USA –-(Ammoland.com)- With money laundering conspiracy charges dismissed by the judge beforehand, verdicts were returned yesterday in the U.S. District Court in Las Cruces, N.M., on remaining charges against members of the Reese family, Deming gun dealers who have, for the past year, been fighting charges of knowingly selling to straw purchasers providing guns to Mexican cartels. Pronounced “not guilty” on the most damning charges, three family members still face a daunting legal threat.
“All four family members, Remington, Terri, Rick Reese and Ryin Reese, were acquitted of one count of conspiracy and 17 counts of gun smuggling,” KVIA ABC7 reported, noting “Remington Reese, 20, was acquitted on all counts and released from jail on Wednesday.
“The jury did convict Terri, Rick and Ryin of making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms,” the report continued. “Ryin was found guilty on two counts while both Rick and Terri were found guilty on one count each.”
Tea Party patriots of Luna County, which has provided regular courtroom detail updates throughout the proceedings, broke the remaining counts down, citing the dealers’ signatures on the Form 4473 (ATF’s Firearm Transaction Record, a form a buyer must complete in order to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer) as the government’s basis for the charges.
It’s illustrative to note the “crime” is falsification when the government based its entire undercover investigation on official lies, and the prosecution relied so heavily on a chronic and habitual liar with heavy personal incentives as a primary witness against the Reese family.
The remaining counts against Rick, Terri and Ryin each carry a maximum penalty of up to five years, and the spokesperson who has been providing Gun Rights Examiner with inside information throughout this column’s reporting of the family’s ordeal had further perspective to impart.
“They will not be sentenced for 70 DAYS,” the spokesperson said. “Rick and Ry will remain in jail until the sentencing. We believe the time in jail will be credited to their sentence days. We will speak to the attorneys tomorrow re-appeal and if it is feasible at this time.”
For the father and son who have already spent almost a year behind bars with no bail, this seems grossly unfair, particularly since the government’s demonstrably pathetic case all but collapsed, and the main reason they were deemed a danger and a flight risk in the first place no longer exists. The question of whether they will now be released on bail has not been answered at this writing, nor, as the spokesperson indicated, has the question of whether an appeal will be filed.
With all the family has suffered throughout an ordeal that now appears one created by the government as another ill-conceived publicity coup along the lines of so many others, rather than a quest for law and justice, one more draconian consequence will follow Rick, Terri and Ryin Reese for the rest of their days should they be convicted. As per United States Code, anyone “convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” is a prohibited person, banned by federal law from owning a gun.
Destroying their passion, their life’s work and their livelihood, and attempting to destroy their family by getting them to turn on each other, is not enough. Such a prohibition will mean the government considers their very lives aren’t worth possessing the means of defense for. One can hardly argue that this would serve the legitimate purposes of public safety, of justice, or of a government that has as a main justification for its very existence the solemn obligation to “secure the Blessings of Liberty.”
About David Codrea
David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at www.DavidCodrea.com.