on violent crimes (murder, kidnapping, extortion), criminal enterprises associated with cartels and drug trade, financial crimes and human trafficking.

Border Crime Definition Border Crime is any crime that undermines public safety or security because of proximity to the border, such as, without being limited to, crimes involving: • • • • • Weapons Drugs Human Trafficking or Other Exploitation Financial Crimes and Money Laundering Criminal Enterprises and Prison and Street Gangs Engaging in Activities Such As:  Kidnapping  Extortion  Murder Mexican Nationals or Other Undocumented Aliens Transnational Elements (i.e., activities on both sides of the border) Public Corruption

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