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Sheriff’s Deputy and Convicted Felons Arrested in Relation to Drug Conspiracy

McALLEN, Texas – A deputy sheriff from Duval County, Texas, has been arrested on charges of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Ruben Silva, 35, of Freer, Texas, was arrested yesterday and made his initial appearance this morning. Also arrested by separate criminal complaint in relation to this case were Jerry Tovar, 39, and Jose Luis Tovar, 47, both of Mission, Texas. 

All three made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos, at which time she ordered them held without bond pending a preliminary detention hearing. 

The criminal complaint charging Silva alleges he conspired with Jerry Tovar for Silva to transport 10 kilograms of cocaine from Mission and smuggle the cocaine north through the checkpoint using Deputy Silva’s Duval County patrol unit on 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 Deputy 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 an uncover 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 uncover agents were Uzi type weapons. Both Tovar brothers are convicted felons and are prohibited from possessing firearms.  

If convicted, Silva faces 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 charge. 

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. 

A criminal complaint is an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.

A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.


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