Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)
- 06-21-2012, 10:49 PM #1
- Join Date
- May 2007
- South West Florida (Behind friendly lines but still in Occupied Territory)
U.S. family jailed for Attorney General Eric Holder's Fast & Furious gun crimes
KNOX GUN-RIGHTS REPORT
U.S. family jailed for Holder's gun crimes
Jeff Knox summarizes stunning story of Fast & Furious hypocrisy
Published: 2 hours ago by Jeff Knox
Eighteen months after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in Arizona by Mexican bandits using guns purchased through a U.S. government program called Fast and Furious, we still don’t know who within the Department of Justice knew about the program, much less who authorized it.
Certainly there has been no serious talk about prosecuting any of the people responsible for assisting in the illegal sales of over 2,000 guns to Mexican arms traffickers – guns that were subsequently involved in the murders of BPA Terry and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, as well as possibly hundreds of Mexican citizens.
But while that investigation has dragged on, with Attorney General Eric Holder denying knowledge of the program, denying knowledge of who was involved and denying congressional investigators access to tens of thousands of documents that might answer those questions, New Mexico gun dealer Rick Reese and his two sons Ryin and Remington have sat rotting in separate detention centers, jails and prisons around the state accused of a similar crime involving some 30 guns.
The Reese family, including Rick’s wife Terri, ran a gun shop in Deming, N.M., and was arrested in late August of 2011 on charges of knowingly selling guns to Mexican smugglers and various other related charges.
After spending 6 months in jail, Terri Reese was finally granted bail in March of this year, but Rick and the boys have been repeatedly denied bail on the pretext that they are flight risks or might try to engage in a Ruby Ridge-type standoff.
The rationale for denying the Reeses’ constitutional rights is that Rick knows some people in Mexico, his home has a well and solar power and there were guns and ammunition in their homes and businesses when they were arrested.
That’s right: Guns and ammo in the home and business of a federally licensed firearms dealer (all of which were seized a year ago and have never been returned) is being offered as evidence that they can’t be trusted – and a judge bought it.
Well, there’s also the fact that Rick and Terri were involved with a local tea-party group. That’s probably reason enough right there.
The Reeses are scheduled to finally get their day in court in late July, almost a full year after they were arrested and incarcerated. The first of several pre-trial motion hearings was held last week in which the judge heard arguments as to whether the charge of criminal conspiracy should be dropped. The prosecution contends that the Reese family members were all in cahoots in a conspiracy to sell guns to illegal buyers, falsify purchase paperwork, smuggle guns to Mexico and launder the illegal proceeds. The defense contends that the family operated a business buying and selling firearms, ammunition and accessories, and that they made every effort to ensure that every sale they made was legal and properly documented.
During this first hearing, we learned several things about the prosecution’s case. For instance, we learned that prosecutors acknowledge that every gun the Reeses sold was properly logged into and out of their store inventory, and that FBI background checks were conducted, and approvals received, for each purchaser. They also agree that all taxes were paid and no money was exchanged “under the table,” nor did any of the family members receive compensation above their normal company paycheck.
We learned that Rick Reese also employed retired and off-duty law enforcement officers as part-time help in the shop, and that a substantial portion of the company’s business came from law enforcement officers and agencies.
We learned that prosecutors consider three family members standing close to each other and quietly talking to be evidence of conspiracy and that the lead investigator in the case has a very low opinion of fellow law enforcement officers. When asked if he considered the fact that the Reeses employed LEOs in the shop to be contraindicative of a criminal conspiracy, he replied that he did not because “a lot of them [cops and former cops] are dirty.”
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.
Torres had claimed that her purchases were in preparation for a large family reunion at an area ranch where her relatives wanted to do a lot of shooting. At some point after the sales, Terri Reese became suspicious of Torres’ story and contacted a friend in the Luna County Sheriff’s office, who acted as the shop’s go-to guy in law enforcement. He assured Terri that he would make a report to ATF and get back to her.
