The Gun store was called New Deal, but the Reese family who owned it seems to be getting more of a raw deal. The Reeses are now facing multiple counts of an indictment alleging they sold guns to Mexican cartels, smugglers and related charges. The more one reads about this family and the charges against them, the more it looks like they were set up.
The Feds seized their store, their home and all their assets when they arrested the family of four which is composed of Rick Reese, 55, his wife Terri Reese, 48, and their sons Ryin, 24, and Remington, 19. The family has been jailed for the last 10 months and will be seeing their trial start in July.
The main details of the indictment are that between April of 2010 and July of 2011, the family sold 54 guns to various buyers that seem to be the favored guns of choice by the Mexican Cartels – 50 caliber rifles, 9 mm pistols, AK-47-type rifles, AR-15 rifles, and over 16,000 rounds of ammunition. Some of the purchasers were undercover agents. The indictment also alleges the family falsified forms and laundered proceeds of the sales. The investigation of the family commenced sometime in December 201o via a tip from one Penny Torres of whom was fingered as a straw buyer by Terri Reese. (Emphasis mine, via WND):
Probably the most important fact we learned at this hearing was that the entire investigation was instigated based on a tip that a woman named Penny Torres was making suspicious purchases of guns and ammunition, and might be illegally buying for someone else. That tip led to Torres’ arrest and her subsequent grand jury testimony against the Reese family and another gun shop where she had made some purchases. The presumption is that her cooperation garnered her leniency in the charges and sentence she was facing for her criminal activity.
What is most significant about the arrest of Penny Torres is that the original tip identifying her as a potential “straw buyer” came from Terri Reese.
GodFather Politics also picks up on the Penny Torres bit:
In 2011, Terri noticed a customer that had purchased seven AK-47 pistols in one day. The customer, Penny Torres, told Terri that they were having a family reunion at a ranch in the area and that they all liked to shoot. Terri was suspicious of Torres story and being the law-abiding gun dealer she is, she reported her suspicions to one of her friends that worked with the Luna County Sheriff’s Department. Terri told him that she suspected Torres might be a ‘straw buyer’ (someone who purchased guns for illegal purposes such as going over the Mexican border to the drug cartels, kind of like what the US government did with Operation Fast and Furious).
The Luna County Sheriff’s Department officer Terri reported to was someone she trusted and who she always turned to if they had any need for law enforcement. He told her that he would promptly report it to ATF and would let her know what happened with the case.
Torres was subsequently arrested, but ended up making a deal with the feds for leniency by implicating the Reese family as knowingly selling guns that were to illegally cross the border into Mexico. This launched an investigation by a recently formed federal agency known as Homeland Security Investigators (HSI), who set up a sting operation to entrap the Reeses.
Torres’ testimony started the ball rolling on a sting of the Reese family’s store orchestrated and conducted by the HSI. As the WND story notes, it was the same newly formed HSI that was taking direction from ATF’s Bureau Chief Bill Newell (emphasis mine):
Who would believe that a gun dealer’s report of a suspicious purchaser would lead to a federal investigation of the dealer herself, culminating in a raid with armored vehicles, helicopters and heavily armed officers and agents from multiple jurisdictions?
Or that a few firearms and ammunition sales in a high-volume gun store, including the sales that Terri Reese had reported as suspicious, would result in confiscation of virtually everything the family had accumulated over a 25-year marriage and 17 years in business – bank accounts, gun and coin collections, store inventory, vehicles, real estate, just about everything the family had?
Or that the same Justice Department that had instructed dealers to sell over 2,000 guns to known straw buyers for Mexican drug cartels while making no attempt to track or interdict them – with a few arrests and minor charges against the straw purchasers, but no charges against the ATF and DOJ employees who masterminded the criminal operation – would effectively destroy a family for not being quite diligent enough in their efforts to screen their customers?
It is worth noting that as HSI progressed in their investigation against the Reese family, they were briefing and receiving guidance from Phoenix ATF Bureau Chief Bill Newell – the man responsible for directly overseeing Operation Fast and Furious.
Bill Newell. The same one who testified he gave information to the the White House National Security Director, Kevin O’Reilly. Those who know the family think the charges are a set up. Given the revelations from the Fast and Furious, it would look like they are indeed being railroaded. With the trial set to start within days, perhaps more attention will be put on this case. The Reese family would appear to be caught up in an entrapment scenario related to an agenda to diminish gun rights in this country by this administration.
The stakes are high for this family of four who have been doing business since 1994 and seem to have a good reputation as honest people. If convicted, Rick Reese , who is charged in five counts of the indictment, could face 60 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. Terri Reese, who is charged in seven counts of the indictment, could face 80 years in prison and $2 million in fines. Ryin Reese, 24 years old, is charged in 18 counts of the indictment, faces a possible 160 years in prison and $4 million in fines. Remington Reese, the youngest at just 19, is charged in nine counts of the indictment, could face 105 years in prison and $2.5 million in fines.
Read the Indictment here.
Full WND Article here.