Leading SA: Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar on human smuggling, gun violence, local crime

The sheriff also discussed the recent uptick in violent gun crime

In the aftermath of the human smuggling operation that left 53 people dead, Sheriff Javier Salazar joined Leading SA to discuss issues in and around Bexar County.

We’re seeing it every day. We’re dealing with it every day. You guys have covered some of the operations we’ve had or we rescued dozens of people at a time,” Salazar said. “We know that we’re only catching a small percentage of what is being smuggled through human lives. And these cartels are just making money hand over fist. What we’re doing now is only endangering lives and enriching these cartels. We need to find a better way of doing it.”

How can local law enforcement stop the problem?

Well, that’s what I’m asking the federal government to do. I mean, me as the local sheriff, as much as I’d love to help, we just need more resources. You know, I don’t agree with the approach that the state is currently taking, so I don’t think that’s the proper place for me to be asking for resources from. I’m asking from the federal government and we will see what happens with that,” Salazar said.

The sheriff also discussed the recent uptick in violent gun crime.

Well, I think the number one thing is just easy access to way too many weapons. These crooks know that if they break into a car in a parking lot, it stands a very good chance of having a gun under the seat,” Salazar said. “We’re just seeing way too many guns out there. Legal guns are not the issue. It’s careless gun owners, I should say, leaving their guns unattended and easily getting them stolen. So if you’re a crook, why bother to go buy one somewhere? All you got to do is break into enough cars and you’re going to find one under the seat.”

The sheriff added that gun owners need to be safer when it comes to keeping their weapons secure.

I tell them that legal gun ownership is a 24-hour endeavor. You can’t just say, well, I’m going to bed, let the gun be on its own. That gun is going to get stolen,” Salazar said.

Salazar also discussed the recent arrest of one of his deputies. Last week, a detective with BCSO was arrested for suspicion of DWI.

My message is that DWI or committing crimes like that is a career killer. There is no excuse to drink and drive. This young man knew better. He absolutely knew better and still did it. So as I said the other day, he gambled with his career and he is well on his way of losing that bet. Unfortunately for him, we all know how this is going to end up. We all know my policy on it at this point. It’s just a matter of handling paperwork,” Salazar said.

Watch the full interview with Sheriff Salazar in the video player at the top of this article.

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About the Author

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

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