Torres testimony against the Reese family led to a months-long sting operation conducted against the Reeses by a federal agency called Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI. That investigation involved a confidential informant named Roman, who was trying to earn a reduced sentence for drug and human smuggling. His job was to make purchases of firearms and ammunition from the Reeses while dropping hints that his intent was to illegally take the guns to Mexico. The trick was to drop those hints in such a way that they wouldn’t alarm the Reeses, but that someone listening to a recording of the tape and reading a transcript would conclude that the Reeses knew, or should have known, his intentions.
Roman, by the way, speaks only broken English, and his conversations with the Reeses included a lot of Spanish, a language that no one in the Reese family speaks, but which has been transcribed for the court in English.
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.
For the Reese family, who have already served 10 months behind bars and have had all of their worldly possessions taken from them, the July trial is an opportunity to prove their innocence and try to reassemble what’s left of their lives.
For the prosecution, it is imperative that they prove that the Reeses were intentionally engaging in the criminal activity they have already been being punished for. Failure to get a conviction would leave egg on the face of a relatively new federal law enforcement agency trying to establish itself, and would mean that the various agencies involved wouldn’t get to divvy up the spoils already pillaged.
Once again though, we see a case where those inside the government and law enforcement are handled with kid gloves and given the benefit of every doubt, while those outside of government and law enforcement are presumed guilty until they can prove their innocence – even after the government has taken away the resources they need to make their case.
If you would like to help the Reese family in their struggle, a defense fund has been set up at:REESE DEFENSE FUND
ATTENTION Patricia Arias
First Savings Bank
520 South Gold
Deming, NM 88030
U.S. family jailed for Holder’s gun crimesReporting from FEMA Region IV; Florida, United States of America (BANKSTER Controlled)
- 06-22-2012, 01:46 AM #2
Bill Newell is in my opinion a petty bureaucrat and a liar. We should all be horrified that our goverment can do this to people.
More on BILL NEWELL Watch the video, he is, in my opinion, a slimy customer. Of course he was promoted and sent to DC to the nest. Perhaps they should look at him for contempt of congress also.
Unbelievable: Operation Fast and Furious Agents...Promoted
News Editor, Townhall
Aug 16, 2011 02:28 PM EST
You got our gun control regulations through! Great job! Here's promotion!
ATF agents involved in Operation Fast and Furious who should have been fired by now for putting over 2000 high powered weapons into the hands of ruthless Mexican drug cartels, on purpose, have been promoted. Yes, promoted. Only in government can you have blood on your hands and get a pay raise and moved from the Phoenix Field Office to a cushy office in Washington D.C.
The three supervisors have been given new management positions at the agency's headquarters in Washington. They are William G. McMahon, who was the ATF's deputy director of operations in the West, where the illegal trafficking program was focused, and William D. Newell and David Voth, both field supervisors who oversaw the program out of the agency's Phoenix office.
McMahon and Newell have acknowledged making serious mistakes in the program, which was dubbed Operation Fast and Furious.
"I share responsibility for mistakes that were made," McMahon testified to a House committee three weeks ago. "The advantage of hindsight, the benefit of a thorough review of the case, clearly points me to things that I would have done differently."
McMahon was promoted Sunday to deputy assistant director of the ATF's Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations — the division that investigates misconduct by employees and other problems.
Kenneth E. Melson, the ATF's acting director, said in an agency-wide confidential email announcing the promotion that McMahon was among ATF employees being rewarded because of "the skills and abilities they have demonstrated throughout their careers."
Newell was the special agent in charge of the field office for Arizona and New Mexico, where Fast and Furious was conducted. On Aug. 1, the ATF announced he would become special assistant to the assistant director of the agency's Office of Management in Washington.
Voth was an on-the-ground team supervisor for the operation, and last month he was moved to Washington to become branch chief for the ATF's tobacco division.
William Newell was the agent who lied to Congress by saying ATF never let guns "walk" during testimony on Capitol Hill in July, despite Operation Fast and Furious being an operation that involved giving drug cartels guns from the beginning in order to "track down," cartel leaders. From July 26, 2011:
“These guns went to ruthless criminals,” Carlos Canino, ATF Acting Attaché to Mexico said in testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday regarding the scandal-plagued Operation Fast and Furious. “It’s alleged that over 2,000 guns were trafficked in this investigation. To put that in context, upon information and belief, the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment has approximately 2,500 rangers. That means that as a result of this investigation, the Sinaloa cartel may have received almost as many guns that are needed to arm the entire regiment. Out of these 2,000 weapons, 34 were .50-caliber sniper rifles. That is approximately the number of sniper riles a Marine infantry regiment takes into battle.”
