News and Press Releases

Duval County Corruption Investigation Leads to Two Prison Sentences, More Coming

Dec. 12, 2012

McALLEN, Texas — Jose Luis Tovar, 47, and his brother Jerry Tovar, 40, both of Mission, are heading to federal prison as a result of their convictions related to a corruption investigation in Duval County, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced Jose Luis to a total of 210 months, while Jerry will serve 135 months. Jose Luis Tovar, who also was ordered to pay $20,000 in fines, was sentenced as head of the Tovar criminal organization brokering the gun trafficking. Jerry Tovar was sentenced for his role in gun trafficking and for a separate conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

During the investigation, federal and state investigative agents discovered the Tovar criminal organization, led by Jose Luis Tovar. He was negotiating with who he believed were illegal drug traffickers to transport large amounts of narcotics, when in reality these “drug traffickers” were undercover federal agents. During the ongoing drug trafficking negotiations, Jose Luis Tovar brokered a deal for these “drug traffickers” to illegally purchase six firearms through the Tovar criminal organization. These firearms included two uzi type weapons and an assault rifle capable of accepting a 100-round magazine. Both brothers were previously convicted felons who were prohibited from possessing firearms.

Still pending in the same indictment are Ruben Silva and Victor Carrillo, two former Duval Sheriff’s deputies who conspired to use their official position in the assisting of stealing and further distribution of illegal narcotics. Silva and Carrillo face up to life in prison upon sentencing set for next month.

This case is being jointly investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Texas Rangers, Texas Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Border Patrol. Southern District of Texas Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason C. Honeycutt is prosecuting the case with the continuing assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Cory J.H. Crenshaw of the Eastern District of Texas.