It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Feds seize family's guns, money .....

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in

+2 more 
posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 10:11 PM
Evidently this occurred at the same time as when the Fast & Furious scandal broke.

The Reese family owned a gun shop just outside Deming, N.M., for more than 17 years. Over that time they built up the business into a profitable enterprise, and Rick had planned to retire and close the store.

His eldest son, Ryin, 24, was in the process of obtaining a Federal Firearms License, or FFL, of his own and was opening a store in nearby Las Cruces, N.M.

In August of last year, local ATF agents asked the family to come down to their offices to discuss Ryin’s FFL application. And that is when every thing went down hill:

When the family showed up at the ATF office, they were arrested on charges of conspiring to illegally sell firearms and assist in smuggling them to Mexico, money laundering (because they supposedly knew the money paying for the guns had come from illegal activities) and making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms.

At the same time, a task force led by Homeland Security Investigations – including hundreds of federal, state, county and local officers, helicopters, armored personnel carriers and numerous police cruisers – stormed the Reese property where the store and the Reese home is located. Officers held an elderly couple, who were camping on the property, at gunpoint as they searched the couple’s RV. Other officers broke into the store and the basement storage space where they confiscated the store’s inventory, hundreds of guns, almost 2 million rounds of ammunition and more than a dozen empty gun safes. Officers also broke into the Reese home and seized firearms, jewelry, cash and a coin collection Rick Reese had been building since he was a young boy. Vehicles, bank accounts and real estate were also seized. Federal prosecutors initiated forfeiture proceedings last December in an effort to make the seizures permanent before the family even went to trial, which locked up most of the family’s assets leaving them with little means to pay for legal assistance to fight the charges and the forfeiture efforts.

The article goes on to say that this happened while the news of F&F broke out.

In the mean time, the family has spent a year in jail & had a 3 week trial. The jury had declared the members of the Reese family not guilty on 24 of the 28 counts against them. The jury did convict three of the four family members of making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms.

In the mean time, even though the Attn. Gen. Eric Holder was found in contempt, nothing has been done to him as of yet.

And after reading the words of U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales, I guess it's a double standard for private citizens vs. govt. people....

After the Reeses were arrested, U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales declared, “Those who sell firearms knowing that they will be illegally smuggled into Mexico to arm Mexican cartels share responsibility for the violence that has been devastating Mexico.” Gonzales continued, “This case serves to put firearms dealers on notice that they will be held accountable for any failure to comply with federal firearms laws.”

So, what about the people who knew about Fast & Furious while "knowingly" sold guns that were going to be smuggled into Mexico? Where is their jail time? Oh, that only applies to private citizens I guess.

I'm still searching for more on this story to see if the family was more at fault or just an escape goat.

If any one has more info, please share.....

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 10:18 PM
What's sad is if this an honest mistake, say paper work error or failure to "read the mind" of the buyer as the article states, the family has lost every thing that they worked hard for.

They don't know yet for sure if the property that was seized will be given back to them.

It is not yet known whether the family members will be credited with time served, and the question of whether the property seized from them will ever be returned to them is still up in the air. The fact that they currently stand as convicted felons means that they cannot possess firearms or ammunition, much less run a gun shop. The family business is gone for the foreseeable future, and forever if the convictions are not overturned. The assets of the store are likely to be forfeited, so the family can’t even cover some of the legal expenses by selling out.

edit on 9-8-2012 by snarky412 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 10:22 PM
Sounds like a cover yer asses operation.....hanging these poor people out to dry to make a show of their
"success"TheseBATF need to be reigned in....godam useless

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 10:25 PM
reply to post by snarky412

If you have looked into this before posting this, you would see there are tons of links on the issue for this family:

This week’s feature delves into the trial of the Reese family of Deming, N.M. Their arrest last year on charges of aiding and abetting gun smugglers added more fuel to the partisan firestorm over border security, gun control, and governmental measures (à la Operation Fast and Furious) to stem the flow of weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

