Two Sheriffs Weigh in on Possible ISIS Operations Across Border

Two Sheriffs Weigh in on Possible ISIS Operations Across Border

By Alicia Neaves

NewsWest 9

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter made an appearance on CNN Friday, addressing local preparations for possible terrorist acts. Now another West Texas county, which sits on the border, is weighing in.

With alleged ISIS operations taking place in Mexico, NewsWest 9 spoke with the sheriff of the largest county in Texas, which happens to lie on our West Texas border, to see how they are preparing for any future terrorist threats.

This comes as Senator Ted Cruz is sending his personal message as well.

"If there are ISIS fighters that may already be in the United States, or in your area who've crossed the border, what's your message to them?" CNN's Don Lemon asked Midland County Sheriff, Gary Painter on Friday.

"If they rear their ugly heads, we'll send them to hell," Painter said.

Painter appeared on CNN's The Don Lemon Show to talk local preparations in case any member of ISIS, or any other terrorist group appears in West Texas.

"You believe ISIS is already here?" Lemon asked.

"They have cells here. I believe they have people here. They have cold hearts. They have people that are here that are going to throw inward. I believe we have some home grown people," Painter said.

Senator Ted Cruz has his own plan in the works, as he will introduce a new bill deemed the Expatriate Terrorists Act, stripping an American of their U.S. citizenship should they join Islamist militants in Iraq or Syria.

"We should not be facilitating their efforts by allowing fighters fighting alongside ISIS to come back to America with American passports and walk freely in our cities to carry out unspeakable acts of terror," Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, said.

Sheriff Ronny Dodson of Brewster County says the barbaric beheadings made public by ISIS are not unfamiliar events.

"We're already dealing with that with Mexico. Beheadings in Mexico and skinning people's faces off their heads has been commonplace now for years and we're not dealing with that problem over there," Brewster County Sheriff, Ronny Dodson, said.

Residents on both sides of the Brewster County border are on the lookout.

"We've even made contact with some of our Mexican citizens in Mexico who are very diligent in contacting us. So it's good that we have a good report with our friends across the river. We've told all our people just to double up and pay attention," Dodson said.

The terrorist group ISIS has already claimed the lives of two American journalists and countless civilians.