US~Observer Preface: We all know about the deadly mistake made by the Justice Department authorizing and releasing guns to cartels and common criminals in Mexico, and this “Fast and Furious” gun-running scheme remains a blemish on Attorney General Eric Holder’s reputation. It, however, is being obfuscated by something more insidious: entrapment and further cover-up. The Justice Department is trying to divert attention from its own wrongdoings by framing certain innocent Hispanic-Americans for gun-running schemes that the Justice Department itself initiated. Further, by taking these law-abiding people, violating their civil rights by depriving them of medicines and placing them in dungeon-like cells, they prove themselves to be anything but the “Justice Department.”
The following article should outrage every American. Demand accountability!
Wichita, Kan. — On April 19, 2012, 66-year-old Jose Velasco-Veyro was arrested in his home after a small army of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and U.S. marshals stormed his bedroom at 6 a.m. with an arrest warrant naming him as a co-conspirator in an alleged gun-running operation.
After several hours of interrogation — during which he was repeatedly asked about how many guns he owned and what he knew about one of his friends and alleged co-conspirators, Ramon Chavez — Velasco-Veyro was arrested and taken 210 miles away to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas in Kansas City to be indicted. The indictment, which includes 11 others, six Caucasians and five Hispanics besides Velasco-Veyro, is for 18 counts ranging from conspiring to “export and send from the United States, and attempt to export and send from the United States… firearms… to be intended for exportation contrary to any law and regulation of the United States” to being “willfully engaged in the business of dealing in firearms while not being a licensed dealer of firearms” — or, according to Velasco-Veyro’s quote from the ATF agent in charge of the raid, for “sending guns to the cartels in Mexico and selling guns to illegal aliens and felons.”
After arriving in court and hearing the charges against him during his arraignment, Velasco-Veyro described how he and the five other Hispanics were denied bail by Judge James P. O’Hara on the advisement of Assistant Prosecutor Terra D. Morehead, who reportedly stated that the six Hispanics were “flight risks and a danger to the community.” To this day, Velasco-Veyro wonders why Morehead considered the six Caucasian co-defendants were considered incapable of being flight risks and dangers to the community and why they were granted bail while the six Hispanics were kept locked up with no bail. Two of the six Hispanics were reportedly put in solitary confinement for no reason other than that they were Hispanic and alleged to be gun traffickers. Is this not torture and racism?
Presumed Guilty, Treated As A Convicted Felon Before Trial Or Due Process
With bail denied and allegedly after barely five minutes to confer with his court-appointed attorney and provide financial information for the court, Velasco-Veyro was whisked away and strip-searched, then put in full-body chains and loaded on to a van bound for prison. It wasn’t until August 2012, that he was finally allowed to be let out on bail by Judge Beth Phillips. According to Velasco-Veyro, Phillips “was apparently not in the hip pocket of prosecutor Morehead” because “Morehead became enraged when Judge Phillips granted him bail.”
Upon examination of the indictment, Velasco-Veyro is named in only three of the 18 counts contained therein, the first being what is mentioned above, along with a list of additional statutes.
A naturalized U.S. citizen, Velasco-Veyro has resided in the United States since 1965, when he entered the country on a student visa. He has never been guilty of breaking any law in his entire life.
Resulting from our investigation, it is also clear that Velasco-Veyro had never met any of his alleged co-conspirators before his indictment other than Chavez, Chavez’s son Douglas and Chavez’s ex-wife, Tammie Chavez.
Velasco-Veyro collects antique and custom firearms. He has only sold guns from his private collection, primarily at local gun shows. Our investigation showed that over the past 14 years, he has sold no more than 15 to 20 guns, primarily target guns or hunting rifles — certainly not the kinds of guns that would interest members of drug cartels. He said that although he has sold some of his guns at gun shows in Wichita, where he has resided for the past 28 years, he has never rented a table on his own. He said he never had enough firearms that he wanted to part with at any one time to warrant renting a full table. Instead, Velasco-Veyro stated that he rented space from his acquaintance, Ramon Chavez, one of the individuals indicted along with him and whose name appears on 13 of the total 18 counts.