Jason Bowles, Ryin Reese’s attorney, was the last of the defense attorneys to address the Jury argue for their acquittal. Mr. Bowles explained the Jurors would be taking the indictment back to chambers to answer 28 questions on the verdict. He explained over the next 10-15 minutes why each should be answered not guilty, starting out with with law, and the decision making based on the facts. Mr. Bowles pointed to Count 1 and reminded them of the Jury’s instructions on reasonable doubt. The government failed (to prove conspiracy) and the Judge instructed if you think there is doubt that you must find them not guilty. You have to be firmly convinced they are guilty as charged. Regarding Counts 2 – 28 Mr. Bowles mentioned aiding and abetting and asked if it was reasonable. He explained the Reeses did not know about any of this. Mr. Bowles explained for the government to convict them of the smuggling counts they have to go thru the aiding and abetting clause. First someone else committed the crime. Second, the defendant has to intend to associate and participate. They must share common knowledge. General suspicion is not enough. Also being present at a crime is not sufficient. Mr. Bowles asked the Jury if they intended to associate? Mere presence is not enough. If you can’t find that standards present, you must find them not guilty. Mr. Bowles asked the Jury how they would go about making these decisions, and told them they would have to go thru the process. He told them to evaluate the believability of the witnesses and that they should consider if they impressed them as being honest. Mr. Bowles pointed out that Roman hasn’t been honest since age 17, and he told them to consider that Roman had a personal interest in the outcome of the case. Mr. Bowles pointed out one of the things not immediately apparent. There was no language in the motion to get a reduced sentence in the Plea Agreement. (Possibly in the Penny Torres Plea Agreement.) Mr Bowles pointed another a section Prosecutor Jordan highlighted where a defendant falsely implicated a person on false information, at a minimum, the defendant is in violation of the Plea Agreement. However, Mr. Bowles continued, that part isn’t in the Roman Plea Agreement. There is no language about being truthful. Under cross examination it was brought out that Roman wants the benefits of the Plea Agreement and it colors your perception. Mr. Bowles reminded the Jury this case started with Roman, and Terri helped the government. If this family was involved, why would Terri tip off the government, he asked. Jose Roman did get benefits. Every one of the defendants had a factual basis to tell the truth to the government. When they were shown the plea agreement, not a single one talked about the Reeses. Not in there when they were under oath. Why not? Mr. Bowles told the Jury they couldn’t give any weight to Roman’s testimony. He infected this whole case. The government tried to keep him out because he’s so dirty. Mr. Bowles stated the best thing the government has is the tapes, which they tried to script. Go into any business and see if you don’t hear outlandish statements. But that doesn’t prove criminal intent. Mr. Bowles explained that the only two people who had knowledge were the two people in the conversation. He pointed out you don’t see the undercover agent. He pointed out you couldn’t see if the agent was shopping. The government agents actions are not filmed. Mr. Bowles emphasized Roman didn’t say he couldn’t buy weapons, and this case is different. Mr. Bowles explained they did not intentionally participate. Regarding the exports counts in 11-28, and aiding and abetting, Mr. Bowles explained the defendants sold these weapons but they didn’t need to get the export license or approval from the state. They had knowledge it was prohibited by law. Mr. Bowles explained Ryin’s problem statement was that he said he didn’t need to know that. Of course they knew they are looked at by the government; inspections happen all the time. This idea that he was an exporter, there is no proof. Ryin had no idea they were going there. If they had suspicions, there is no requirement to report. They can’t be convicted on a guess or speculation. There is no proof they were violation the Arms Export Laws because there is no evidence any of them knew they needed to report. They didn’t know the guns were being smuggled, and they didn’t act willfully. Regarding the Conspiracy Count, Mr. Bowles stated requires knowingly breaking the law, and the only evidence the government presented was the family in a huddle talking in hushed tones. Mr. Bowles told the Jury they can’t convict on this. Mr. Bowles told the Jury another thing learned in this case is that people are products of what they grow up with. He described the agents’ day in and day out job as dealing with criminals, and soon all you start to see is everyone is a criminal, and that it colors you after a while. Mr. Bowles used Agent Frye (sp?) as an example, who described the storage room as a “tunnel” and a “bunker”, which are techniques to shade things. Mr. Bowles pointed out how Prosecutor Armijo interpreted the connotation of “you all” and “y’all”, and that hairsplitting is done to make words sound criminal. Mr. Bowles reminded the Jury to remember Roman. He explained the government starts with their strongest witness first. Roman admitted to buying a gun, and that he was their first witness. He asked the Jury to remember that Roman continually laughed, and suggested it was all planned, it was all a big joke. Eventually you’re going to get people to say something that sounds like a crime. Mr. Bowles reminded the Jury that Ryin wouldn’t sell a weapon unless it was for the buyer (the undercover agent). Mr. Bowles told the Jury there were no double sets of books. Law enforcement was tipped off by them, and there is ample evidence they were trying to obey the law. He reminded the Jury that if the Reeses could pass an inspection of that kind (the 2010 inspection) that there is nothing there. Mr. Bowles concluded by stating the defense has done their best to show why the government has no case and urged them to find all of the Reeses not guilty on all counts.

