The Reese family who were unjust victims of Fast and Furious need your help and support. Several members of the family were arrested after the Fast and Furious scandal. What ensued ruined their successful business and ruined their family in many ways. Please help by spreading the word and raising money for Rick and Ryin’s $10,000 individual bonds.
Rick Reese and his family ran a gun shop outside of 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. 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.
All of this happened to the backdrop of breaking news about agents of the ATF and Department of Justice instructing firearms dealers to sell large numbers of guns and ammunition to known Mexican arms traffickers in an operation called “Fast and Furious.” In all, about 2,000 guns were allowed to “walk” out of federal control or monitoring, and most of them ended up in the hands of criminals in Mexico. Two of those guns were subsequently found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. It has since been discovered that this was not the only gunwalking operation ATF has run in the past several years.
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.”
Observers who have been following the “Fast and Furious” debacle, which has led to a contempt of Congress charge against Attorney General Eric Holder – yet led to no serious personnel actions against those responsible, much less criminal charges – marveled that U.S. Attorney Gonzales could make that statement with a straight face. Absent an accounting for “Fast and Furious,” aggressively going after gun dealers whose primary crimes appear to have been either paperwork errors or a lack of a psychic ability to read a buyer’s mind is an outrage.
Breaking News – Rick and Ryin Reese are being released on bond after being in prison for 18 months.
Information known so far includes:
- $10,000 bond each
- They will have ankle monitoring bracelets
- They will be allowed to go to church
- Arrangements for other off property trips can be made with the probation office
There is no word yet on whether the judge has decided in favor of or against a new trial. As soon as that decision is known it will be posted.
They will not be able to be released unless they can raise the cash bond amounts. Marj Stewart has informed there currently is not enough money in the defense fund to secure their release.
Please help the Reese family raise the necessary funds so they can be released. No contribution is too small.
REESE DEFENSE FUND, ATTENTION Patricia Arias,First Savings Bank520 South GoldDeming, NM 88030 I extend my personal thanks to the attorneys who have been working tirelessly for the past few months. I know they have been up at the wee hours of the mornings and late nights working on this case. Of course, they need to be paid, too. There have been a lot of expenses involved in the case since the end of the trial.
Terri Reese understandably is very emotional and extremely happy right now. She is also swamped with phone calls. She asked me to express her deep gratitude to everyone who has stood by the family throughout this ordeal.
Cross-posted on my blog.