Paid confidential informants are indispensible to the entrapments this page recently discussed in an article titled “Curbing John Carr.” On at least some occasions, if not as a matter of routine, these informants break state and federal laws with impunity. At least sometimes, if not always, they represent a much greater threat to law and order and public safety than the men and women they trick into participating in criminal schemes.
One of the most despicable was a confidential informant named Steve Veltus who participated in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ infiltration of the Mongols Motorcycle Club called Operation Black Rain. Veltus was John Carr’s right hand man throughout that infiltration. This page has written about Veltus before in an article titled “A Criminal Enterprise.”
Veltus was a small time drug dealer who was arrested and sent to prison in 1996. When he was arrested again on multiple charges arising from his possession of about an ounce of crack cocaine and a pound of marijuana in 2003 he went to work for the ATF. He worked in cooperation with his wife Anna. The couple has used multiple aliases during the last eleven years. The most interesting was when they assumed the surname Lazara, an obvious reference to Lazarus of Bethany, a figure in the New Testament who died and then rose from the dead.
After Operation Black Rain Veltus, his wife and their children enrolled in the United States Marshals’ Witness Protection Program. The program, which began in 1971, is intended to provide new identities and a fresh start to people who have betrayed former criminal associates on behalf of the Department of Justice. The public good the program provides for at least some of its enrollees, like Steve Veltus, is debatable. It was first authorized by the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. Since its inception it has, according to the Marshals Service, “protected, relocated and given new identities to more than 8,500 witnesses and 9,900 of their family members.”
Inevitably, because of the self-dramatization intrinsic to their betrayals, some of these protected witnesses expose themselves. For example Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, a self confessed serial killer who provided key testimony against John Gotti, enrolled in the Witness Protection Program in 1994, left it the next year, published a memoir in 1997, was rearrested in 2000 and was sentenced to serve 20 years in federal prison in 2002.
Two confidential informants in a recent ATF infiltration of the Vagos Motorcycle Club called “Operation 22 Green” published memoirs last year but both seem to still be officially hidden by the Marshalls.
Veltus and his family also continue to be hidden by the Marshalls but Veltus has an almost compulsive desire to expose himself as well as a long list of former lovers and old enemies and creditors.
Legally obtained documents indicate that Veltus, his wife Anna and their children were relocated from Las Vegas, Nevada to Missoula, Montana near the conclusion of Operation Black Rain. After that operation ended in 2008 Veltus was relocated to Seattle, Washington. The Aging Rebel has been told by an informed source speaking on conditions of anonymity that Veltus was given a new identity as Steven Maschari and that his wife legally became Anamarie Isabell Maschari.
The Marshalls Service then relocated the “Mascharis” to Appleton, Wisconsin where Steve Maschari operated a jewelry and watch repair business and their children attended local schools.
The family lived in a three bedroom, two and a half bath, 2000-square-foot home on a two acre lot in a section of Appleton that satellite photos reveal to be mostly rural. The house was sold in March 2014 for $145,000.
Public records indicate that the Mascharis moved to Hortonville, Wisconsin in April 2013, a month after Steven Maschari was arrested and charged with four felonies including Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place, Manufacture/Delivery of more than 200 grams of Tetrahydrocannabinol and Possession with Intent to Distribute THC.
The Mascharis were also sued last July for unspecified damages in an ongoing case.
The Aging Rebel has not been able to determine Steven Maschari’s current legal status or whereabouts but believes he is still at liberty and living in Wisconsin.