TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - One of the suspects in a massive shipping operation involving the distribution of marijuana from California to Tyler was sentenced to two years of deferred adjudication after he pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge Monday.
Josue Talavera appeared in Judge Christi Kennedy’s 114th Judicial District Court on Monday.
The warrants revealed that from October of 2015 through February of 2017, investigators believe 11 people engaged in organized criminal activity in Smith County in an effort to distribute large amounts of marijuana.
The arrest warrants tell a story of drugs being shipped between cousins from California to a location in Tyler. Dealers in Tyler would pick up the marijuana to distribute in the area.
A Tyler Police Department detective received a tip in February of 2016 that large amounts of marijuana were being shipped from California to one of the suspects at a home in the 6100 block of Rhones Quarter Road in Tyler.
Detectives began a conducting physical and covert video surveillance of the residence.
A U.S. Postal Service inspector provided a historical record of the packages that had been mailed to the address. From Oct. 6, 2015 through March 24, 2016, 26 parcels weighing a total of 64.65 pounds, believed to contain marijuana, had been shipped to Lopez’ address from California.
Eventually, the investigation led to Talavera. Over the course of several months Talavera, 29, of Tyler, was observed on camera at a bank in Tyler removing large amounts of cash from a backpack and handing it to a cashier. An investigation revealed that Talavera was a moving part of the marijuana operation.
Talavera is currently being held in the Smith County Jail. When he was arrested on the charge back in May, his bond amount was set at $750,000, according to a previous East Texas News story.