San Antonio

Acts of intimidation, blackballing of deputies described during Barrientes Vela sentencing

SAN ANTONIO – A corporal with the Bexar County Precinct 2 Constable’s Office testified Tuesday that she and different deputies witnessed then-constable Michelle Barrientes Vela interrogate a reduction retailer supervisor after the supervisor accused the elected official’s son of shoplifting.

The testimony got here during day two of the previous constable’s sentencing. A Bexar County jury earlier this month convicted the disgraced former public official of two counts of tampering with information.

Barrientes Vela has elected to be punished by Judge Velia Meza.

The February 2019 incident at a Family Dollar retailer within the 2100 block of South Zarzamora Street occurred hours after one of Barrientes Vela’s grownup sons was thrown out of the shop.

The retailer supervisor compelled Barrientes Vela’s son to go away the shop after recognizing him as beforehand stealing sneakers, Cpl. Vanessa Pena testified Tuesday.

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A earlier KSAT Investigates report additionally confirmed the son was accused of taking deodorant from the shop.

Pena advised the courtroom that she and different members of Precinct 2′s visitors division have been ordered by Barrientes Vela over the radio to reply to the shop’s location.

Pena described Barrientes Vela as distraught during the incident.

“When I arrived I remembered her being really upset, and that was probably one of the first times that I had seen her upset,” mentioned Pena, who testified that a minimum of 4 deputies arrived on scene in uniform.

Pena recalled the supervisor of the Family Dollar stating that she was scared.

Pena concluded her testimony by stating that she was summoned by Barrientes Vela to reply to a non-Precinct 2 associated incident on one different event.

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Pena was dismissed from the witness stand with out offering particulars of the second incident.

A KSAT Investigates report beforehand revealed that Barrientes Vela used Pct. 2 deputies in November 2018 to seek for a car stolen from her husband’s used automobile lot.

Multiple present and former Precinct 2 deputies testified Tuesday that Barrientes Vela ordered them to shred paperwork on the tail finish of her tumultuous 33-month tenure.

Officer Gabriel Murad, a former Pct. 2 reserve deputy who now works for the Harlandale Independent School District Police Department, advised the courtroom that he witnessed non-employees of the company, together with Barrientes Vela’s husband Carlos, and her longtime supporter Mary Jane Martinez, eradicating information from the office in containers and black plastic baggage.

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Murad turned heated when recalling a earlier incident during which the then-constable warned him to avoid two deputies she had reluctantly returned to obligation: Leonicio Moreno and Christopher De La Cerda.

Murad additionally testified that he repeatedly labored safety at a church occasion however was by no means compensated.

Prosecutors allege that Barrientes Vela operated an unlicensed safety company. She has by no means been criminally charged in connection to these allegations, nevertheless.

A fourth deputy, Joshua Lugo, testified that Barrientes Vela quickly revoked his out-of-county work permits after he spoke to Moreno and De La Cerda at a funeral.

Jason Castanon, a former Pct. 2 deputy who now works for the Comal County Sheriff’s Office, testified about his function within the April 2019 arrest of Moreno.

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Castanon advised the courtroom 5 groups of deputies have been despatched to seek for Moreno and have been warned that Moreno knew martial arts. The cost Moreno confronted, perjury, is a non-violent offense and Castanon mentioned he was not involved for his nicely being.

Moreno was finally taken into custody at a gymnasium. Castanon and a second deputy delayed reserving Moreno on the felony cost till the media might assemble.

Body-worn digicam footage performed with out audio Tuesday confirmed Moreno being arrested after which pushed round neighborhoods close to the Bexar County Jail.

Prosecutors dismissed the prison case towards Moreno inside hours, and the circumstances of his arrest are the premise of a number of of the pending public corruption expenses towards Barrientes Vela and her former captain, Marc D. Garcia.

Garcia is scheduled to go to trial later this year.

This portion of Barrientes Vela’s sentencing concluded on the finish of the day Tuesday. The sentencing section of the trial will proceed October 3, because of courtroom scheduling conflicts.

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Barrientes Vela faces between two years probation and 10 years in jail.

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