a speedy Kangaroo trial, Holder
The Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty was held at the UN General Assembly from July 2 to July 27, 2012. It ended in a stalemate because as hard as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton tried to pin gunwalking from the United States to drug cartels in Mexico on lawful US gun dealers, the blood stains are clearly on the hands of US Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and, of course, the covert head of Occupy Wall Street and the leader of Occupy Washingtonthe "occupier" of the Oval Office, Barack Obama (who, by the way instructed Napolitano to instruct the General Services Administration [GSA] not to evict Occupy Washington, Occupy Wall Street, and Occupy Everywhere Else, to leave Occupy USA alone, letting them tear up government property in order to promulgate their radical agenda. Riots and protests, by the way, were reportedly financed at least in part by Obama-backer George Soros.)
What went on in the Obama Administration's private "Gut The 2nd Amendment" arena in US District Court Judge Robert C. Brack's courtroom in Las Cruces, New Mexico was a Kangaroo Court designed to guarantee that a conviction for gunwalking happenedquickly. Anyone's conviction for gunwalking. A solid conviction would help deflect attention from Eric Holder, Janet Napolitano and Hillary Clinton's complicity in the death of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in the DOJ's and Homeland Security's Fast & Furious gunwalking program by making it appear that Fast & Furious was a righteous sting operation after all. And that gun dealers like Rick Reese were ultimately responsible for Terry's regrettable death.
The ATF now had their Fast & Furious pigeons. But was it enough to change public opinion and take the congressional onus off Fast & Furious? Off Holder?. And off Janet Napolitano? All Holder needed was one or two good convictions to affirm that Fast & Furious was a legitimate laws enforcement operation. Why? Because it appeared to substantiate what the left had been saying for the last couple of decadesthat legal gun shop owners were engaged in arms trafficking.
The liberal view is that one good, very public absolution covers a multitude of sins. Once again, the GOP would be proven wrong because they insisted that Fast & Furious was nothing more than a sham by Obama and Clinton to ratify the UN Smalls Treaty. The conviction of the Reese family proved otherwise. At least in the left's mind.
In point of fact there is no evidence that, other than in a sting when the FBI was complicit in the lack of screening and the willful approval of selling firearms to illegals, no ATF-registered gun dealer has ever knowingly sold guns illegallyeven at gun shows. Licensed gun dealers run background checks on everyoneeven those who buy at gun shows. Their weapon sales are monitored by the ATF. Not only does a gun dealer have to account for every weapon that is delivered to his facility, he has to account for how every weapon leaves his place of business.
The FBI is required by federal law to do an instant background check on every prospective gun buyer. Before any weapon walks out the door, the FBI must approve the sale. What that tells you about Fast & Furious is that no legitimate, legal, licensed gun dealers in the United States of America would risk prison by selling illegal weapons to anyone. Nor would they knowingly sell legal weapons illegally to gunrunners posing as law-abiding citizens without FBI approval. The juries in any court of this land who hear evidence against gun dealers from undercover operatives, undercover informants and already indicted felons looking for reduced sentences need to weigh the government's case against those accused of breaking the law. It's better than a coin toss that Uncle Sam is trying to frame an American citizen. When juries get the guts to think past the political rhetoric, it's time to nullify the government's indictment through a "Not Guilty" vote, if not nullifying the law that allowed the malicious persecution by Uncle Sam. .
The current assault on the 2nd Amendment by the Obama Administration through the Dept. of Justice, the ATF and Homeland Security was not aimed at consumers but the gun dealers themselves in order to put fear into those who wholesale and retail firearms to the people who, according to the 2nd Amendment, have a constitutional right to own them. In April, 2010 when a woman carrying a New Mexico driver's license and identifying herself as Penny Torres entered New Deal Shooting Sports in Deming, you couldn't have convinced New Deal co-owner Terri Reese that the ATF, the FBI and Homeland Security was plotting to frame a few honest gun dealers in order to scare other gun dealers into converting their gun stores into sporting goods stores that sell pellet guns, fishing gear, jock straps and athletic socks. But the ReesesRick Reese, his wife Terri and their two sons, Ryin and Remington, were about to enter the Eric Holder Twilight Zone.
