Former Sheriff’s Deputies Convicted in Drug Conspiracy
|Aug. 30, 2012|
McALLEN, Texas – Two former deputy sheriffs from Duval County, Texas, have entered pleas of guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Ruben Silva, 35, of Freer, Texas, and Victor Carrillo, 27, of Hebbronville, Texas, entered their pleas just moments ago before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez. Also admitting his guilt in relation to the drug conspiracy and an additional firearms charge was Jerry Tovar, 39, of Mission, Texas.
Silva admitted he conspired with Jerry Tovar and others, including Carrillo, to distribute 10 kilograms of cocaine which they would steal from a drug supplier. Both Silva and Carrillo participated in the conspiracy by performing a “pretend” traffic stop using their official Duval County Sheriff’s vehicles and while in uniform, making the owner of the narcotics believe law enforcement had seized the drugs. Silva received $5,000 as payment for his role in the drug distribution conspiracy and Carrillo received $1,000 from that payment. Following the “pretend” traffic stop, Tovar received approximately six kilograms of cocaine at his residence in Mission from a source working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Tovar also admitted today that he sold an undercover federal agent six firearms on May 10, 2012, two of which were Uzi type weapons. Tovar is a convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing firearms.
Judge Alvarez set sentencing for Nov. 16, 2012. Silva, Carrillo and Tovar face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a possible $10 million fine. Tovar also faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine on the firearms charge.
Tovar has been in custody where he will remain pending the sentencing hearing, while Silva and Carillo were permitted to remain on bond.
The case against Tovar’s brother, Jose Luis Tovar, 47, also of Mission, is still pending. He is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.
This case is being jointly investigated by the DEA, Texas Rangers, Texas Department of Public Safety, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cory J.H. Crenshaw and Jason C. Honeycutt are prosecuting the case.