Cartel Members Threatening Southern Border Sheriffs And Gathering Intel Via Social Media, Officer Says

[Screenshot/NewsNation/"NewsNation Live w/Marni Hughes"]

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Terrell County Sheriff Thaddeus Cleveland stated Tuesday on NewsNation that cartel members have been using social media platforms to threaten officials, including himself.

Cleveland appeared on “NewsNation Live with Marni Hughes” to discuss the threats he has been receiving from cartel members, who he says regularly check his Facebook account. As the Texas sheriff has posted regularly to his social media account regarding the department’s work along the border, Cleveland relayed to the outlet that he has received messages calling him vulgar and derogatory names with warning that members were watching him and “his woman.”

NewsNation host Marni Hughes questioned the Sheriff on his thoughts regarding the situation and if there was a “most concerning” message he received. (RELATED: ‘Hold On To Your Britches’: Trump Vows To Send Migrants Back Where They Came From)

“I don’t put a whole lot of worry, you know, I’m pretty secure in my faith,” Cleveland stated. “And I’ve taken an oath on three different occasions – first in the United States military, then as a U.S. Border Patrol agent, [and] now a sheriff. So I’m going to do what’s right for our citizens, for our nation. Regardless of what’s thrown at us, you just gotta chalk that up in the back of your mind and continue to do what you do.”

Cleveland went on to say that while he has not coordinated with other local departments in the area on the issue, he stated that while working as a Border Patrol agent for 26 years there would be times that cartel members would put out “a hit” on agents as it “comes with the territory.”

Hughes pressed the sheriff on whether the threats had made him reconsider what he posts to social media.

“You know it has. I always kinda despised social media, but when I took over as sheriff, primarily, I had to show that we had a problem here in Terrell County. Secondly, I wanted to highlight the good work that goes on by the United States Border Patrol agents here in Terrell County and along the U.S.-Mexico border. Thirdly, how we all work together, here at the sheriff’s office with the state and with our border patrol agents,” Cleveland stated.

“But initially I used to blackout faces of the illegals we caught and then I slowly quit doing that because so many people were reaching out about their family members or ones that had been lost or we’re missing,” he said. “So even though there are some disadvantages of there’s, also some advantages and actually gives people a little peace of mind.”

Cartel members are reportedly using the social media platforms for more than just threats against officials. Reports suggest that cartel members have been using social media to check if their cargo has made it through the U.S. undetected by officials, according to NewsNation.

The southern border has seen a massive increase in illegal crossing within the last couple of years, according to data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Within December 2023 CBP recorded the highest monthly total of migrant encounters ever, with 302,034 encounters at both ports of entry and between ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico border during the month.