If you said that to Terri Reese in April, 2011, you would have likely heard a nervous laugh. Reese, like most Americans today on both sides of the great political divide who are paying close attention, increasingly distrust its central government which, ever-so-slowly, has abrogated their constitutional rights through laws legislated by social progressive lawmakers and by court decisions by an increasing leftwing, social progressive judiciary which has been been surreptitiously erasing the Bill of Rights and the framework of the Constitution itself, assuming for themselves authority that was constitutionally delegated to the People and to the States.
Torres purchased a couple of guns from the Reeses and, once again, completed the proper ATF Form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Record) with what appeared to be her correct name and current address. The FBI quickly approved the transaction and Torres left New Deal Shooting Sports with the weapons she purchased. Two weeks later she returned and bought another weapon. Again, she completed Form 4473. Once again the FBI approved the sale. Every few weeks Torres returned and bought one or two additional weapons. Each time the FBI approved the transaction. Perhaps that should have raised a red flag with the Reeses, but with the FBI approving every sale, it didn't.
On July 29, 2011 Torres, who had become a regular gun buyer over the past year, told the Reeses that she would be buying several guns in a few days because she was hosting a family reunion at a nearby ranch and she assured everyone she would have enough guns that everyone could do some target shooting. Torres bought seven AK-47 pistols that day under a special license. The FBI approved the sale. After she left the gun shop, what she said kept tugging at Terri Reese's mind. It just didn't make sense because of the volume of weapons Torres had purchased over the last year. She should have had enough guns to supply not only her immediate family, but her family's extended families as well. She called a Luna County, New Mexico Sheriff's Deputy she knew and told him she may have inadvertently sold some guns to a gunwalkeralthough the FBI didn't seem to have a problem approving the transactions.
Torres, it turned out, was a gunwalker who was already in ATF custody. She was working as an undercover informant to get a reduced sentence when she was arrested again. With her ATF cover blown, the Feds substituted another undercover informant facing serious felony charges, whose code name was Jose Roman. Unlike Torres who spoke perfect English, Roman spoke broken English very poorly. And when he spoke, he would speak a few words in English and the bulk of what he was saying in Mexican Spanish. He would be the downfall of the Reeses since none of them spoke a word of Spanish.
All Roman had to do was buy a few guns from New Deal Shooting Sports while he was telling the Reeses that he planned to take the guns to Mexico and sell them to the drug cartels. The trick, of course, was to tell the Reeses without tipping them off what he was saying. He was wired, so every word he spoke to them as he bought the guns was later transcribed by the ATF to use against the Reese family in court. Only, the federal transcriber did not transcribe the English words in English and the Hispanic words in Spanish. The entire dialogue was translated into Englishso a federal jury could understand what Jose Roman was telling them as he paid for the guns. In the same token, the jury "heard" Roamn tell the Resses he planned to walk the guns to Mexico. And, he told them, in Hispanic, that he needed those guns badly to battle the Sinola Cartel. And he said (in Hispanic) the ammunition he bought would not be coming back to the United Statesunless it was in someone's body. The ATF and FBI now had enough "evidence" to indict the Reeses. And, even enough circumstantial evidence they thought, to provide themselves some much needed cover in their Fast & Furious dilemma.
They used a ruse to affect the arrest. Twenty-four year old Ryin Reese was planning to open his own store in nearby Las Cruses. He was in process of applying for his own Federal Firearms License. In August of 2011 the local ATF office called Rick Reese and invited the family to come to his office to discuss Ryin's FFL application. When the family showed up at the ATF office, they were all arrested on charges of conspiring to illegally sell firearms, and assist others in smuggling them into Mexico. They were also charged with money laundering since, according to the ATF, they knew the money that was buying the guns they sold came from druglords in Mexico. At precisely the same time a SWAT task force led by Homeland Security stormed the Reese property in nearby Deming.
