Documents show Texas officials aware of plans for DeSantis' migrant flights out of San Antonio

Records obtained by the Express-News reveal that additional flights were planned, and top DeSantis aides were involved in coordinating the stunt.

click to enlarge Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken credit for flying 50 migrants to Martha's Vineyard. - Wikimedia Commons / Ron DeSantis
Wikimedia Commons / Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken credit for flying 50 migrants to Martha's Vineyard.
Bombshell documents obtained by the Express-News show that Texas officials knew about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' migrant flights to Martha's Vineyard and that some of his top aides were involved in coordinating the stunt.

What's more, the documents show that an off-duty Bexar County sheriff's deputy was at Kelly Field on Sept. 14, the day the controversial flights departed from San Antonio, according to the daily.

While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has denied knowing about the flights, which stranded nearly 50 asylum seekers on the East Coast, the Express-News reports that the obtained records include text correspondence between two top DeSantis officials in which they noted that Texas officials were aware of the planned departures.

In a Sept. 15 email to the Current, a spokeswoman for Abbott's office confirmed that the governor had held conversations with DeSantis about about Texas' program of busing migrants out of state prior to the flights departing San Antonio.

DeSantis' public safety czar, Larry Keefe, was in San Antonio weeks before the flights took off, the Express-News reports, citing 150 pages of text messages and other material it obtained. Additionally, records show Keefe was operating with the "knowledge and approval" of DeSantis Chief of Staff James Uthmeier.

Photos obtained by the Express-News show that an off-duty Bexar deputy was onsite as migrants boarded the planes.

The sheriff's office confirmed that the deputy was contracted to provide security with a K-9 unit, but he told supervisors that he was misled about the purpose of the flights, according to the newspaper. The man reportedly isn't a suspect in Sheriff Javier Salazar's ongoing criminal investigation into the flights.

The documents also confirm that DeSantis' operation, dubbed "Dash," initially included an additional flight slated for Sept. 20, according to the daily. That flight was bound for President Biden's home state of Delaware but was later scrubbed.

Additionally, financial statements indicate that DeSantis had plans for monthly flights to so-called sanctuary cities and that the State of Florida had already made a downpayment for future charter flights, according to the Express-News.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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