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MCALLEN, Texas — A former Texas trooper pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents during a drug investigation following an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI and the Texas Rangers.

Pablo Talavera Jr., 35, of Pharr, was a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper. At his plea hearing Aug. 28, he admitted he lied to federal 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 U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani. “In doing so, 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.”

According to court documents, in 2019, law enforcement officials initiated an investigation targeting an organization responsible for the transportation of multikilogram 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Jesse Salazar is prosecuting the case.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

ICE breaking news HSI, partner investigation results in former Texas trooper’s guilty plea for lying to federal agents Government Agency News