In a strange quirk, and elderly couple who chose to stop and camp on Reese's land were held at gunpoint while the SWAT team searched their RV. Other officers broke into the New Deal Shooting Sports and its basement storage area (which they referred to as a "bunker" in their press release). They confiscated every piece of merchandise in the buildingincluding furniture, filing cabinets, vendor invoices and the trash. Another group of agents broke into their home and seized firearms, Terri's costume jewelry, whatever cash they found and a coin collection that Rick Reese had had since he was a small boy. Homeland Security seized their personal vehicles, real estate and their personal and business bank accounts.
When Rick and Terri Reese drove to the ATF office in Las Cruse he was a successful, middle class businessman who was within months of retiring. An hour later he was a penniless suspect in a federal frame to find someone to blame for Brian Terry's death and Eric Holder's criminal investigation to provide Hillary Clinton with evidence that American gun shop owners were engaged in the criminal enterprise of knowingly selling automatic rifles and handguns to druglords in Mexicoalthough automatic weapons cannot be sold by any gun store in the United States without a Dept. of Commerce export license.
Before any gun dealer can sell any buyer an AK-47 or an AR-15 rifle, the ATF and the FBI must approve the transaction. In other words, the guns that are crossing the border from the United States to Mexico are not being sold by legal gun dealers, they are being sold by illegal gun dealers who purchase weapons stolen from thieves who break into homes and steal the property or from underground gun dealers who purchase their guns sans federal permits from importers in Mexico or from smugglers who buy the weapons outside the United States and sell them to black market "back trunk" retailers who ask no questions and get premium dollars for their weapons. They also buy back weapons that are used in homicides and sell those weapons to gunwalkers heading to Mexico.
While the Reese's insisted they had all of the paperwork to show they complied with all federal regulations, and that the FBI had approved the sales of every weapon that ever left their shop, they couldn't prove it because every piece of paper in every filing cabinet in their business had been confiscated was in the hands of Homeland Security who failed to produce a single document that would support the innocence of the Reeses. The subpeonas for the seized property likely went to Justice and not Homeland Security. In the end the Holder Justice Department charged Rick, Terri, Ryin and Remington Reese with 30 counts ranging from conspiracy to smuggling.
Remington, the youngest son was found not guilty of all charges. Ryin, age 24, was found guilty of signing a Form 4473 for a .50 caliber rifle and ammunition to an undercover agent on June 15, 2011. The penalty? Five years. On July 7 an undercover agent purchased an AK-47 on an export waiver. Again, the FBI approved the sale. The penalty for knowingly forging a 4473 and selling an AK-47 to a suspected gunwalker? Five years. The fact that Ryin had no knowledge that the undercover agents was using a fabricated name which had no legal authority to buy, or that the fact that the FBI authorized the sale as a sting, did not deter the jury. Rick Reese was found guilty on one countmaking false statements on a 4473 related to selling three handguns and ammunition to an undercover agent (Jose Roman) on July 29, 2011. The false statement? The government said Reese should have known the buyer was planning to take the guns to Mexico. The penalty? Five years. Terri Reese was found guilty of the same violation since she was present when Jose Roman purchased the guns and, in Spanish, informed the Reeses he was taking the guns to Mexico. The sentence? Five years. The jury in the Reese trial acquitted the Reeses of 24 of the 28 charges
Prosecutors accused the Reeses of selling 34 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition to an informant and to federal agents who posed as straw buyers in several undercover sting buys at New Deal Shooting Sports from April 20, 2011 to July 2011. Sentencing will be held sometime early this fall. The Reeses are victims of what appears to be an overzealous, surreptitiously hostile social progressive government which, it appears, were trying to use US gun laws to sway public opinion to favor more federal and international control over gun dealers in the United States by the ratification of the UN Small Arms Treaty.
The United States, Russia and China refused to sign the treaty. Russia and China never will. If 2012 wasn't an election year, and if Obama had a firm two-thirds majority in the US Senate, and if Fast & Furious had not blown up in Holder's, Clinton's, Napoitano's and Obama's faces, its likely Obama would have signed the UN Small Arm Treaty and America would have been on its way to a gun-free America. When you're an Islamofascist and have Marxist aspirations to become a dictator, disarming the people is always Step One. Well, for whatever it's worth, once again, you have my two cents worth on this subject. Until next time...