New Mexico Family Gun Shop Owners Get New Trial

Last summer, I told you about the Reese family in Deming, New Mexico.  Rick and Terri Reese, along with their two sons Ryin and Remington ran a gun shop.  They kept meticulous records and ran their successful business according to the letter of the law.  Then suddenly, they found themselves charged with violating federal gun trafficking laws.  They were arrested and the feds seized the gun shop along with its $2 million worth of inventory which included all of the guns, gun records and nearly two millions rounds of ammunition.  The feds also seized all of the family’s personal possessions, including their home, cars, bank accounts, jewelry, gold and coin collections all totaling about half a million dollars.

More than six months after being jailed, Terri Reese was finally allowed to post bail in March of 2012 and get out of jail, but her husband and two sons were denied the same opportunity because the prosecution claimed they were dangerous and posed a flight risk.  The father and sons were held over pending their trials.

In July 2012, son Remington was acquitted of all charges and set free.  Rick and Terri were each found guilty of one count of lying on firearms purchase forms.  Son Ryin was found guilty on two counts of lying on federal purchase forms.  All members of family were acquitted on the other 24 charges that had been brought against them.

Even though the trial was last July, Rick and Ryin Reese remain in jail pending their sentence hearing which has never taken place.  All toll, the father and son have spent nearly a year and half in jail.

However, that all may change because of a new ruling just handed down by Judge Robert Brack who heard the case and previously denied bail to the father and sons.  Not only has Brack said that the two men can be released on bail, but he has also granted the motion for a new trial based on the fact that the prosecution withheld vital evidence from the defense attorneys.

It turns out that the prosecution was aware of an ongoing investigation concerning possible corruption within the law enforcement officers in southern New Mexico.  Part of that investigation involved the Luna County Sheriff’s Department which was responsible for the bringing the initial charges against the Reese family.

One officer of the sheriff’s department, Det. Alan Batts was one of the main subjects of the corruption investigation.  It was Batts that testified against Terri Reese in the trial, claiming that she had admitted to him that she knew of a gun they sold had ended up in Mexico.  In her testimony, Terri denied any such statement or knowledge and it was Batt’s testimony that helped lead to the conviction of lying on the federal firearms purchase forms.

When it was shown to Judge Brack that the prosecution knew of this investigation on Batts, and that they failed to notify the defense, he ordered a new trial, saying:

“Regardless of the reason why the warnings went unheeded (or, more darkly, were ignored), there is no doubt that the prosecution, intentionally or negligently, suppressed the evidence.”

“Viewing the significance of the suppressed evidence in relation to the record as a whole… the court concludes that the defendants’ Motion for New Trial should be granted.”

Brack set bail for Rick and Ryin at $10,000 each, yet to a family that has had everything they own taken away from them by the federal government, $20,000 is a huge sum of money to raise.  Efforts are being made by their friends to help raise enough money to post bail and to help offset their mounting legal fees.

If they are subsequently acquitted in the new trial, I hope and pray that they are able to force the government to return all of their possessions and assets.  They also need to consider filing a wrongful arrest suit against Det. Alan Batts, the Luna County Sheriff’s Department and the federal agencies (ATF for one) involved in the conspiracy to put them out of business.  If they do, I hope they collect millions from them and are able to restore their business and reputation.



  • martha chandler

    Good article. I wonder if there are a lot more cases like this that we just don't hear about?

    • Gene R Swank

      In Rialto Calf back in the 80s the atf arrested and convicted a gun shop owner for having more ammo in his shop then was allowed. It had been ordered by a gun range but was delivered to the gun store and he was unable to deliver it that day. He was arrested the following morning. I knew this man and he was as honest as the day is long. He was also an air gun champion shooter. The atf needs to be completely shut down and everyone fired. All they need is one minor mistake in the paperwork and the owner goes to jail and loses everything. Highly over regulated by the atf.

      • Seeking_Truth

        They probably confiscated the ammo.
        I used to live in a DRY county. There were several bootleg places where one could buy beer, or whiskey. The cops only raided them when the they ran out of the confiscated stuff from the last raid.
        The cops must have needed some ammo for personal use.

    • Allen Evans

      You know there are . There are many extremely corupt police departments .

      • Jimbo43

        They are taking lessons from our government in charge at the moment ,hopefully that will change soon!

    • 7papa7

      The prosecutor should be brought up on charges of prosecutorial misconduct and their law licenses revoked. The Reese family should be given everything back and paid for the lost business because of the states abuse of power.

