A 55 year veteran police officer has been indicted and charged with federal firearms violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
Harry Leroy Kelley, a captain with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, was indicted on August 4, 2010, and charged with 103 counts of possession of stolen firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm without a serial number, one count of stolen ammunition and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Kelley was employed by the Cleveland Police Department from May 1992 to July 2006. From July 2006 to July 2007 Kelley worked as an evidence technician for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and at times contracted work through himself with the Cleveland Police Department., He left Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in July 2007 and returned to Cleveland until March 2009. At that point he joined his friend from the Cleveland Police Department Henry Patterson who won the Liberty County Sheriff Election which had been held by Greg Arthur.
Kelly made his initial appearance approximately two hours ago in front of US Magistrate Judge Keith F. Giblin.
According to information presented in court, from 1992 to 2009, Kelley served almost exclusively as a police officer for the Cleveland Police Department. During that time, Kelley had control over the evidence room and was responsible for the destruction of certain items, including firearms in accordance with Texas law. It is alleged that during the same time, Kelley drafted disposal orders for firearms that he removed from the evidence room and reported their destruction when, in fact, he did not have the firearms destroyed.
If convicted, Kelley faces up to 10 years in federal prison for each possession count and up to 5 years for the conspiracy count.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
The case is being investigated by the ATF and the Texas Rangers and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John A. Craft.
Kelley will face trial at a later date.
Also included in the indictment for mail fraud and conspiracy is the fact Kelley, using Cleveland Police letterhead and cashed a check from Gary Lee, who was the owner of Sportsmans Outlet, at 1710 FM 1960 Bypass in Humble for the amount of $2,764.00 and converted it to a cashiers check made payable to Glock for six Glock Model 17T Simulation pistols. These are lifelike weapons that will not fire and are used as training for police departments. They are not available to the general public. The cashiers check showed payable from Cleveland Police Department. Cleveland also being exempt from taxes where Mr. Lee was not.
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