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 10:26 PM
Terribly hypocritical...

As an aside, I can't stop picturing an 'escape goat'. Away, silver!

Star and flag

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 10:28 PM
There is so much on the case out there from so many different sources, that one could spend literally hours reading about it before being able to make a judgement call.............

Are you looking for a fast, sympathetic response here, because just your link could not allow a person to make a well informed judgement call without looking into whatever else is out there...............just 'sayin!

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 10:40 PM
reply to post by Sulie

I understand but I was trying to find more of the how it came to this.

The family has had law enforcement help out and U.S. Customs even had a key to his store:

Rick obtained his FFL originally in 1993. He liked firearms and felt he could save money purchasing weapons. Back then, a $30 fee to ATF accompanied the application form. Rick explained a few years ago the ATF made him surrender that FFL to change the name on the FFL to his personal name (instead of a LLC), and the fee escalated to $300. New Deal was opened approximately 18 years ago. He had applied for a job at the local high school, however, wasn’t hired. He supported the family by selling guns at gun shows on weekends. The initial capital to start up the company was his wife’s credit card.

Rick explained little by little they built the current New Deal store. First they needed a secure, cool, location for ammunition (as required by ATF). The jury was shown construction photos, showing how the first thing they did was bury an underground used diesel tank to store weapons and ammo in securely. An access hatch and interior stairway was constructed. Rick stated as part of the inspection process the ATF was aware of this storage area and the security measures. Rick related that during the inspections, ATF matches the A&D logs to the physical inventory, which from 1983 thru 1995 was stored securely in this underground storage area.

[In other words, folks, the ATF has known this is not a "bunker" or "tunnel" as described in earlier government testimony, and wasn't a secret to the ATF as they have known about this since the inception of New Deal.]

Rick explained he had security concerns when he built the underground storage area. His boys were very young, they were 30 miles from Old Mexico, in a rural setting, and far from the sheriff’s office in town. Alarm systems hooked up to the sheriff’s office were installed, flood lights, as well as fences surrounding the area. They did everything they could to comply with ATF regulations.

At first the above ground business was a small area. Over the years, he was able to build a steel building over the underground storage area, and later expand it even further. New Deal became the 3rd largest gun store in New Mexico in terms of volume of sales and floor space. One third of his business came from law enforcement.

Terri helped him more and more in the store as the business grew, but even that wasn’t enough help. In time they had other people help in an informal manner. Retired and off-duty law enforcement would help out, and he described how gun stores are like a candy store to some. The officers were happy to be able to hang out in the store.

He also built a safe shooting range, which was leased out to ICE. He explained that US Customs had a key to the property and could come and go as they wished, even after business hours. They started leasing the range some 5-7 years ago. He stated his range complied with ATF regulations, and could accommodate pistols and rifles, however, to be safe when shooting a 50 caliber gun they would travel 1.5 miles to the Florida mountain and shoot the 50 caliber gun pointed at the mountain.

Rick described how he tried to cater to law enforcement and gave them discounts on weapons and ammunition to draw them into the store and get repeat business.

