Lee County deputies among Florida officers assigned to southern border duty

After the governor’s Wednesday announcement, Lee County deputies are among Florida law enforcement officers being assigned to aid with protection at the southern border wall in Texas and Arizona.

Sheriff Carmine Marceno confirmed with us Thursday Lee County deputies will soon be at the southern border with the goal to protect Americans and stop illegal drugs from flowing into the country.

“People rob. They kill, and they steal for drugs, so taking drugs off the streets, especially fentanyl, meth,” Marceno said. “Criminals have no boundaries, and I don’t want that criminal element here.”

The sheriff told us he didn’t hesitate when Gov. Ron DeSantis called him and asked for his office’s help.

The specifics are still being worked out, but we know Texas and Arizona want the nation’s help.

Questions that remain unanswered:

  • What responsibilities will our deputies have?
  • How many will go?
  • Who will pick up the tab?

The price tag is not an issue for Marceno.

“When we have hurricanes, we have an emergency, those governors send us resources all the time,” Marceno said. “Without question, it’s the right thing to do.”

During his announcement, Desantis criticized the Biden administration’s approach to border security, calling it a disaster and a failure. He doubled down on those feelings Thursday.

“There was not a crisis January 20 on that border,” DeSantis said publicly. “Not saying that everything was resolved. I mean, the policies were working, and those were all thrown out, I think more for political or ideological reasons.”

Sheriff Marceno doesn’t believe sending Florida deputies to the border for this assignment is a political stunt.

“[The governor] made it crystal clear,” Marceno said. “This is about doing what’s right and doing what’s right every single time. So for me, in my view and what I have spoken directly to the governor, it’s not political.”

The governor of Texas and Arizona believe the Biden administration is not doing enough to manage the border with Mexico, and Gov. DeSantis agrees. We reached out to the White House for comment, but we have not received a response at this time.

Reporter:Zach Oliveri
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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