After 6 months in jail, man hopes name will be cleared in illegal gun sale case

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KEW GARDENS, Queens — A man who spent six months in jail for illegally selling a gun to a federal agent — a crime he says he did not commit — will appear in a Queens court house Thursday morning in hopes that his name will be cleared.

To the left, a man captured on surveillance video allegedly selling a gun illegally is pictured. (Credit: Police) On the right is Wellington Clase, who says he was falsely arrested in the crime in August 2015. (Credit: PIX11)

To the left, a man captured on surveillance video allegedly selling a gun illegally is pictured. (Credit: Private investigator Manuel Gomez)
On the right is Wellington Clase, who says he was falsely arrested in the crime in August 2015. (Credit: PIX11)

Wellington Clase spent half a year behind bars after surveillance video captured a man legally selling a firearm to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives official.

The only problem — Clase says he is not the man pictured in the video

“It’s devastating, it’s incredible, it’s outrageous,” Clase said in May after a judge granted prosecutors their request to continue investigating the case for an additional three weeks before releasing him.

“I feel that the court is incompetent. It’s just not me,” he said.

More than three weeks later, Clase will have his day in court.

One distinguishing difference between Clase and the man pictured in surveillance video, he points out, is that he has a congenital eye condition that does not allow his left eyelid to fully open.

This does not seem to be the case for the man captured on camera, they point out.

To the left, a man captured on surveillance video allegedly selling a gun illegally is pictured. On the right is Wellington Clase, who says he was falsely arrested in the crime in August 2015. (Credit: PIX11)

To the left, a man captured on surveillance video allegedly selling a gun illegally is pictured. On the right is Wellington Clase, who says he was falsely arrested in the crime in August 2015. (Credit: PIX11)

Additionally, he said it took investigators more than two years to make an arrest in the case after the recorded sting operation back in May 2013.

Clase — who was home with his wife and crying baby — says he was arrested in August 2015.

Investigators also failed to take finger prints or DNA off the illegal gun, according to Manny Gomez, a private investigator.

Clase will appear in court Thursday morning after being released from jail in January after posting $150,000 bail.

He had spent more than six months behind bars.