Michelle Barrientes-Vela’s husband, Carlos Vela, owns a used car lot. In November of 2018 an expensive vehicle was stolen from his lot. Constable Barrientes-Vela ordered her traffic officers to search for the stolen car. They spent two solid days searching for it. According to the KSAT 12 article, deputies then searched the general area for the rest of the week.
The car was recovered and the individual was arrested but the recovery occurred outside of Precinct 2’s jurisdiction. Regardless, Precinct 2 deputy constables still made the arrest. Both Barrientes-Vela and her Chief Deputy, Anthony Castillo (yes, the one she fired) made the scene but they made one of the other officers write the report. A report that Barrientes-Vela is refusing to release to the media which is a violation of the Public Information Act.
So, not only did she use Bexar County deputy constables as if they were her private police force but she had them patrolling outside of Precinct 2’s jurisdiction and then is hiding the details of the arrest. Why is the report being hidden? What does it say that she does not want us to know? Not only was the car stolen from her husband’s used car lot but he was also a major donor to her campaign.
Her decision to use County employees to benefit herself (through her husband) and a major donor (her husband) is wrong on so many levels. And this woman has the gall to say the FBI raid was just harassment because she wasn’t part of the good old boy system? She’s giving Javier Salazar a run for his money in the act-like-Trump competition that seems to be going on between the two.
There will be more dirt coming out on the things Michelle Barrientes-Vela did. She may want to think that being the sheriff of Bexar County is in her future but if she were smart, she would be making plans on how to stay out of jail.
Another excellent job by Dillon Collier and KSAT 12.