Hundreds of impeachment supporters rally in Overland Park

Stacey Arey, of Shawnee, Kansas, joined hundreds of protesters outside the Overland Park office of U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts. The event, held Tuesday, Dec. 17, was part of a nationwide effort supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump. (Photo by Chris Haxel, KCUR, Kansas News Service)

by Chris Haxel, Kansas News Service

Ahead of a presidential impeachment vote in the House of Representatives, and with a trial looming in the Senate, hundreds of protesters gathered Tuesday evening outside the Overland Park, Kansas, office of U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts in an effort to convince him to break with his Republican colleagues in a vote that is expected to fall largely along party lines.

Roberts, who plans to retire when his fourth term expires next year, has not publicly stated how he intends to vote.

About 200-300 protestors lined the intersection of College Boulevard and Quivira Road next to the senator’s regional office beginning around 5:30 p.m.

“I love this crowd,” proclaimed Stacy Arey, a Shawnee resident who held a sign saying “No one is above the law.”

“This is Johnson County, this is Kansas,” she said. “Kansas is turning blue… I’ve never seen an administration this lawless. I want them to be held accountable.”

A similar protest near the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, drew a crowd that participants estimated to be in the hundreds. The events were part of a nationwide effort Tuesday to hold rallies to support the impeachment and removal of President Trump from office.

More than 600 such events were expected across the country, which organizers said took place before an expected vote Wednesday on whether to impeach President Trump in the U.S. House of Representatives. A trial in the Senate is expected in January.

The rallies were planned by MoveOn.org, a progressive adovcacy group that was founded in response to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998.

“We’ll head to every congressional office and public square to declare that Nobody Is Above the Law as representatives finalize their positions and senators look on,” the organizers wrote online.

That most recent impeachment proceeding was on the mind of David Lewis, an attorney from Leawood who attended the Overland Park rally.

Roberts voted to impeach Clinton, Lewis noted.

“So now here’s his chance to show what he’s made of. If he’s going to vote for somebody that was lying to Congress… now vote for Trump’s impeachment. In other words, don’t just go party lines — vote for your conscience and the country.”

Chris Haxel is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Email him at chaxel@kcur.org, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisHaxel. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to kcur.org.
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Overland Park woman who ran massage parlors indicted

An Overland Park, Kansas, woman is scheduled to appear in court this week on a federal interstate prostitution charge, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said today.

Chunqui Wu, 61, Overland Park, Kansas, is charged with one count of transportation with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

An indictment alleges Wu owned or operated three massage parlors: Alpha Massage at 116 S. Clairborne, #A, in Olathe, Kansas; A Plus Massage at 527 N. Mur-Len Road, in Olathe, Kansas; and King Spa at 13104 State Line Road in Leawood, Kansas.

Documents filed in federal court say investigators worked with an undercover confidential source who contacted Wu and asked for a job working in Wu’s massage parlors.

An investigator’s affidavit alleges Wu made statements indicating she allowed her employees to perform sexual services for tips. Other investigators working undercover confirmed that employees in Wu’s massage parlors were offering sexual services to customers.

Wu was arrested when she went to the Kansas City International Airport in Kansas City, Missouri, to meet the undercover confidential source and transport her back to Kansas to work in one of Wu’s massage parlors.

Wu is scheduled for an arraignment Dec. 20 in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas.

If convicted, Wu could face up to 10 years in federal prison. The Olathe Police Department and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Flannigan is prosecuting.

Florida man sentenced for placing credit card skimming devices in Kansas

A second Florida man who planted credit card skimming devices on ATMs in Kansas was sentenced today to two years in federal prison, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Anderson Eduardo Seijas Chavez, 30, Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to one count of access device fraud. Last week, co-defendant Carlos Alberto Campos Rojas, 29, Summerfield, Florida, was sentenced to two years after pleading guilty to the same count.

In his plea, Chavez admitted placing skimming devices and pinhole cameras on ATMs in Overland Park and Olathe, Kansas.

A corporate security officer notified local police, who did surveillance to identify a rental car that visited the ATMs on a daily basis. They followed the car back to a hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.

McAllister commended the Overland Park and Olathe police departments, the U.S. Secret Service and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley for their work on the case.