United States attorney Damon P. Martinez, prosecuting the case against the Reese family, filed a response last Tuesday against the defendants’ motion to vacate felony convictions, along with an omnibus response to defendants’ sentencing motions and objections.
Arrested in 2011 for allegedly knowingly selling guns to cartel members while operating a New Mexico gun store, all Reese family members were found not guilty on the most serious charges of conspiracy. Additionally and significantly, money laundering charges against them were dismissed. Husband Rick, wife Terri and son Ryin were convicted on a handful of lesser charges of making false statements on forms, basically under the presumption that they should have known federal agents were lying, and son Remington was cleared of all charges.
“The government respectfully requests that the Court deny the motion in its entirety because it is without legal or factual support,” the prosecution declared in its response. The crux of the government’s arguments revolve around testimony of Jose Roman, a member of La Linea, the enforcement arm of the Mexican Juarez cartel trying to save his own skin. As this column reported two years ago, when it noted “Records don’t back witness for the prosecution in Reese gun case,” Roman has been a career criminal since the age of 17, smuggling illegal aliens, guns and drugs, and who has been offered a plea deal in exchange for testimony. Significantly, he also admitted on the witness stand that he had provided false statements while making firearms purchases from the Reese’s gun shop.
The omnibus response also relies heavily on Roman’s testimony, which is contested by Rick Reese. He did admit under oath he told Roman, “I hope my guns go to Mexico. . . . I hope they use them to shoot those crooked mother-[redacted] Federales in the [redacted],” and “I was hoping that the people that were being victimized would be able to defend themselves.”
That sentiment is no doubt shared by many readers of this column, and while it is indicative of a belief in the right of people to keep and bear arms in defense of life, property and liberty, it is hardly an admission of guilt by those who hold that view. It also contradicts government accusations that such beliefs are consistent with abetting cartel victimization of the Mexican people.
Also relevant in terms of credibility: Recorded admission by an ATF official that they routinely give false testimony, a longstanding documented practice when attesting to database accuracy and when obtaining wiretap warrants. Readers of this column have seen evidence of Attorney General Eric Holder lying under oath about when he first heard of Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking,” and just recently, this column reported on the judge in the contract dispute case won by retired ATF agent Jay Dobyns, openly discussing ATF perjury and potential criminality.
We’re to believe them? So naturally, a DOJ that refuses to hold its own accountable wants to come down hard on the Reeses.
“The government requests that the defendants’ motion be denied in its entirety as it is not supported by case law relevant to the issues presented, and granting of the motion would lead to the absurd result that firearms dealers would be treated more leniently than defendants who are convicted of identical conduct,” Martinez claimed of the motion to vacate. “[T]he United States respectfully requests that this Court conclude that a sentence of 60 months imprisonment for each Defendant would be sufficient, but not greater than necessary to comply with the sentencing factors in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). Furthermore, the Court should not find that any downward departures or variances from the guideline imprisonment range are warranted.”
Bear in mind this demand for more pounds of flesh comes after the District Court ruled the Reeses merited a new trial on the remaining charges following admissions of improper prosecution. Tellingly, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision in March despite acknowledging “that the government had indeed withheld favorable, material evidence from Defendants.”
The case has been troubling for reasons outside of the relentless ordeal the Reeses have been forced to endure, as it has exposed the sanctioned injustices of asset forfeiture preventing Americans from being able to defend themselves in court. It’s also illustrated how government evidence suppression and misconduct has been rewarded after the prosecutor who sanctioned such conduct was subsequently elevated to the federal bench.
The other reason it’s troubling has been the scarce media coverage afforded the family, outside of this column, The Firearms Coalition, and the Tea Party Patriots of Luna County website, which has provided detailed investigative reports, family insights, and courtroom proceeding updates. That accounts in no small part from most gun owners still being unaware of the family’s plight, and for the relatively small amount of interest, outrage and support that’s been expressed.
After over three years of emotional torture and total economic destruction, the prosecution, representing the same Department of Justice that has stonewalled investigations into its own culpability for smuggling guns to Mexico, now demands extracting five more years out of the lives of Rick, Terri and Ryin Reese. What that prosecution has not done is explain where a government that gets its sole Constitutional instruction on arms under the proscription that “the right of the people to keep and bear [them] shall not be infringed” also finds its authority.
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My latest GUNS Magazine “Rights Watch” column, “Garden State Gun Criminal,” examines the outrageous persecution of single mother Shaneen Allen, who tried to do the right thing and cooperate with police, but is nonetheless having her life destroyed over a technicality. Funny, how no “progressive” black or women’s groups have demanded justice for her.
My latest JPFO Alert, “Venezuela marks International Day of Peace with Orwellian contradiction,” notes “progressives” who would go so far as to establish common sense toilet paper control” confirm how anal and dangerous they are.