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EXCLUSIVE: A Fixed Fight

The case against a New Mexico gun dealer and his family, arrested in August, 2011, may not be what the government has led everyone to believe. Charges in a 30-count indictment for gun smuggling, money laundering and false statements looked bad against Rick Reese, his wife Terri, and sons Ryin and Remington, particularly as they resulted from a 7-month investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and ATF. Seized were their inventory, and through asset forfeiture, their home and properties, money, valuables, vehicles…

Bail was denied—it took Terri until March of this year to secure her release, while her husband and sons remain incarcerated. Of note, the court would not allow the family to be represented by one attorney, saying that would make it difficult for one family member to turn on the others. What this guaranteed was driving up legal costs for an impoverished defense, while the government’s resources were limitless.

But the Reese family did not break or turn on each other. They steadfastly maintained their innocence. And things that didn’t fit began to emerge, such as Rick Reese employing retired and off-duty officers in his store, his large law enforcement clientele, his leasing a shooting range to their agencies, and his plans to run for sheriff as, per a family spokesperson, a “Constitutionalist [who] wanted to restore integrity to the department.”

A hearing was held in June, where attorneys asked for conspiracy charges to be dismissed, and some interesting facts came to light shared by a family friend who took notes. For instance, we learned that the entire investigation began “when Terri Reese contacted the Luna County Sheriff’s Office to report suspicious activity—a person who might be a straw purchaser.”

We learned of incidents where it was a government agent using a phony ID and making false statements on the forms, not the ostensible straw purchaser, and that the FBI approved the sales. We learned the family talking out of earshot—so they could not possibly have been overheard—was used as evidence of “conspiracy.”

We learned that “the government did not produce any evidence of under the table cash sales.” Additionally, “the lead investigator admitted that all [sales tax and income taxes were] paid,” and “the government acknowledged that all guns…were logged in properly, and properly logged out on sale. Except for one, where a couple of numbers were erroneously transposed.”

We learned that “the government’s cooperating witness [a cartel drug smuggler who turned informant] spoke very poor English,” and as the Reese family did not speak Spanish, the government provided an undercover agent to coach the purchases. Further, statements made on tape alleged to have been made by the defendants were actually made by an agent, and the transcriber got the attribution wrong.

At this writing, jury selection is still a few weeks away and what they will ultimately decide is unknown. But it sure looks like these people aren’t getting a fair fight. And that should make us wonder what sort of fight the rest of us could expect were we to ever find ourselves under suspicion.
By David Codrea

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  1. Wonder what the justification for denying bail was? This fundamental Constitutional right is abused on a regular basis. It seems those charged, in many cases, have to prove that they “deserve” bail rather than prosecution proving that bail should be denied.

  2. I can’t see how anyone could expect anything different given the BATFEces men’s proclivity for jailing the innocent, and killing the survivors…

  3. Our government is all about getting guns into illegal hands to create more bad gun stats to try and remove your rights. Google “Fast and Furious” Google “John Shipley FBI” Google “Brian Terry”. All are linked. All are horrible. All of this is slowly being uncovered, but it’s sad that quality lives of law abiding citizens are being destroyed and then covered up.

  4. Cilla Mitchell says:

    Our Constitution is dead. Our government is run by criminals, and this story is supposed to evoke outrage? Where was the outrage in Waco, Ruby Ridge and Jose Guerena, who was murdered in this own home by the Pima County Swat Team? Where? This story is unfortunate because more and more citizens will be put through the same nightmare as the Reese family for whatever reasons the government will chose to use against Americans, and guess what? It will not end well.

  5. Welcome to the USSA, comrades, where ATF + FBI = KGB. (Don’t any of those guys and gals give one damn about the solemn oaths they swore to uphold the Constitution? I guess not, being good KGB apparatchiks.)

  6. revjen45 says:

    May I suggest RSHA – REICHSSICHERHEITSHAUPTAMT (The RSHA was the central SS-department; all official and secret police and security organs of the Third Reich were led by the RSHA) as a good catch-all title for the various alphabet soup agencies which exist to force the will of Leviathan upon formerly free Americans. And I suggest they deserve the same fate as the SS-Totenkopfverbanden. The main difference between DHS and RSHA is that the Nazis weren’t hypocrites about the evils they perpetrated in the name of The Almighty State.

  7. New Mexican says:

    Local law enforcement was involved in the case and some of the officers involved are very pro-gun and pro-rights, and they’ve seen evidence that even convinces them.

    Facts: This isn’t the first run-in the Reeses have had with BATFE over who they sell guns to. The old man was known to spout off all sorts of racist comments all the time in the gun shop.

    This isn’t our fight, folks, unless we want to start defending gun smuggling collectivists.

    • New Mexican: Seeing everyone gets a fair trial is our fight. Seeing they are allowed to defend themselves without being hamstrung is our fight. It’s our fight because any one of us could run afoul of federal gun regulations and be portrayed in the worst possible terms by glory/headline-seeking government agencies and the media–just look at the Hutaree fiasco.

