(30 March) Terri Reese has finally been released to a halfway house in Albequerque, NM. As noted in previous updates (below), a judge had approved Terri's bail on condition that she reside at a particular Albequerque halfway house while awaiting trial, but there were no beds available at the halfway house at the time so she was forced to remain in jail. Space finally became available in late March and on March 30 Terri was allowed to leave jail for the first time since she and her family were arrested last August.
Meanwhile, a judge rejected Ryin Reese's appeal for bail saying that because Reese has friends in Mexico, he is a flight risk. The judge also advanced the Reese's trial date from October to July. Normally defense attorneys prefer to delay trials as long as possible, but since the Reese's have been in jail since August and there appears to be little chance that any besides Terri will be aforded bail, the strategy seems to be that earlier is better. The civil forfeiture trial, in which the feds are attempting to claim virtually all of the family's worldly goods, has not yet been scheduled.
Rick Reese, his wife Terri, and their two sons - Ryin, 24 and Remington, 19 - were arrested in August of 2011 on charges of knowingly selling guns and ammunition to illegal buyers for Mexican drug cartels. All of the family members have plead not guilty to the charges.
Bail Approved for Terri Reese
but She's Not Out Yet.
(27 February) Correcting my previous report, Terri Reese has not yet been released from jail. The judge granted bail on Friday evening (2/24) but Terri will not be released until an appraisal and title search can be completed for the property being put up to secure her bond. Bail was set at $2 million and she will be released on a $100,000 bond. Family and friends are stretching to cover that so it could limit the possibility of finding the money necessary if any of the other Reeses are ever granted bail, but for now the good news is that Terri should be released by the end of the week or early next week if everything goes relatively smoothly.
We'll keep you posted as we learn anything new. Meanwhile, here is how you can help:REESE DEFENSE FUND, ATTENTION Patricia Arias,First Savings Bank520 South GoldDeming, NM 88030
The Reese Family Railroad
(17 February) The investigation into the ATF/DOJ Gunwalker scandal code-named Fast & Furious has passed the one-year mark. During that time Congressional investigators have put barely a chip in the stone wall established by Eric Holder and his Justice Department. So far, fewer than 20 percent of the documents requested by Congressional investigators have been produced by the DOJ. There have been a couple of resignations and a few reassignments, and one Justice Department official has refused to testify on Fifth Amendment grounds, but so far there hasn't been the slightest indication that anyone involved is going to spend a single day in jail.
In contrast, a family in New Mexico has languished in jail for almost six months. They have been denied bail, their assets have been seized, and threatened with civil forfeiture. They have yet to be convicted of anything.
I’ve written previously of Rick Reese, his wife Terri, and their two sons, Ryin and Remington. They were arrested without incident last August in Las Cruces, New Mexico on charges that they had knowingly sold guns and ammunition to smuggled to Mexican drug cartels. While I don’t personally know the Reese family, I have spoken with a number of people who do. The Reeses are by all accounts, well respected and liked within the Deming/Las Cruces area where they had lived for over 20 years, running a successful gun store for the past 17. Rick Reese had planned to retire from the business and close the store at the end of 2011 in order to make a run for sheriff of Luna County. Son Ryin was in the process of opening a store of his own in Las Cruces. The family was asked to come down to the ATF offices to discuss Ryin’s application for a Federal Firearms License – where they were arrested. Requests for bail have, so far, been denied on the grounds that they are flight risks and a threat to the community. The government has also announced their intent to move forward with a civil forfeiture hearing to claim virtually everything the family owns as “ill-gotten gains.”
Prosecutors claim that denying bail to the Reeses follows a precedent set in a “similar” recent case in Columbus, New Mexico. In that case, the mayor and other prominent citizens – all Mexican-Americans with close ties to Mexico – were actively working directly with Mexican drug gangs in a trafficking scheme. Those defendants were held without bail as flight risks. The Reeses are accused of, at worst, selling to questionable buyers and have no personal or family connections with Mexico.
Terri Reese recently had a new bail hearing in which prosecutors showed a video of an informant purchasing ammunition. At the close of the sale Terri tore a mailing label off of a box with a comment about not wanting it to be traced back to them. The prosecutor insisted that this was proof that Terri knew the ammo was destined for Mexico. Terri’s lawyer explained that store labels on trash left at informal shooting areas had led to friction with local property owners. He also pointed out that Terri had called ATF about a woman she suspected might be making straw purchases. She was told they would look into it and that she should carry on as normal. The woman turned out to be a government informant. Sales to that informant constitute the core charges against Terri Reese. As of press time, we are still awaiting a bail decision from the judge.
Meanwhile Eric Holder again testified before the House Government Reform Committee investigating the Fast & Furious fiasco in which government agents instructed gun dealers to sell thousands of firearms to suspected gun traffickers. We now know that there was never any plan or attempt made to track or follow the guns and that Washington was actively seeking numbers from those sales to bolster support for a rule requiring dealers to report sales of multiple semi-auto long guns. Several federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI have admitted knowing about the tactics and being advised by DOJ to leave it alone. The inter-agency cooperation clearly indicates very high-level involvement in keeping the Gunwalking scheme going, yet no one in a position of authority at the DOJ admits to authorizing the operation which has contributed to hundreds of murders – including that of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The callous indifference to human life, Constitutional liberties, and the lying and stonewalling from ATF and the DOJ are indications of serious corruption within those agencies. It all calls for an immediate and thorough investigation by an independent office with the authority to access every document and every witness. This investigation must be taken out of the political realm and those responsible brought to justice.
The comparison between the way the Reese family has been treated for supposedly selling some 16 guns, and how federal agents and bureaucrats are being given a pass on “walking” close to 2000, is chilling. If the Reeses are guilty that fact should be proven in court – before the forfeiture trial – and they should be released on bail in the meantime as guaranteed in the Constitution. The same goes for those responsible for Fast & Furious. The truth must be disclosed and everyone must be held accountable for their actions.
Permission to reprint or post this article in its entirety is hereby granted provided this credit and link is included. Text is available at www.FirearmsCoalition.org. To receive The Firearms Coalition’s bi-monthly newsletter, The Knox Hard Corps Report, write to PO Box 1761, Buckeye, AZ 85326. Copyright © 2011 Neal Knox Associates – The most trusted name in the rights movement.