New documents show weeks of coordination between a top official in Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration and some of the key people responsible for shipping nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.
The flights sparked backlash from democrats and a criminal investigation in the San Antonio area of Texas.
The records, 87 pages in all, were released by the Governor’s office after the Florida Center on Government Accountability and other media organizations sued.
On August 17, a full four weeks before the flights, the documents show Florida’s Public Safety Czar Larry Keefe, was texting with Perla Huerta, who some migrants have identified as the woman who recruited them to fly to Massachusetts.
Huerta asked Keefe and another man in the conversation “Do you know where refugees hang out in between waiting on greyhound or flights out?”
In the beginning, Huerta was unsuccessful in finding any migrants.
“Church’s (sic) were empty already,” Huerta texted.
But by the next month Huerta, who served as a counterintelligence agent in the U.S. Army, found enough migrants to fill two private jets.
“Yahtzee!! We’re full,” Huerta texted.
DeSantis’s office has not responded to Fox 4 Investigates.
Soon after the flights, the Governor said all the migrants signed waivers and pointed blame at the Biden administration.
“All we’re trying to do is offer transport to sanctuary jurisdictions free to the alien, but certainly not mandatory,” DeSantis said at the time.
The Bexar County, TX Sheriff’s Office is now criminally investigating the operation.
Law enforcement there have previously said they’re looking into whether or not the migrants were given false promises of jobs or housing on Martha’s Vineyard before they agreed to the flights.
Many of them have already filed a class action lawsuit against DeSantis and the state of Florida.
“The text messages make it very clear that the administration’s goal wasn’t to aid Floridians it was to make a spectacle,” said David Metellus, Political Director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition.
On September 14, the day of the flights, Huerta texted Keefe to celebrate, “Victory Arms For you!!!! Thank you for this opportunity and support.”