An El Paso, Texas, school teacher is missing and is likely on the run from law enforcement following an October federal indictment on a variety of drug-related charges involving her family. Those charges include conspiracy, money laundering, and kidnapping, plus drug trafficking.
A long-time elementary school teacher, 42-year-old Monica Velasco quit her job at Manor Elementary in September 2015. Her resignation followed charges against her two sisters and brother involving a 2008 murder in Juarez of a man and his two daughters.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Scott Williams spoke with the San Antonio Express News on the case, and said that Velasco is “deathly afraid of Mexico.” He said the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force nearly captured her earlier this month in a Lower Valley neighborhood of El Paso. She managed to escape as the officers were coming down the street.
Just last week, Velasco’s 63 year-old mother, Josefina Gurrola, was arrested for concealing a fugitive from arrest, by using disposable, or “burner” cell phones to communicate with her daughter. She told authorities that her daughter “went into hiding after they [the brother and sisters) were arrested because she was scared about going to jail.” The fugitive task force had followed Ms. Gurrola for several days around El Paso.
The investigation reads like a primer on a multi-layered, multi-national drug operation, as revealed in a federal indictment that was opened in January. It says that Velasco acted primarily as the banker for the operation after she was done grading papers in her school job. She handled and then stored money for the family business that was referred to as the “Velasco Criminal Enterprise.” The indictment shows that they have been doing business in North and South Carolina, Las Vegas, New Mexico, and across the Rio Grande in Juarez.
The indictment indicates the way the “family” allegedly does business. They would allegedly steal drug loads from suppliers and turn those drugs for a profit. The former teacher would receive and then disburse the money to those working the job. She also handled the purchase and registration or rental of vehicles used in the unreported crimes.
Prosecutors point to a 2014 transfer of a Cadillac Escalade in return for the purchase of one kilo of cocaine.
The indictment also details a web of payments and arrangements in the 2008 murder of a man and his two daughters in Juarez, Mexico. It reveals that one of the women killed was the ex-wife of Samuel Velasco Gurrola, Velasco’s brother, and one of the co-leaders of the “family business.”
Rob Milford is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. You can follow him on Twitter @milford_rob.