False And Manufactured Charges
Velasco-Veyro was charged along with his 11 co-defendants for allegedly sending guns to Oklahoma. However, our investigation has revealed that he has never transported any guns to that State or any other State and that the prosecution has manufactured these charges in an attempt to make the alleged gun-running ring appear as large as possible.
The second count against Velasco-Veyro is for selling, as stated on the indictment, a “9mm Fratelli Tangoflio pistol… to an individual, who was a Missouri resident, at a gun show held… in Wichita, Kansas.” The “individual” has reportedly been identified as ATF Special Agent Steve Lester, who, after “wrangling over price,” purchased Velasco-Veyro’s pistol from him. Since there is no Federal law requiring unlicensed sellers to ask for identification from a potential purchaser before selling a gun at a gun show and because Velasco-Veyro had no reason to suspect the undercover agent was from another state, Velasco-Veyro sold his gun to Lester, who allegedly later took the gun to Missouri.
Convinced he had done nothing illegal, the first chance he got after he was released from his prison cell, Velasco-Veyro contacted the ATF about his alleged unlawful gun sale. The following is the emailed response that Velasco-Veyro received from the Firearms Industry Programs Branch of the ATF:
This is in response to your email to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In your email, you provided a scenario of an unlicensed buyer from Missouri who travels to a gun show in Kansas. The buyer purchases a handgun from another unlicensed resident of Kansas at the gun show. You want to know if that was illegal. Federal law under 18 U.S.C. §922(a)(1)(3) states in part; it shall be unlawful for any person other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to transport into or receive in the State where he resides (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, the State where it maintains a place of business) any firearm purchased or otherwise obtained by such person outside that State. Therefore, a person may only acquire a firearm within the person’s own State, except that he or she may purchase or otherwise acquire a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee’s premises in any State, provided the sale complies with State laws applicable in the State of sale and the State where the purchaser resides. A person may borrow or rent a firearm in any State for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes.
The above statute provided by the ATF clearly puts the burden on the unlicensed purchaser and not the unlicensed seller. Since there is no Federal law that requires unlicensed sellers to ask for identification from potential buyers at gun shows and since Velasco-Veyro did not know nor was required to find out that the buyer, Lester, was allegedly from another State and/or not a licensed gun dealer (according to U.S. Code sent to Velasco-Veyro by the ATF), it was Lester who broke the law by purchasing Velasco-Veyro’s Fratelli Tangoflio pistol in Kansas and then transporting it to Missouri, where he supposedly resided.
I should note that it is common practice for unethical Federal agents to make claims like, “I told the seller that I was from another State” or in this case, “I informed Jose Velasco-Veyro that I was from Missouri.” This ATF investigation has been ongoing since 2005. Other purchases from co-defendants were videotaped or recorded. However, we have not found that the sale between Velasco-Veyro and Lester was recorded in any way. This leads us to believe that if this case goes to trial, Lester will claim he told Velasco-Veyro that he was from Missouri. With no recording, Lester’s anticipated testimony must be considered false, especially in light of Velasco-Veyro’s 66-year track record of integrity and honesty.
The third and last charge against Velasco-Veyro is that he “knowingly and willfully received and possessed the following firearms.” What follows is a woefully incomplete list of firearms that allegedly belonged to Velasco-Veyro that are mostly quoted in the indictment as “Unknown caliber Unknown manufacturer… Unknown Model… unknown serial number.”
Since the gun types alleged to belong to Velasco-Veyro are largely unidentified in the indictment as to make, model and caliber, we can report only Velasco-Veyro’s contention that his guns are primarily foreign-made target and hunting firearms manufactured before 1968 and before a Federal law that states that all firearms entering the United States be required to have an import stamp located on the firearm and that, according to an ATF letter dated Dec. 12, 2012, in response to an inquiry from Velasco-Veyro about his antique collection: “It is not unlawful for a private individual to be in possession of a firearm that does not have importer markings.”
