June 19, 2012
Contact: Wendell Campbell
Phone Number: (713) 693-3000
Former Sheriff’s Deputies, Convicted Felons, Indicted For Drug Conspiracy, Firearms Possession
—Former Duval County, Texas Deputy Sheriffs Smuggled Kilo Quantities of Cocaine in Police Car—
McALLEN, TX - Two former deputy sheriffs from Duval County, Texas, have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Ruben Silva, 35, of Freer, Texas, was arrested following the filing of a criminal complaint on May 24, 2012, and an arrest warrant is now pending for Victor Carrillo, 27, of Hebbronville, Texas. Both were deputy sheriffs at the time of the alleged offenses but are no longer employed by Duval County. Also arrested by separate criminal complaint in relation to this case were Jerry Tovar, 39, and Jose Luis Tovar, 47 both of Mission, Texas.
Silva and Jerry and Jose Luis Tovar remain in federal custody following their previous appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos. Victor Carrillo is expected to make a similar appearance in the near future before a magistrate judge after being taken into custody.
The criminal complaint charging Silva alleges he conspired with Jerry Tovar and others, including Carrillo, for Silva to transport 10 kilograms of cocaine from Mission and smuggle the cocaine north through the checkpoint using former Deputy Silva’s Duval County patrol unit to Freer, Texas. Once the cocaine arrived north of the checkpoint in Freer, the alleged agreement was for the cocaine to then be further distributed by another person designated by Tovar. The complaint alleges Silva received $5,000 as payment for his role in the drug distribution conspiracy.
A separate criminal complaint filed against Jerry and Jose Luis Tovar alleges the brothers sold undercover federal agent six firearms on May 10, 2012, near Jose Luis Tovar’s home in Mission. At least two of the firearms allegedly sold to undercover agents were Uzi type weapons. Both Tovar brothers are convicted felons and are prohibited from possessing firearms. Additionally, the indictment charges Jose Luis Tovar with possessing two additional firearms on the day he was arrested on the criminal complaint.
If convicted, Silva, Carrillo and Jerry Tovar face a penalty from 10 years to life and a fine of up to $20 million. Jerry Tovar and Jose Luis Tovar face up to 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $250,000 on the firearms charges.
This case is being jointly investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, 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.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.