MCALLEN–A deputy sheriff from Duval County along with two convicted felons have been arrested on charges of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, federal prosecutors said.
Deputy Ruben Silva, 35, of Freer, was arrested yesterday and made his initial appearance Friday
“We all see each other as family and when this happened no words can express the way we felt,” said Jose “Gino” Martinez, Chief Deputy for the Duval County Sheriff’s Department. “It was a slap in the face, not only to the department, but the all law enforcement agencies.”
Also arrested by separate criminal complaint in relation to this case were Jerry Tovar, 39, and Jose Luis Tovar, 47, both of Mission.
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.
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.
“Here we are fighting the battle against the war on drugs with the bad guys and then to learn we have to fight our own,” Martinez said. “I know it happens to alot of agencies all around, but it’s hard when it hits home. Now all we can do is move forward and rise above it.”
Martinez added they helped out with the joint investigation handled by state and federal investigators.
“We assisted in the arrest and and the investiagtion by providing them with items that needed to be collected and in the search of his residence,” Martinez said.
“Rest assure, the Sheriff and this department will not tolerate this type of behavior from no one,” Martinez told South Texas Today. “I can guarantee you this much this department will not turn a blind eye on illegal activities for the public and especially not it’s staff.”
A separate criminal complaint filed against Jerry and Jose Luis Tovar alleges the brothers sold an uncover federal agent six firearms on May 10 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.