According to Velasco-Veyro, he is a collector of many pre-World War I firearms or others that were manufactured and imported into the United States before the 1968 law required that all imported firearms have import markings stating “name of the manufacturer, country of origin, model (if assigned), caliber or gauge, name of importer, city and state of importer” and that “these markings must appear conspicuously on the frame, receiver, barrel (or slide).” The alleged conspicuous lack of most of this information associated with the firearms Velasco-Veyro is alleged to have possessed in the indictment is compelling evidence that he indeed owns the types of guns he claims. According to the ATF, they are not illegal. And as Velasco-Veyro asserts, they are the types of guns that members of drug cartels would probably not be interested in. US~Observer sources have informed us that Velasco-Veyro’s claims about his gun collection are spot-on accurate.
The above letter from the ATF is deliberately mentioned in this article because it would seem to exonerate Velasco-Veyro of any wrongdoing. The U.S. Codes quoted and sent by the ATF are extremely important, since the US~Observer has learned from a source that Morehead allegedly plans to keep this correspondence from being entered into court and, hence, from the eyes and ears of a jury. Our source also told us that the ATF did not contact Morehead regarding Velasco-Veyro, as she contends, but that it was she who contacted the ATF and then ordered it to “cease and desist” from corresponding with Velasco-Veyro in any way. If this allegation is true, then Morehead is instigating a gross miscarriage of justice; and we will do everything in our power to prevent her from following through on her nefarious schemes.
Deliberate Denial Of Jose Velasco-Veyro’s 6th Amendment Rights
Almost since the day he was arrested and thrown into prison, Velasco-Veyro — who has been declared indigent by the court and whose home is 210 miles from the prosecutor’s office and his attorney — has repeatedly asked to have in his possession the discovery in his case. In other words, he wants to see and study the evidence Morehead has against him so he can aid and assist in his own defense, something that is his Constitutional, 6th Amendment right. However, the US~Observer has learned that Velasco-Veyro’s requests have been repeatedly denied by Morehead. This is yet another violation of Velasco-Veyro’s rights, as he can’t aid and assist in his own defense if he is allowed to see the evidence against him only occasionally and for relatively short periods of time. This is particularly important in his case since, according to Velasco-Veyro, he has done a cursory examination of two recorded conversations between himself and his acquaintance Ramon Chavez that occurred in Spanish that, when translated into English by Morehead’s office, show evidence of being manipulated to make him appear guilty. It is absolutely Velasco-Veyro’s right to have these entire unmolested conversations along with the rest of his discovery at his disposal so he can take all the time he needs to pour over those entire conversations to ensure that he has not been unjustly portrayed and/or quoted out of context.
The US~Observer has learned of still another ploy used by Morehead’s office, wherein she is invoking an enigmatic “Rule 16” that allegedly allows her to deny Velasco-Veyro his right to receive in his possession his full discovery. A source has told us of a letter from U.S. Attorney Barry R. Grissom’s office and signed by Morehead that essentially orders Velasco-Veyro’s attorney not to give discovery to his client by stating: “You are not permitted to make copies of this discovery. You are not permitted to share this discovery with anyone other than your client pursuant to the court’s order.” Let me remind Morehead that in Marbury v. Madison, a monumental Supreme Court case, Chief Justice John Marshall declared that any law repugnant to the Constitution is null and void. An un-Constitutional “Rule 16” is a poor excuse to deny Velasco-Veyro his Constitutional right and only makes one wonder why Morehead doesn’t want Velasco-Veyro to be able to effectively aid and assist in his own defense. What does she fear?
Because firearms alleged to have been sold by Velasco-Veyro reportedly differ so greatly from other guns mentioned in the indictment, his attorney has asked Morehead for him to be allowed to see his confiscated collection to identify them as his (if they are) and tag them as separate from the other types of firearms in the indictment that are the kinds of guns that would interest drug cartels in Mexico. Morehead has denied this request, alleging that allowing Velasco-Veyro to view his sequestered firearms inside an ATF warehouse constitutes “possession.” If indeed Morehead intends to railroad Velasco-Veyro into appearing he is part of something illegal when he is not, it is imperative that his firearms not be shown to a jury in such a way that his “markedly different” firearms not be lumped in with the more modern, “combat type” weapons that do interest members of cartels. Not allowing Velasco-Veyro this right or to see his own guns is another Constitutional violation at the hands of Morehead. What is she hiding?
