South Texas defense attorney convicted for assisting known drug traffickers
McALLEN, Texas — A south Texas defense attorney pleaded guilty to violating the Travel Act by unlawfully accessing federal documents in order to assist a known drug trafficker.
The investigation is being led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office.
Eric S. Jarvis, a licensed criminal defense attorney, pleaded guilty before a U.S. federal judge to using a cellular phone and the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) database to assist and promote the drug trafficking activities of known drug traffickers since at least July 24, 2017, through May 10.
According to court documents, Jarvis admitted to assisting drug trafficker Angel Aziel Herrera and his successors in Mexico. He helped the drug trafficking organization by obtaining documents that provided information regarding co-conspirators during the ongoing investigation. Jarvis knew criminal complaints had documented loads that law enforcement seized from the organization. He also knew Herrera and his successors could and would provide the complaints to their sources of supply in order to continue receiving drugs from their sources of supply for importation and distribution into the United States.
Jarvis admitted to obtaining the criminal complaints from PACER on at least eight occasions from July 24, 2017, through May 2021 and providing them to Herrera and/or his co-conspirators by WhatsApp or hand delivery.
He also admitted to accepting drug trafficking proceeds from Mexico as payment from Herrera to represent other co-conspirators working for the organization in criminal matters.
As part of the plea, Jarvis also agreed to the forfeiture of $8,000 in drug trafficking proceeds he received as payment for his criminal actions.
Jarvis’s sentencing is set for Oct. 1, at which time he faces up to five years in prison. He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Roberto Lopez Jr., Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting the case.