92ºF

Texas sheriff talks border wall security, government shutdown

HOUSTON – Andy Louderback has been the sheriff of Jackson County for 16 years and he has been to the White House several times to discuss border security and criminal justice issues.

Louderback was seen sitting next to President Trump on Friday as the president answered questions about the ongoing government shutdown and the border wall. Louderback is also the legislative director for the Sheriff’s Association of Texas and he said a wall is needed along the border but maintains it is only a partial solution.

“The wall is simply a portion of what we've talked about for decades,” said Louderback. “No country exists that doesn't have a border that's controlled.”

Jackson County is a little over an hour south of Houston. The county is not on the border, but Louderback said Jackson is a corridor county. He explained what comes across Texas’ border with Mexico eventually moves through his jurisdiction on the way to Houston.

“Virtually 100 percent of our narcotics problem is coming out of Mexico,” said Louderback.

Louderback points to cocaine, ecstasy, Xanax, heroin and meth seized during recent arrests. He said none of those drugs are manufactured in the rural county and he said he is seeing an increase in meth.

“It's manufactured in laboratories in Mexico and shipped by the metric ton into this country,” said Louderback.

Louderback said when he has spoken to President Trump about border security, it is to say a wall is not needed along every mile of the border. However, Louderback said he believes a wall in certain portions is necessary to help law enforcement have greater control over the drugs and other types of crime coming over the border.

“We need physical barrier structures in certain places, we need technology and we need manpower,” said Louderback.

Louderback said border security is something he and his counterparts have discussed for decades because of the drugs, human trafficking and other crimes fueled by cartels.

“There's not a single law enforcement agency in this country who doesn't deal with what the cartel is bringing in to this country,” said Louderback.

When asked about the government shutdown, Louderback said it is unfortunate but necessary to address what he believes is a national security issue that has been neglected.