Remember, William Newell, who again has been promoted, would not admit Operation Fast and Furious was a bad idea and would not say he wouldn't do it again.
Former ATF Special Agent in Charge William Newell would not condemn Operation Fast and Furious and allowing guns to walk into Mexico during testimony and questioning. In fact, Newell went so far as to say he was unaware of guns walking into Mexico, despite internal emails showing he did know. Newell admitted the agency made mistakes but would not admit the program was a bad idea and exposed that he was in communication with a member of the White House national security team. His testimony also conflicted with previous testimony given by Special Agent John Dodson of the Phoenix Field Division who said on June 15, “Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated.”
“At no time in our strategy was it to allow guns to be taken to Mexico,” Newell said, adding that at no time did his agency allow guns to walk.
“You’re entitled to your opinion, not your own facts,” Issa responded.
Jul 26, 2011 Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) asks ATF Special Agent Newell when he knew guns were being walked across the U.S. Mexico Border during the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing entitled, "Operation Fast & Furious: The Other Side of the Border."
If you're wondering, Fast and Furious hasn't led to a single arrest of a drug kingpin and has resulted in the murders of two U.S. federal agents and countless murders of innocents in Mexico. Now, Operation Fast and Furious has resulted in the promotion of the very agents who carried out the operation, despite knowing it involved huge risk and would get people killed.
In addition, new gun control measures targeting Southern border states have been implemented by the Obama Justice Department as a result of Fast and Furious, and the operation was designed to promote gun control from the beginning. Seems like these agents did their job to get those new gun control measures implemented and are being awarded by the Obama Administration for doing so. Newell is also the agent who admitted the White House was involved with Operation Fast and Furious.
Unbelievable: Operation Fast and Furious Agents...Promoted - Katie Pavlich
Last edited by HAPPY2BME; 06-22-2012 at 09:14 AM. Reason: format
- 06-22-2012, 08:11 AM #3
ATF has about same standards as TSA, little to none.I'm old with many opinions few solutions.
- 06-22-2012, 10:27 AM #4
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
More proof that we are governed now for some time that says to its people "do as I say, not as I do." I am anti-iillegal drug but shortly after the property confiscation law for drug dealers became law, an acquaintance of mine had his home confiscated for one joint. He got a misdemeanor conviction, but paid a price with losing his home. I expected that would not stand for one joint, bur after the fact it did stand. I'm strongly against driving while intoxicated, too, but because enforcement officials, police, judges and legislators do it, we will never get that stopped, either.
It seems as if the government asks for your cooperation in an investigation and you refuse, expect to be charged with something, if you cooperate and the government gets caught doing the illegal thing, you'll go to jail, you will be charged and pay for the government's indiscretion.
- 06-22-2012, 11:48 AM #5
QUOTE(It seems as if the government asks for your cooperation in an investigation and you refuse, expect to be charged with something, if you cooperate and the government gets caught doing the illegal thing, you'll go to jail, you will be charged and pay for the government's indiscretion.)quote
I agree with you sir,as an old timer I've been witness to a huge loss of freedom in past 50 years, it is mind numbing and hard to explain too our youth who grew up in different times,however one thing is certain to me if we continue on this path of corruption and unlimited immigration America will simply become like other third world countries, while many will assert this can't happen in my view we are very near the edge now.
Standards, morals,values, discipline equal a good life, very easy to live and understand,sadly our government
does not see it in that manner.I'm old with many opinions few solutions.
- 06-22-2012, 01:08 PM #6
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
oldguy, I agree with your response, certainly. Your reference to the last 50 years indicate that we may have grown up nearly at the same time, (ok, in honesty, when I thought I'd grown up, maybe I was'nt through growing up). I remember when I'd asked my mother growing up how I could know I was doing the right thing. According to her answer it was so simple, "Follow your conscience." Soon, I came to realize that if my conscience did not approve, it just might be illegal, too.