LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) -- Over the next two weeks, 37 houses in Laredo will be torn down.
One of them was torn down Wednesday morning in a neighborhood in central Laredo.
It's part of Operation: Crackdown, an effort by the Texas National Guard, Border Patrol and staff with the City of Laredo.
The houses on their list were previously identified as places for drug activity -- including drug use and drug smuggling.
Participants say it'll help improve local neighborhoods.
Gloria Rivera has lived in central Laredo for ten years.
In all that time, the house across the street from hers has been abandoned.
Now, the property can be used for something more positive.
Master Sergeant Marcus Wilkins is from Houston.
He's part of the demolition crew.
He says getting rid of the houses deters illegal activity.
Students from nearby Milton Elementary School watched the house come down.
A negative influence removed from their daily lives.
Border patrol agents worked with Laredo Police Officers to determine which houses should be demolished.
Many of the houses on the list are part of agent Krystle Brito's patrol.
Rivera says she couldn't help but cry when she saw the old house come down.
It's a change she's wanted for a long time.