Rio Grande River Shoot-Out: Texas Officers, Mexican Drug Cartel Trade Fire

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A dramatic firefight broke out on the Rio Grande River early this morning when federal drug agents attempting to intercept two boats traded shots with cartel members on the Mexican side, the Department of Public Safety says.

"A suspicious vehicle on the U. S. side of the Rio Grande River was observed along with two cartel drug recovery boats," DPS spokesperson Tela Mange says. "Three law enforcement patrol boats arrived on the scene and received heavy gun fire from the Mexico side while attempting to interdict the drug-laden boats."

At least three "suspected drug runners" were wounded in the exchange, she said. No one on the U.S. side was hit.

DPS did not release details on the location of the shootout; we've got a call in to the agency. (Update: Mange says it was in Hidalgo County on the border.)

Mexican officials "were notified of the abandoned cartel drug-laden boats and are on the scene," DPS says.

The officers were "participating in a multi-agency Texas Ranger Recon operation," DPS says, and it says they were trying to intercept "a large drug load." (Update: Ranger Recon involves Texas Rangers and Texas national Guard, not federal agents.)

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