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McAllen, Texas News

Former DPS Trooper From Pharr, TX Admits to Lying to FBI in Drug Investigation

A 35-year-old Pharr resident has pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents during a drug investigation, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Pablo Talavera Jr. was a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper. As part of his plea today, Talavera admitted he lied to FBI agents regarding his knowledge of his family’s involvement in drug trafficking.    

“Talavera lied to the FBI during a critical moment - betraying his badge and breaching the public trust,” said Hamdani. “In doing so, Pablo Talavera chose his father’s criminal organization over the people he was sworn to protect. Now, this office will hold him to account for his corruption.”

In 2019, the law enforcement initiated an investigation targeting an organization responsible for the transportation of multi-kilogram quantities of drugs from the Rio Grande Valley to Tennessee. Talavera’s father was the organization’s leader.

The investigation revealed Talavera had used his position as a DPS trooper to assist his father by running license plates of vehicles believed to be that of law enforcement. Talavera originally denied knowledge of his father’s participation in drug trafficking. However, he ultimately admitted this fact and that he had assisted him by running the license plate checks. 

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez will impose sentencing on Nov. 7. At that time, Talavera faces up to five years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine. He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

Talavera’s father was previously convicted of drug trafficking and is now serving a 21-year federal sentence.  

The FBI and Homeland Security Investigations conducted the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation with the assistance of the Texas Rangers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jesse Salazar is prosecuting the case.

OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found on the Department of Justice’s OCDETF webpage.

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