Part Two: The family speaks
The Department of Justice is prosecuting members of the Reese family, proprietors of a New Mexico gun store accused of knowingly selling guns to cartel buyers, and has held the family members without bail for over six months. Family assets which they could use to provide a legal defense have been tied up in forfeiture proceedings, and the judge presiding over the case has denied the family’s request to be represented by one attorney.
As noted in the first installment of this report, Terri Reese, the wife of defendant Rick Reese and mother of defendant’s Ryin and Remington Reese, has evidently made a bail deal, although the terms of her release are reportedly so expensive that the family cannot secure the resources to provide bail for other members.
Going strictly by government documents linked to in Part One, the case against the Reese family looks daunting. “Authorized Journalist” media accounts doing more than parroting press statements and examining the government’s conduct are nonexistent. The notable exception to the mainstream dereliction are detailed and insightful reports filed by Jeff Knox of The Firearms Coalition.
To help ensure the whole story gets out so that the family can receive a fair and scrutinized airing for their assertions of innocence, Gun Rights Examiner has been in contact with a family spokesperson, who initially contacted this reporter at the urging of a mutual friend associated with the firearms industry. While the identity of my correspondent is known to me, there are good reasons why I will not name this person nor define their exact relationship to the defendants.
What follows are questions and answers over several days of correspondence. “FS” designates the family spokesperson and “DC” is me:
FS: Good Afternoon David. My name is [REDACTED]. I was given your name by [REDACTED] I am [RELATIONSHIP TO] Rick Reese. My [RELATIVES] were arrested on August 30, 2011, in Las Cruces, NM. Allegedly, they were selling guns to individuals whom they knew, or should have know, were sending same to Mexico to the drug cartels. (My [RELATIVES] have had their business, NEW DEAL SHOOTING SPORTS, in Deming, NM, for over 17 years. My [RELATIVES] have been married for over 30 years — and have been in Deming for approx 25 of those years. ) They are still incarcerated.
The feds stated they were selling weapons to straw purchasers, Then, [THEY] were charged w/money laundering. This is such a travesty of justice, David. We need help to get this out to the WORLD.
David, the alleged offenses started, according to the feds, in APRIL, 2010, through JULY, 2011. Does this smell like something to do w/Fast and Furious?!?
Jeff Knox, from Shotgun News, has published a couple of articles about this. If you would care to find out more, and/or help my [RELATIVES] in any way, please do not hesitate to call me at [REDACTED]. My e-mail is [REDACTED]
DC: What do the attorneys say about your giving info to the media? Do they advise silence? Will any of them speak with me on the record? I ask because I always tell people who want me to write about pending court cases to check with their lawyers first and follow his advice. As much as I would love to have a story to publish, I have an obligation to the people who approach me to make sure taking things public will not hurt their case.
[Note: This is my standard policy for dealing with all who approach me to report on their legal situation.]
FS: David, I believe they would be happy to talk w/you on the record. Thank you for asking in advance. I have given info to the media re how this is affecting my family, etc, etc. NOT any discussion about the case — only about actions prior and at time of arrest. Please feel free to contact the law firms; and advise them I asked you to call them re my family.
[Note: I did, and none of the law firms elected to respond.]
DC: Are your incarcerated loved ones able to communicate with people on the outside via email like Corrlinks?
[Note: This is how I have been able to communicate with inmate Hugh Crumpler in my reports on his involvement in Operation Castaway.]
FS: No, absolutely not.
DC: Have you approached any gun rights groups or civil liberties groups for defense assistance? Which ones and what did they tell you?
FS: Rick and Ry are LIFE MEMBERS of the NRA. Remington had a few hundred dollars left to pay on his account– and then HE would also be a life member of NRA. It requires their attorneys to contact it — Sam [Bregman—Rick’s attorney—DC] called them two times and NEVER got the courtesy of a reply. The Second Amendment Foundation is one I was told about, but I have NOT contacted anyone there.
DC: Is there any change in the judge not allowing a unified defense?
FS: No, David. Each was ordered to retain his/her own private counsel.
DC: Who are the attorneys for each defendant?
FS: Rick: Bregman & Loman, PC; Terri: Law Office of Brad Hall; Ryin: Bowles & Crow; Remington: Bernadette Sedillo.
DC: I’ve looked over the legal documents. There appear to be multiple witnesses, including law enforcement agents, who are willing to testify as to the charges.
