Here are the facts
John is not talking about this per his attorney's instructions, but here are the basic facts:
John was involved with a case in 2003, where a woman of Iranian descent was arrested for assaulting a crew member on a Southwest Airlines flight. She was arrested and booked into jail. The next day, John spoke with the other agents who had interviewed other passengers and the crew. John pieced the story together and concluded that the woman was innocent. One of John's superiors at the FBI told him to "just lock her up and let the system work it out."
John went and spoke to the Judge in his chambers and relayed the facts to the Judge. The Judge called the prosecutor and asked why the agent was saying the defendant was innocent and the prosecutor was authorizing prosecution. John feels that this embarrassed the prosecutor. The prosecutor dropped all charges and the passenger was released. If you Google "John Shipley FBI" you will see information on this case. John felt bad for arresting her when she was actually innocent. She felt indebted to John because he did what was right. Our family and the passenger became friends. John even asked the FBI if it was ok to become friends with her and the local FBI attorney from his office said it was fine. The passenger told John that she was going to sue Southwest Airlines and she offered to give John the money if she won. John told her it was wrong and he would not accept any money from her. John told her to give the money to the Cancer Society because her mom had leukemia and John's friend had recently died from colon cancer. John also told the local FBI attorney in his office about her offer to assure the FBI didn't think he was doing anything wrong or illegal.
John was subpoenaed to testify in her civil suit against Southwest airlines. John told the truth at her trial. The jury found in her favor and awarded her $27.5 million. Her attorney was Enrique Moreno in El Paso. Enrique Moreno is a Harvard Law School graduate and was nominated by President Clinton to be a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Enrique Moreno called John "An American Hero" for standing up for the innocent. John NEVER accepted any money from her.
A few years ago, someone made an allegation that John accepted money from her. There was a criminal investigation conducted by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (DOJ/OIG). After they figured out that John didn't accept money from her, they changed the investigation to an administrative investigation and accused him of perjury. I think they were trying to get him on anything they could. John cooperated with their investigation and we are still waiting to hear the results of the administrative investigation. Sometime in 2007, John legally sold a rifle from his personal firearms collection to an El Paso Deputy Sheriff. He was later contacted by the ATF who said they recovered the gun in Mexico. John offered to help and provided information about that gun and who he sold it to. The next thing we know, the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General and the ATF had a search warrant for the Shipley house (May of 2008). They seized 28 guns from the house. Nine of the guns were John's grandfather's old guns that were passed down to John. At the time that the search warrant was served, John was accused of dealing firearms without a license, conspiracy, false statements and obstruction of justice. Then in June of 2009, the Assistant United States Attorney in El Paso brought this before the Federal Grand Jury and John was indicted for dealing firearms without a license, causing a federal firearms license holder to have false records and false statements. John is innocent of these charges.
Here is what is interesting.
- The Assistant United States Attorney's office for the Western District of Texas is the same one who went after the two Border Patrol agents, Ramos and Compean.
- The DOJ/OIG agent was the same for the first criminal investigation, the administrative investigation and the criminal gun case.
- The DOJ/OIG agent also wrote the search warrant (not ATF).
We feel this is clearly retaliation against John for telling the truth in the Southwest Airlines case.
John has followed the ATF rules.
The ATF federal firearms regulations reference guide clearly states:
"as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(A), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principle objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms" It further states, "the term "with the principle objective of livelihood and profit" means that the intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is predominantly one of obtaining livelihood and pecuniary gain, as opposed to other intents such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection."
John has been a FBI agent for the past thirteen years. He is required to work 50 hours per week. That is his livelihood. His hobby is collecting and shooting his guns. He had nothing to do with the gun that ended up in Mexico. He legally sold the gun to a El Paso County Deputy Sheriff. What happened to it after he sold it was beyond his knowledge and control.
You can also go to a website that John's parents set up to help. It is http://www.shipleylegalfund.com/.
It tells a lot about the case and what is happening. It also has details about John's history (Honorably discharged Army Officer, Disabled Veteran, 13 year FBI agent, SWAT agent, FBI sniper, etc.). There are more facts about this case that John's attorney can clarify. Both James Yeager and Attorney Robert Perez would love to talk to Lou Dobbs and the national media about this injustice. If they are allowed to prosecute him, no one will be allowed to sell their personal firearms without first getting a firearms license.
Thanks for sending something to Lou Dobbs and anyone else in the national media that you think can help. Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have all proven dedicated to fighting injustices against law abiding citizens and law enforcement professionals. Lou Dobbs may be particularly interested in what is happening to John because this is the same US Attorney's Office in the Western District of Texas that prosecuted Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean and Sheriff's Deputy Gilmer Hernandez out of Rock Springs, Texas. Mr. Dobbs and Congressman Ted Poe (2nd District of Texas) were very big supporters of the Border Patrol agents and directly criticized this US Attorney's office. Here they go again prosecuting law enforcement agents. But this time, it affects the 2nd Amendment rights of all Americans.
We need your support, please pass this information far and wide, tell a friend, tell a neighbor, tell a stranger, everyone must know the facts. This can happen to you if we let it, we must join together and fight this injustice. Lastly, John's legal defense fees are growing daily. We would appreciate any help via donations that you can give. Thank you for your support and all the kind words, prayers and suggestions that we have received.