A Texas National Guardsman was arrested on Sunday for allegedly smuggling an illegal immigrant across the southern border, with dashcam footage obtained by Fox News showing the moment he was arrested — just as Gov. Greg Abbott’s office said the man is a “traitor and criminal” if the charges are true.

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed to Fox News that it arrested Savion Johnson in Brackettville, Texas, on charges of evading arrest, smuggling of persons and unlawful carry of a weapon, while stressing that it was an ongoing investigation.

Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe confirmed that the individual being arrested is a Texas National Guard soldier. A source with the Texas National Guard also confirmed that he is a Texas guardsman, and also confirmed he was smuggling the migrant in a government vehicle. The arrest was first reported by NewsNation.

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Fox News obtained Kinney County Sheriff’s Office dashcam footage of the moment Johnson was arrested, which shows him being dragged out of the vehicle by Texas DPS law enforcement. The migrant bailed from the car during the pursuit prior to the arrest.

‘Traitor and criminal’

Abbott’s office didn’t hold back in its criticism of Johnson’s alleged actions if the charges are substantiated.

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“If the allegations are true, the accused is a traitor and criminal,” Abbott Press Secretary Andrew Mahaleris said in a statement to Fox News Digital. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the border on a tour

“We have zero tolerance for Texans who violate laws that directly contradict the mission we are seeking to achieve. The accused’s illegal smuggling may subject him to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 10 years,” he said. “He deserves more.”

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Surge of resources

Abbott has increased resources and law enforcement on the southern border as part of Operation Lone Star, an effort to secure the border in what the state says is an absence of leadership from the federal government. The emergence of the footage came on the same day as Texas squared off against the Department of Justice in oral arguments before a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals over its controversial anti-illegal immigration law.

The law, which was signed in December and allows for local police to arrest illegal immigrants, has been blocked after a lawsuit from the Biden administration. Texas argued that the law is needed given the record numbers of migrants coming to the border.

“There’s always been people who cross the border,” Solicitor General Aaron Nielson said in court. “But before, we talked about hundreds of thousands. Now, we talk about millions. Before, we talked about tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors. Now, we talk about hundreds of thousands. Before, we talked about a few countries. Now, we talk about essentially all countries.”

The administration claims Texas’ efforts, which include building razor wire and putting buoys in the Rio Grande, hinder federal enforcement of immigration law. The Supreme Court briefly allowed the Texas law to go ahead, before it was blocked hours later by the appeals court arguments on the merits of the case.

Fox News Digital’s Jasmine Baehr contributed to this report.

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