DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
THURSDAY, JULY 27, 2007                                                PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                                             PHONE: (409) 839-2538
                                                                                                                      CELL: (409) 553-9881



(TYLER, TX) -            Wes Rivers, former United States Attorney and career prosecutor, passed away this morning at a Galveston hospital.  Rivers had been vacationing with his family on the Bolivar Peninsula when he suffered a brain aneurysm last night.

            “It is with incredible sadness that we mourn the passing of our friend and colleague, Wes Rivers,” announced United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe.  “The Eastern District of Texas has lost a tireless public servant and he will be greatly missed.   

            Rivers began his career with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office in Beaumont in 1976.  In 1981, he went to the United States Attorney’s Office in Beaumont to work as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.  He briefly returned to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office as First Assistant to Tom Maness in 1987.  In January 1990, Rivers returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tyler where he was First Assistant U.S. Attorney for many years.  In 2001, Rivers was named United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas by Attorney General John Ashcroft.

            Throughout his illustrious career with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Rivers prosecuted many notorious cases such as the prosecution of the Villarreal brothers for the murder of Constable Darrell Lunsford and the prosecution of murderer Bennie Tiede in Panola County.  He was also very proud of his work prosecuting members of the Cali Cartel for cocaine smuggling, the case of Rex Cauble and the Cowboy Mafia, and the first OCDETF (Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force) case ever in the Eastern District of Texas.  Rivers was considered by many in law enforcement, and his peers, as a premier prosecutor and advisor.    

            Rivers, 56, was a native of McKinney, Texas.  He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1973 and from the University of Houston, Bates College of Law in 1976. 

Rivers is survived by his wife Martha Rodriguez Rivers of Troup and their sons Wesley and Matthew.  He is also survived by his mother, Eddie Rivers of Troup, and parents-in-law, Frank and Francis Rodriguez of Beaumont, a sister and two nieces.    

Funeral arrangements are pending at Stewart Family Funeral Home in Tyler, Texas. 


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