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Former Sullivan City police officer charged with driving while intoxicated

Miguel Cervantes. (Photo courtesy of the Starr County Sheriff’s Office.)

 

A state trooper charged a former Sullivan City police officer with driving while intoxicated last week.

The Texas Department of Public Safety arrested Miguel Chester Cervantes, 46, of Roma on June 14.

Cervantes, who joined the Sullivan City Police Department in February, declined to comment. He previously worked for the Starr County Sheriff’s Office, the Rio Grande City Police Department and the Roma Police Department.

The Rio Grande City Police Department detained Cervantes on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on the night of June 13, according to documents released under the Texas Public Information Act.

At 10:24 p.m., a dispatcher told Officer Feliberto Bazan the department had received 911 calls about a black GMC Sierra driving recklessly in downtown Rio Grande City. As he approached the GMC, another driver started honking, “giving me the understanding that it was the pickup truck they reported,” Bazan wrote in his report.

Bazan stopped the GMC close to La Borde House, a historic hotel near the intersection of Main Street and Garza Street.

“I exited my patrol unit and approached the driver through the passenger front window. At this moment, I was able to detect a strong odor of alcohol emitting from inside the pickup,” Bazan wrote in his report. “As I introduced myself to the male driver, he immediately handed over an identification card that read Sullivan City Police Department (SCPD) with a picture of him.”

 

The Rio Grande City Police Department received 911 calls about a black GMC Sierra driving recklessly. (Photo courtesy of the Rio Grande City Police Department.)

 

Cervantes was sweating and had red, watery eyes.

Asked if he’d been drinking alcohol, Cervantes said: “No,” according to the police report.

The Rio Grande City Police Department contacted the Department of Public Safety, which dispatched a trooper to assist Bazan with the traffic stop.

Trooper Norberto Gonzales also thought Cervantes smelled like alcohol, according to a criminal complaint released by the Sheriff’s Office. Gonzales asked Cervantes to complete a standard field sobriety test.

He “performed poorly,” according to the criminal complaint.

Gonzalez placed Cervantes under arrest at 1:19 a.m. on June 14, according to information released by the Department of Public Safety.

While they waited for a tow truck, troopers searched the GMC.

They found alcoholic beverages, according to the police report, which doesn’t specify the type of beverages or how many they found.

“However, after Troopers confiscated and dumped out all alcoholic containers from Cervantes’s pickup, they noticed he had all his SCPD duty gear and weapons in the pickup,” according to the police report.

The Department of Public Safety turned over his uniform, equipment and firearms to Sullivan City. Cervantes, meanwhile, was taken to Starr County Memorial Hospital for a blood sample.

It wasn’t the first time a state trooper had arrested Cervantes.

In September 2021, a trooper charged Cervantes with driving while intoxicated with an open container and unlawfully carrying a weapon. At the time, Cervantes worked for the Sheriff’s Office.

Sullivan City declined to comment on Cervantes and didn’t respond to questions about his arrest.

Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records, however, show Cervantes is no longer employed by Sullivan City.

Cervantes is charged with driving while intoxicated with an open container, a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 180 days in jail.

This story was updated on June 23, 2023, with additional information.

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