FS: The Reeses have been in the gun/hunting/survival accessories business for over SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS!!! Their reputation is PRISTENE with BATFE for said time. In fact, their clientele is approximately SIXTY PERCENT (60%) LAW ENFORCEMENT. They have NEVER been charged w/aiding “straw purchasers” or “knew or should have known” they were selling to purchasers who were sending the guns to Mexico (unlike our Government). Their shooting range was even leased to Law Enforcement Agencies! Rick and Terri have been married for over THIRTY (30) YEARS. They have lived in Deming for approx TWENTY-FIVE (25) YEARS.
Their eldest son, Ryin, 24 years of age, was born in Deming on September 17th; and their son Remington, 20, was born in Las Cruces, on January 10 — 3 months premature — and was NOT expected to live.
As you can see, their lives have been spent in Deming, New Mexico. Rick and Terri were going to retire the end of 2011. Also, Rick was anticipating running for Sheriff of Luna County. He is a Constitutionalist; and wanted to restore integrity to the Luna County Sheriff’s Department!
This admittedly subjective assessment of the Reese family and the way they conducted their business and personal relationships comports with what other sources have reported, both to this correspondent and to Jeff Knox. Still, there is the weighty matter of the indictments.
That is why the Reeses must be afforded the opportunity to defend their presumption of innocence—something they cannot do if their ability to pay for legal services is taken from them by the same people prosecuting them. Combine this with the judge forbidding them to be represented by one counsel, and a denial of bail designed to keep them apart, destroy their morale and resolve, as well as their ability to coordinate a defense and lean on each other for emotional and intellectual support, and the appearance is that the leviathan state is crushing them not in the name of justice, but to break them and make them surrender, regardless of the truth.
As Knox wrote in his first report on their situation:
Regardless of the Reese’s guilt or innocence, this case raises serious questions about the equity of our legal system, the show-boat tactics of some federal law enforcement agencies, and the complexity of our nation’s gun laws. Crimes should be punished, but more importantly, justice should be served. That doesn’t seem to be happening in this case.
The purpose of this report is not to take any side except that of the truth—that is what must be determined in a court of law, and it cannot be in so exceedingly unequal a contest. Unfortunately, once more it appears that truth will not be ascertained by our “Justice” Department or through traditional “Authorized Journalist” media, but rather, once again, through the work of concerned citizen activists. And there are several ways we—you—can help:
The Reese family has set up a defense fund you can contribute to:
REESE DEFENSE FUND, ATTENTION: Patricia Arias, FIRST SAVINGS BANK, 520 South Gold, Deming, NM 88030
Contact national gun groups and ask them to bring their legal resources to bear. Three obvious ones to approach:
- National Rifle Association
- Second Amendment Foundation
- Gun Owners of America
Note that these groups don’t just have a bottomless well they can dip into—they also need to be financially supported by those expecting them to get involved.
Don’t discount the American Civil Liberties Union. They may not come across as freinds of the Second Amendment, but what the Reeses are facing in terms of asset forfeiture, denial of bail and mandated separate legal representation goes far beyond a gun sales issue.
And finally, share links to related reports like this one, and ones posted by Jeff Knox—the only way we smaller voices will be heard is if our readers understand that they are vital force multipliers, and without them spreading the word via blogs, emails and social media like Facebook and Twitter, it will simply not get out. That means, if you’ve read this far, you not being one of them.
- Part One: An economic Waco
- Knox: “Family in jail for Holder’s crime”
- A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’ (most current volume) for a complete list with links of independent investigative reporting and commentary done to date by Sipsey Street Irregulars and Gun Rights Examiner. Note to newcomers to this story: “Project Gunrunner” is the name ATF assigned to its Southwest Border Initiative to interdict gun smuggling to Mexico. “Project Gunwalker” is the name I assigned to the scandal after allegations by agents that monitored guns were allowed to fall into criminal hands on both sides of the border through a surveillance process termed “walking” surfaced.
Click here to listen to my “Round Table” discussion this past Sunday about Project Gunwalker and more with Mark Walters of Armed American Radio and George “The Mad Ogre” Hill.
That was Hour 3 of the program. You can also listen to Hour 1 with special guest Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation, and Hour 2 with Danny Muder from the Kansas State Rifle Association.
This week on ATSN TV
From my friends at American Trigger Sports Network:
The 14th Annual Southwest Regional Revolver Championship, San Luis Obispo, CA
Hogue Action Pistol Range, San Luis Obispo, CA
Pursuit Channel (DirecTV 608 PRST/ Dish /Network 240 HUNT)
Exclusive Shooting Destination Night-Friday Night!
Click here for show times and more information.
Spead the word
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