Suspected cartel gunmen in body armor, armed with rifles cross border, search called off by law enforcement

The three men were seen with rifles and body armor.

Photos have emerged depicting alleged members of a cartel brandishing firearms as they illegally crossed into the United States from Mexico. The men were making their way into the Fronton, Texas area, which has become known for its heavy presence of drug smugglers.

Elite Border Patrol agents known as BORTAC were called to the scene, but their search for the men captured in the photos came up fruitless.

The images were obtained by Fox News and shared by border correspondent Bill Melugin. They show three men decked out in body armor carrying rifles as they make their way through a brush-covered field.

Members of law enforcement told the outlet that the men were spotted Saturday evening by cameras set up by the border agency.

The area around Fronton has been a hotbed of cartel activity. In June, suspected members of the Northeast Cartel were arrested after being caught crossing into the United States armed with rifles.

Border agents also recovered two "terrified looking juveniles" who were reportedly traveling with the men.

The skyrocketing number of illegal crossings has led many to call for stronger protections, with the growing prominence of armed criminal gangs at the southern border only adding to the urgency.

Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis said the situation was "worse than you think," calling attention to "the impunity with which the cartels operate."

"There's no border patrol to be found," he said, recalling the time he saw cartel members simply motion for migrants to cross an unguarded, unwalled section. "They're all in town processing people!"

He slammed the cartels for smuggling not only humans, but dangerous substances, into the United States, and vowed to put an end to the problem once and for all.

"We'll have military down there," DeSantis said. "If you are in the cartels cutting through our fence to bring drugs in, that's going to be the last thing you do because we're going to leave you stone-cold dead..."
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