For 20 years, Sheriff Santiago Barrera Jr. had done what he pleased with no challenges to his reign. He decided who sat in his jail and when they were released. Sometimes it was before a judge got involved and other times it was after.
That's why journalists are on edge about Barrera's recent threat to an Alice Echo-News Journal reporter.
Nicole Perez, managing editor of the Echo-News Journal and The Freer Press alerted the county attorney.
"To me that was bad," Barrera told The Associated Press this week. "Of course, what can you do to them?"
"He's a great politician and a terrible sheriff," Carrillo said.