Rick described how he initially advertised on the radio to get other clientele, however, over time realized he was getting diminishing returns. He switched over to getting shirt embroidered with his company name and phone number, and over the shirts this amounted to 1000s of shirts, many given away as a promotional item. Manufacturers also gave him shirts to give away when a customer purchased their item. Rick obtained other promotional items also. He described one of them as a challenge coin, which had his logo on it and a choice of phrases. In his case Rick chose the phrase “Armor of God” to be printed on his promotional coin.

As a small business owner, I'm just curious as to what led to this. Seems as though his business was in order and law enforcement officers were there often, even ICE/U.S. Customs. And he followed ATF guide lines.
edit on 9-8-2012 by snarky412 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 10:44 PM

Originally posted by Planet teleX
Terribly hypocritical...

As an aside, I can't stop picturing an 'escape goat'. Away, silver!

Star and flag

Maybe 'escape goat" wasn't the proper term.

They were made an "example of" maybe....

Do as we say, not as we do.

posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 10:57 PM

Originally posted by Sulie
There is so much on the case out there from so many different sources, that one could spend literally hours reading about it before being able to make a judgement call.............

Are you looking for a fast, sympathetic response here, because just your link could not allow a person to make a well informed judgement call without looking into whatever else is out there...............just 'sayin!

There was a thread the other day on a man that was arrested for supposedly " worshiping"out of his home in AZ.

At first I thought, oh man, that ain't right.

But then a poster was able to find out more on the subject and come to find out, it had nothing to do with his worship but more to do with violation of city code and neighborhood codes. Dated back to 2007....

The article was very misleading.... [FOX]

Needless to say, when I hear of a small business owner who worked their butt off to get to where they are, and then something like this happens and they loose everything, I feel for them. But I like to know the facts so I can see the big picture, what led up to the situation. And when I read about the F&F scandal at the same time, I thought how convenient....coincidence.

Unfortunately now a days, the news media is not all the forth coming, depending on which side they are on.
A lot of dis-info out there....

So I read different articles plus I like to get peoples views and their takes on a subject.

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 08:59 AM
Truly sad and frightening story.
This is why I quit engraving guns as I had no desire to have a Federal Firearms License and come under the scrutiny of the BATF. The business I worked for was closed down for months while the ATF did a complete inventory after a gun stolen from us turned up after being used in a robbery in New York. That was pretty much the last nail in the coffin and we had to relocate to a cheaper building.
I know how these feds work and if they have no legitimate targets they will create them just to keep their image up.
Who wants to deal with that?
Not I.

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 11:56 AM
Can someone help me? Who are the good guys?

Seriously sounds like the fed didn't want any competition selling on their street corner.
edit on 10-8-2012 by GoldenRuled because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 12:11 PM
The people in jail are the good guys.

The people running the show today are the bad guys.

The people who act like they are the good guys, but hurt other people, are the bad guys.

The people who own a gun store are the good guys.

The people who shut down the gun store are the bad guys.

The people who put guns to old peoples heads to search their RVs are the bad guys.

The people who run guns into mexico as part of a sting operation are the bad guys.

The people who have to pay for the bad guys evil shinanigans are the good guys.

...I can go all day like this...but I will stop here...

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 12:14 PM
Could it be as simple as The Reeses were fooled by a straw purchaser???
..Sellers beware of Buyers!!!

Cover your ass. Be sure to donate to the local sheriffs dept or police fund...Better yet be sure to have a family member on the force to hopefully get a heads up.

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 12:18 PM
I'm so angry!!!!

Those double standard,thieving,lying,corrupt, greedy, buttboils!!!!!!

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 12:35 PM
reply to post by snarky412

I think he meant to tell you the term is "scapegoat", not "escape goat". You are correct in usage, just a bit off on the term!

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 12:46 PM
Government Law enforcement even had a lease on their gun range for 7 years? They had a key and cod come and go as they pleased? The undercover agent who bought a firearm and initiated the arrest, was told he would only be sold the firearm, only if it was for him personally.