      It’s easy to make anonymous comments that cloak who you are and what your interest in this is. The “facts” you present are hardly compelling, not is the unsubstantiated testimonial you provide on behalf of some local, but unidentified LEOs. What kind of “run-ins,” and why no charges? And even if the “racist comments” allegation is true, which you have not substantiated and which is subject to wide latitude in interpretation by the beholder of what is truly racist vs what is politically incorrect, that’s hardly relevant nor cause for prosecution. If you truly have knowledge that will remove reasonable doubts, are you testifying on behalf of the government?

      Feel free to contact me–I have no special loyalty to the Reeses, and if you have evidence that merits public cognizance beyond what you’ve posted, let’s get it out there and make it part of the discussion. Otherwise, why should we not think you prefer to snipe from the shadows because you have an agenda or an axe to grind?

    • Sorry to inform you, but you are wrong that the family has had “run-ins” with the ATF before. In ALL past inspections they have never received a fine or penalty or had anything faulty or suspicious about their books.

      Also, local law enforcement was NOT involved in the sting or investigation. The local federal government conducted it. At the evidence is very open-ended.

      Please research your information before you project them as being “facts”.

      Please attend the hearing in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Thursday, July 12th at 9am to hear the facts for yourself. Do not rely solely on what the media is reporting. Especially because all records have been sealed to date. So only those who were at previous hearings know what has been said. The hearing is at the Federal Courthouse, 100 N. Water St. If charges are not dropped, please attend the trial beginning July 16th at the same location. Create your own opinion about the facts. Don’t rely on what the government would like you to hear.

  8. Slobyskya Rotchikokov says:

    Remember what Solzhenitsyn wrote about when the secret police were coming for people one by one and instead of resisting they hid in fear?: The lesson that many of us take from these events is, IF you know that regardless of your innocence, you are going to be imprisoned, tortured or murdered and your family imprisoned as well, then what DO you lose by taking out those who come to your door? Can they murder you twice? Why pretend that you have hope, if these are the ways of treatment by the government’s new version of KGB or NKVD? Why pretend that the corrupt courts will protect you? Your only decision is, die atop a pile of spent brass, and reduce a number of the enemy, or die at their leisure in a cell,or a mass gravesite.

  9. David Kelly says:

    Homeland STUPIDITY…another misdirection to take the heat off the REAL smugglers, Holder, DHS, ATF and obama. The racist bunch who got caught doing illegal things and now trying to cover it up.

  10. Bob Jones says:

    It’ll be interesting times when Joe Public wakes up and says no more. Those federales that are smirking that they can’t be touched because they hide behind their badges may end up singing a different tune. Like a thought provoking novel I read years ago said “the first one costs, the rest are free”.

  11. Here is a link to a website for the Reese family. Tommorow they have a hearing to dismiss based on “outrageous government content”. Below is a link to sign a petition urging the government to drop the charges against the family and RELEASE them! They have been incarcerated for 10 months now!! https://www.change.org/petitions/bureau-of-alcohol-tobacco-firearms-and-explosives-and-us-fed-govt-release-reese-family-from-custody-and-drop-all-charges-against-them

    PLEASE SIGN!

  12. I think it’s pretty easy to assess the governments back handed objectives: They want to send a message to the gun store owners, for now just the mom and pop gun stores, that they could face similar charges and prosecutions. The fact that there is no real evidence or reasonable suspension here is irrelevant. The Government would probably like an indictment but that is not necessary for victory. This family has lost everything, even if they come out of this mess with the minimum of prosecution, they have lost. They no longer have a business, they no longer have a FFL license, there inventory will never be returned or accounted for, so they are out that money. The one son was about to open a second store, and that is out, while the father was going to retire from the gun owner business and apparently run for sheriff. The business was successful, I do not know the exact number of years they were in business, but I think it around 15-20. They had a great relationship with the county police, they bought there, worked security there and rented the range for the practice sessions there. This was a family business, the kids grew-up in it, and where going to take over and run it once the father retired. They did everything right, took copious notes and record keeping, were diligent and even contacted the ATF when they suspected a Straw Purchase had taken place.
    The AFT/FBI set their sights on these people, set them up with undercover purchases, felonious criminals turned Informer purchases, and we will probably find out more intriguing facts as this goes to trial. The message whether this case is found guilty or innocent, is that we can get to YOU. YOU cannot afford to defend yourself against us. YOU will lose everything you have, money, house, property, business, inventory, customers and your freedom if we feel like it. While GUNS may be legal to sell in this country, YOU may not sell them without fear of prosecution. OH…don’t worry, this was just a localized case..it couldn’t happen to YOU. But if it did, would YOU be able to defend yourself? Would YOU want to go thru something this messed up? Would your family survive? Would your marriage survive? Would you survive? This is the message to all gun shops around the country, especially in the border states. We might not be allowed to close you down legally, but we can surely turn your life up-side down and incarcerate you without bond for years. I would be very nervous if I were a gun shop owner. This is not right, it is illegal use of authority and it should be shown to the world for what it truly is….Bullying, Intimidation, wrongful persecution and miss-use of government funds and authority. I hope the NRA, its legal counsel and the American people help this family with their massive legal expenses. I hope they get full support from every other gun store owner, because if this can happen to them it can and will happen to you, if left unchecked. Thanks for your time and I appreciate the outlet provided here for my opinion.

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