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Press Release

Former Sheriff’s Deputies Head To Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

McALLEN, Texas – Two former deputy sheriffs from Duval County have been sentenced to prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Ruben Silva, 35, of Freer, and Victor Carrillo, 28, of Benavides, pleaded guilty Aug. 30, 2012.

Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced Silva and Carillo to respective terms of 105 and 70 months in federal prison. They were each also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following completion of their prison terms. Silva was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. In handing down the sentences, the court noted their special status as police officers in uniform and carrying their duty weapons in announcing a higher sentence.

At the plea hearings, Silva admitted he conspired with Carillo, Jerry Tovar and Jose Luis Tovar 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, Jerry Tovar received approximately six kilograms of cocaine at his residence in Mission from a source working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

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.

Jose Luis Tovar 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. Jerry Tovar and Jose Luis Tovar, both of Mission, were sentenced in December 2012 to 210 and 135 months, respectively. Jose Luis Tovar was also ordered to pay $20,000 in fines.

Previously released on bond, Silva was taken into custody following the sentencing today where they will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future and Carillo was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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. Attorney (AUSA) Jason C. Honeycutt and former Southern District of Texas AUSA Cory J.H. Crenshaw prosecuted the case.

Updated April 30, 2015