Jury rejects Conspiracy, Smuggling, and Money Laundering charges
After almost a year in jail and a three week trial, a jury has declared the members of the Reese family to be not guilty on 24 of the 28 counts against them. The jury did convict Rick Reese and his wife Terri on one count each of making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms. Eldest son Ryin was convicted on two counts of the same charge, and younger son Remington was acquitted of all charges. The convictions are expected to result in sentences of about one year for each count, but harsher penalties are possible. Sentencing is scheduled for early October. Rick and Ryin will stay in jail until then, but Terri will remain out on bail until sentence is passed. Remington was released from custody at the conclusion of the trial.
As reported previously in this column, Rick Reese and his family ran a gun shop outside of Deming, New Mexico for over 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 son, Ryin, 24, was in the process of obtaining an FFL to open a store of his own in nearby Las Cruces. 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 Reeses 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 the money paying for the guns was from illegal activities), and making false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms – lying on the 4473. Almost all of those charges were thrown out or returned as Not Guilty.