Indictment handed down for trooper accused in family trafficking case

A state trooper has been indicted on a charge of conspiring to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine.

The indictment against Pablo Talavera Jr. extends the timeline of his alleged involvement in his family’s drug trafficking organization to Aug. 19, 2019, which means the trooper who worked on state’s border security initiative for the Texas Department of Public Safety is suspected of criminal activity during that timeframe.

The charges filed in the initial complaint had set the timeline of the allegations between May 26 and Sept. 16, but that document also notes the FBI initially interviewed the trooper on an unspecified day in 2019.

He was arrested on Oct. 28 and DPS has only said he is on administrative leave and that an internal investigation is underway to determine his future employment status.

The Monitor has obtained documentation from DPS through public information requests that revealed Talavera issued more than 200 warnings or citations for traffic violations while working on Operation Lone Star, Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign to curb drug and human smuggling on the border.

On Wednesday, he was added to the indictment against his sister-in-law, Alondra Jacqueline De Leon. She is facing two counts in the indictment related to money laundering and attempting to bring a pistol into Mexico.

The trooper’s father, uncle and three other men are facing federal drug charges in Tennessee that are related to the case against Talavera.

The complaint against Talavera alleges he escorted drug loads and bulk currency for his father’s drug trafficking organization and assisted them by searching law enforcement sensitive information to include vehicle registration and license plate information.

The initial complaint against the trooper also alleges he was present at a family gathering to discuss his father’s 2019 kidnapping by a cartel in Reynosa and that he admitted during a 2019 interview that the Talavera family in Mexico was involved in organized crime.

He is scheduled for arraignment on Dec. 1.