Sounds like the business was compliant and didn't break any laws.

What would have sent red flags up in my head as a business owner, was when the ATF made them give up their LLC and put it under his personal name. That left him open to prosecution and civil litigation.

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 01:09 PM

Originally posted by becomingaware

The undercover agent who bought a firearm and initiated the arrest, was told he would only be sold the firearm, only if it was for him personally.

Sounds like the business was compliant and didn't break any laws.

There were similar raids a year or so ago on NJ and NY gun shops where an undercover went in and asked about certain AWB features such as a collapsible stock and magazine release.

The clerks, all on camera, told the undercovers basically the same thing "you'd have to grind this and snap that to do it but if you do it you're breaking the law."

Days later the cops raided all those shops claiming the shops sold them illegal "assault" rifles.

The NY AG got all uppity giving interviews about making the streets safe and invoking children and all that typical crap.

Eventually all the charges were dropped. But not before making private business owners look like criminals in the eyes of the public and making the cops and attorneys all look like saints and heros.

Scratch that last part. Its even better. The county responsible for the raids offered a six figure settlement to the defendants basically admitting they #ed up, the defendants refused, now the trial which was supposed to happen months ago is on "indefinite hold."

Meanwhile, during this same time period, several of NYC's finest were selling guns to known felons that were used against their brothers in blue. A half dozen of them were eventually caught.
edit on 10-8-2012 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 02:21 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

Sounds like business as usual for them. True to form, embellishing facts and building cases on honest sellers. I didn't know NY and NJ couldn't modify a rifle to a collapsable stock. I love my Magpul stocks.

Im sure the shop owners have to tell their employees to watch out or federal agents, trying to trick them into messing up. Most enthusiasts wouldn't go into a gun shop and ask how to modify a mag well to recieve this or that. If they do, chances are he is a Fed.

..anyway. This is an illegitmate crackdown on gun owners. They are even going about it in a way that it will destroy a whole familys lively-hood. Seizing any and all property, resources, money and even making them felons to add insult to injury. They will have to spend years in court to fight. ...dishearting.

I hope they sue the hell out of the government. I hope they leache millions from them. I'd be happy to pay taxes then.

...By the way TGRT, Im buying that Joel Salatin book. Thanks.
edit on 10-8-2012 by becomingaware because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 02:24 PM
reply to post by snarky412

I will tell you this. I was born in El Paso, Texas and spent the 1st 10 years of my life in Deming, NM.
When I was about 4 yrs old, my Mother's father, who lived with us at the time, died in a Deming hospital.
After his death, my mom and dad bought a couple of airplanes and they both flew in air races and around
the country. They had friends that also flew planes. It was a big thing back then to fly.

When I was about 10 yrs old, we all of a sudden packed up and moved to Texas. My dad sold the planes
and has never flown since. It wasn't until I was in my late 40's that I found out what happened. Why we moved
from Deming to Texas. My dad told me he had friends with whom he used to fly. The MOB approached these people to fly drugs across the Mexican Border into Deming and Columbus, NM. Each of them that did, met with an untimely death. The MOB approached my dad and was trying to force him to fly for them. Instead, of caving in, he sold both planes and we moved. That is how he protected us.

To this day, there is a strong MOB presence in Deming, NM. The Federal Government no doubtably was using the MOB to move guns into Mexico and probably using this family as bait for it. They are now the scape goats for sure or had MOB connections to do what they are accused of doing. Its not clear by the news reports of what exactly is going on in Deming, NM, but one thing is very clear. Obama is using all of his political clout to keep Eric Holder from being brought up on charges of Treason. Obama is just as GUILTY of it as Holder is. Time will only tell what will happen next in the Saga of Barry Obama.

posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 02:37 PM
Just a another story of how the"law"legally robs innocent people. Happens all the time but the victims are usually suspected drug dealers so no one pays any attention. They pull you over with a large amount of cash they can take it even if you have a honest reason to have been carrying it. They can take your car, house, bank accounts what ever with little or no proof of any wrong doing. Most people don't have the cash to fight it. Happens all the time and will continue to do so.

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in