With best regards,
A Laredo native, Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar retired from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) where he served for more than 26 years. During his D.P.S. years, he served as a Traffic Law Enforcement Trooper, Sergeant Investigator for the Narcotics Service, and a Lieutenant for the Narcotics Enforcement Unit. After his 26 years of service, he retired as a Lieutenant of the Narcotics Intelligence Unit. Before taking the DPS journey, he was a Deputy Sheriff as part of then Sheriff Mario Santos’ team.
Some of Sheriff Cuellar’s law enforcement career highlights include his assistance on investigations with United States and Mexican federal and state law enforcement agencies. Some of these successful cases resulted in the extradition of suspects to and from Mexico, drug seizures, and the successful investigation/prosecution of criminal cases. He also assisted other law enforcement agencies in the successful investigation of murder-for-hire and kidnappings cases. In addition, he was appointed by Austin DPS to lead the intelligence unit for various counties in this South Texas area.
In 2009, the citizens of Webb County first elected him to serve as their Sheriff. In 2012 and again in 2016, the voters re-elected Sheriff Cuellar with a resounding victory.
Keeping our community safe is his main responsibility. However, he is also focused in giving back to the community. One of these initiatives is the sponsorship of academic scholarships for high school students through the Community Role Model program. Furthermore, Sheriff Cuellar has fostered interagency cooperation among all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. He gives back to the community by sharing his forfeiture funds with community programs such as Laredo ISD and United ISD Crime Stoppers, Crime Stoppers Inc., Teens in the Driver’s Seat, Boy Scouts of America, Children’s Advocacy Center, and many more. He is also a strong advocate for the Webb County Sheriff’s Explorer Post, 4-H Clubs, Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) and Drug Awareness Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) programs.
Sheriff Cuellar is also the proud host of quarterly Retired Law Enforcement breakfast forums. However, one of his proudest initiatives has been his continuing involvement and advocacy for Laredo and Webb County veterans.
The Texas Association of Counties (TAC) Leadership Foundation has bestowed on Sheriff Cuellar several County Best Practices Achievement Awards, one for the Webb County Jail Intelligence Unit in 2010 and another for the implementation of the Hire-A-Vet Program in 2013. The goal of the latter is to recruit veterans who have recently been Honorably Discharged from the Military and provide them with employment when they return home.
He also has been recognized with many local, state and national awards by Veterans organizations.
In 2009 and under Sheriff Cuellar’s leadership, the Webb County Sheriff’s Office launched the first-ever Cyber-Crime Unit, known as Operation Child Guardian. This unit targets child predators and ensures suspects are brought to justice. Since the inception of Operation Child Guardian, the Webb County Sheriff’s has arrested more than 40 child predators.
In addition, Sheriff Cuellar was instrumental in lobbying for funding to purchase the first-ever helicopter owned and operated by a law enforcement agency in South Texas. To compliment this achievement, last year, a Webb County Sheriff’s Office Captain was licensed as a helicopter pilot.
Sheriff Cuellar’s strong partnerships with federal law enforcement agencies also enabled him to hire a retired FBI agent who now works with the Sheriff’s Office Intelligence Unit and also serves as the office’s liaison with Mexican Law Enforcement Agencies.
Fred Garza, Sheriff Cuellar’s top Assistant and Chief Deputy, is a former Texas Chief of Police and retired Texas Department of Public Safety Lieutenant.