Besides racial profiling and racism, other allegations by Velasco-Veyro are that he and the other Hispanics incarcerated along with him are part of “pressure Morehead is receiving from higher up that is pushing her to prosecute people like him as part of shifting blame from the ATF agents involved in Attorney General Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious debacle and put it on Hispanics with ties to Mexico.” According to Velasco-Veyro, what has been done to him and his five Hispanic co-defendants is straight out of Katie Pavlich’s book Fast And Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and its Shameless Cover-up. Since Morehead doesn’t appear to be working for the sake of justice, just who is she working for?
Out of complete fairness, our investigation has shown that some of Velasco-Veyro’s co-defendants may indeed be guilty of illegal “gun-running.” However, we have concluded factually that Velasco-Veyro is completely innocent of the charges leveled against him.
Hopefully, the last grievous act against Velasco-Veyro by the District of Kansas “justice system” was allegedly perpetrated while he was incarcerated in prison. Velasco-Veyro has a condition called diabetic neuropathy that is a byproduct of diabetes. He has been taking medications for it since 2006. He says the medicine helps ease the pain associated with his condition, which can become especially acute in cold temperatures. During his imprisonment, Velasco-Veyro was denied these literally lifesaving medications that, among other things, keep his blood pressure from becoming lethally high. When his doctor, Robert McIntyre, called the prison physician, Donald Satterfield, to explain the absolute necessity that Velasco-Veyro be allowed to receive his medications, Satterfield told McIntire that “there are no choir boys here,” and he denied McIntyre’s request and Velasco-Veyro’s medications. Velasco-Veyro described the nights in prison as “pure torture” since he says his prison cell was “habitually kept between 50 and 55 degrees,” which caused him “such great pain that he could not sleep.” McIntyre also said that to deny Velasco-Veyro these crucial medications, he knew that the “system was either trying to break him or kill him.” George Newell Bentley, a doctor from Texas confirms, what McIntyre has reported. Both professionals are ready, willing and more than able to testify to these facts under oath. They are both also ready to testify that Velasco-Veyro is a person who possesses impeccable honesty and integrity.
To place two Hispanics in solitary confinement and deprive another innocent Hispanic of his life-sustaining medication, can only be considered pure torture and racism.
According to US~Observer sources within the Federal justice system and based on the facts in this case, Morehead is a shameful example of the public’s trust.
Morehead is under the authority of U.S. Attorney Barry R. Grissom, and ultimate responsibility for this miscarriage of justice is his. The US~Observer urges Grissom to investigate the facts in this case and the charges against his subordinate and to take appropriate action against her for the sake of all prosecutors who are required to dispense justice according to the law with fairness and without bias.
The way Velasco-Veyro has been treated at the hands of authorities who are supposed to protect his Constitutional rights is absolutely unconscionable. He has been treated like a criminal from the onset. And his valuable collection of firearms, acquired over a lifetime of expert scrutiny, has been handled like so much rubble by Federal agents who consider him guilty of the charges against him before he has been given a fair trial or investigation.
The US~Observer is incensed by this more than obvious false prosecution, and we are left wondering just how many other Hispanics are being abused and prosecuted on false and manufactured charges. How many others are being wrongfully denied bail while incarcerated in deplorable and inhumane prison cells?
Help us let others know what has happened to Velasco-Veyro. Be responsible and contact Lorne Dey at firstname.lastname@example.org or at: 720-231-2038 if you have any information regarding Morehead, Lester or Velasco-Veyro’s co-defendants: Ramon Chavez Sr., Douglas Chavez, Tammie S. Chavez, Alejandro Arroyo-Campos (aka Alejandro Guzman-Campos), Carlos Cifuetes, Osbaldo Garcia-Garcia, Adam Howard, Ashley Mooney, Jordan Veal, Homero Rocha, or David G. Percival (aka “El Guero”).
Are you tired of the blatant injustice occurring in our legal system today? Are you opposed to racism? If you are, please contact Grissom by phone at: (913) 551-6730 or by email at email@example.com and inform him that his assistant prosecutor, Morehead, is falsely prosecuting an exemplary, innocent American citizen and he needs to stop her.