Ex-tribal police chief guilty of selling badges for $300K to wealthy LA residents — so they could carry concealed weapons

The previous chief of a tribal police division in southern California has pleaded responsible to promoting $300,000 price of badges to rich Los Angeles residents so they may get hid weapons permits.

Anthony Reyes Vazquez, 49, admitted he and different officers of the Manzanita Tribal Police Division recruited dozens of prosperous Agelenos to affix a “VIP Group,” issuing them badges that gave them sure regulation enforcement privileges however didn’t require them to carry out any police work.

VIP for a charge

To hitch the power, the VIP members had been required to pay charges starting from $5,000 to $100,000, prosecutors stated.  Most of the members had no or little regulation enforcement background and lots of by no means visited the reservation in any respect, prosecutors stated. 

In alternate for paying the charge, the members can be given a badge which purportedly granted them the correct to hold a hid weapon, prosecutors stated. Investigators declined to determine the members of the VIP group.

“This defendant bought regulation enforcement badges and jeopardized public security,” stated Randy Grossman, appearing U.S. lawyer for the southern district of California. “His manipulative and self-serving ploy additionally considerably undermined state legal guidelines governing the issuance of credentials to hold hid weapons.” 

Vazquez’s lawyer didn’t instantly reply to a message in search of remark.

The police division  served the Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, whose reservation is about 70 miles east of San Diego, close to the U.S. border with Mexico. Prosecutors, nonetheless, say the police power was not acknowledged by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the state of California, so its officers didn’t have the authority to implement federal or state regulation, on or off the Manzanita reservation.  

A message left on the headquarters of the Manzanita police was not instantly returned. The cellphone on the tribal workplace rang unanswered.

In all, prosecutors say Vazquez, who isn’t a registered member of the tribe, pocketed round $300,000 in donations from the VIP group, along with reimbursing himself $2,000 a month in journey bills from his dwelling in Camarillo, over 200 miles away from the reservation.

Prosecutors stated Vazquez didn’t open up to the tribe that he was promoting membership to the reservation’s police division. He pleaded responsible Monday to stealing $300,000 from the tribe. 

As a part of his plea, Vazquez additionally admitted that he had a felony drug conviction in 1992 which barred him from possessing a firearm, which means he illegally owned 24 weapons whereas serving because the tribe’s chief of police.

Vazquez is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 24. He faces as much as 10 years in jail. | Ex-tribal police chief responsible of promoting badges for $300K to rich LA residents — so they may carry hid weapons


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