McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The federal government announced during a federal hearing Friday it is not yet ready to settle its case against the builder of a private border wall put up on the banks of the Rio Grande south of Mission, Texas.

Two months ago, the federal government — on behalf of the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission — told U.S. District Judge Randy Crane they were close to resolving the case against Fisher Industries and Fisher Sand and Gravel, which built a 3.5-mile section of wall on private riverfront lands.

But during a quick, four-minute-long video status conference Friday, prosecutors again said that final details have not yet been fully resolved.

“The last time we were before the court, we told the court we had a settlement in principle. We were working through the details, the fine details of what that would look like. We have endeavored for the last 60 days to get that done,” Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney Paxton Warner told Crane. “I believe that we are close to having everything done. We are within just a few paragraphs of having the settlement completed so that we can then get that over to the State Department and get approval.”

The federal government in December 2019 filed a lawsuit against Fisher Industries and Fisher Sand and Gravel, which built the private border wall on private farmlands using galvanized steel and millions of dollars in private donations that were crowdsourced by the controversial organization We Build The Wall.

Tommy Fisher, CEO of Fisher Sand & Gravel Company, is seen on Jan. 15, 2020, in front of his private border wall being built south of Mission, Texas. (Border Report File Photo/Sandra Sanchez)

Originally, We Build The Wall had been named in the lawsuit but was dropped.

The federal government sued, citing the structure violated an international water treaty with Mexico.

Any negotiations will first have to be approved by the U.S. State Department “seeing that it does affect the treaty with Mexico,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Hu told Crane during the last status hearing on Jan. 14 in McAllen, Texas.

The terms of the settlement are unknown but both parties previously discussed, among other things, having Fisher install gates on the border wall to give more access to the Border Patrol agents.

Fisher’s lawyer Mark Courtois, of Houston, said they had no objection to the government’s request for an additional 60 days to iron out the settlement, which Crane sounded eager to approve.

“In the meantime, if you do get everything signed and wrapped up I’ll just need the settlement and dismissal documents,” the judge said.

“We’re 98% there and I’m working on it today to try to push it over the finish line,” Courtois said.

Sandra Sanchez can be reached at