  • Trolldeath


  • PaleRidere

    This looks a lot like harassment of a lawful citizen and unlawful seizure of personal property .

    • James Maxwell

      Wonder what happened to the weapons and ammo after they were "confiscated" any
      bets that Erick Holder used them in his gun running scam to Mexican drug cartels?
      Or worse the officers involved will claim the shot the rounds at target practice
      for law officers and in fact they went south into their pockets.

      • Keith Frey

        That family will never see there guns or ammunition again the government isn't going to return anything. This family will end up starting over from scratch and there reputation is scared and will take time to rebuild it back. My heart goes out to any and all who get false charges pressed against them by a corrupt leo or agency. Just another way to confiscate your firearms.

      • 820 REDHORSE

        See FAST & FURIOUS AND BENGAZI I'm sure some of the weapons would turn up on one or the other ,if not both!! This is a damn shame! And it could've been anyone of us. its way past time to shut these basturds down any means

  • jong

    And yet if it had been a mexican that was dealing in drugs with a long rap sheet he would have been given good and reasonable bail. These people were kept in jail for the equalvilent of not dotting a i or crossing a t. Time for the Republican Gov. to have a look see into it.

  • Pamela Dunn

    "granted a New Trial"; That is one sorry excuse for a judge; Once it became obvious that the whole thing was based on a fraud made by a corrupt officer and a corrupt organization; the charges SHOULD have been dismissed or the Gun Shop owners declared INNOCENT of all charges.
    Let's have some REAL justice here without costing the innocent people an arm and leg for legal costs. All of their assets Should/MUST be returned and any cash sized be returned with 20% interest.

    • dntmkmecomoverther

      It should go even further. False arrest, RICO corruption, dereliction of duty by a county officer, ...oh the list is long...and so should be the lawsuits. One against this Det. Batts and against the Luna Cty well as the DA who prosecuted the case. All should see jail time and made to pay through the nose.

    • Pizzed Off

      I agree, but since they'll be acquitted in the second trial there will likely be a far stronger case against the offenders and the ATF. Too bad I can't serve on THAT jury.

    • Doodlebug

      There doesn't seem to be any "real" justice in this world anymore and wait until obummer gets finished with us. Just hold onto your hats, we could be in a similar situation just for having a gun in the house, especially one that is under lock and key. Now pray tell me, what good does a gun in lock down do if you have someone breaking and entering? What is this world coming to?

  • HardnoseMP

    It sounds like Det .Batts was trying to set this gun shop owner up, false testimony will come out in the end, lies always catch up with you , the Det. should be investigated by the New Mexico bureau of investigation and charged for perjury !!!

  • dntmkmecomoverther

    ..and people wonder why we should be prepared to engage the government...yeah. Det. Bates, I'd like to meet you some day...and tell you what I really thing about dirty LE officers. You piece of puke.

  • batonpatriot

    It will all come out in the wash of truth. The Reese case was a convenient diversion for the

    real crimes in HOLDERS CAMP: FAST AND FURIOUS, all happening at the same time.

    more here

  • Michael Portner

    I'm glad there's getting a new trial. If they win their case and sue, they need to go hatrd against the sheriffs office and particularity againt Bates who has an authority problem. The problem with these cases is two fold: first the incarceration and theft of property (house cars etc) then a right to a speedy trial. Finally it is you and I, the taxpayers who will foot ythe bill for damages. Remember, who you vote into office matters.

  • notalib

    Just think of the emotional, physical and financial stress caused by government lies and then incompetence. I hope this family is acquitted and sues for millions---and wins.

  • keithbreedlove

    If they do sue and win, I can only hope that they can make the individuals involved personally liable, rather than the taxpayers of their county and state, and the rest of us who would cover the Feds' liability.

  • dean29685

    When the government reaches the point were the civil servants thing that they are above the law and are allowed to continue with this kind of behavior then you are at the point we are at in this country. As a free country Republic under the constitution the rule of law is scoffed at the country soon depends into a dictatorship of one stripe or another. People we are there and I believe it is now to late to stop it. Pray that God's will be done and for his protection, and prepare for the worse time of your life,

  • joanc

    Why is it the "real gun walking group" called " Fast and Furious" are still able to continue their everyday activities, when they were responsible for a crime that killed many people , including Two Government employees in the course of duty? Perhaps, because the Fast And Furious people are members of the Politically connected crowd in DC, who never seem to face consequences for their misdeeds-- correction, thats too tame a word for what they did- so I'll call it like it is -- Crimes. The AG, was in need of help to avoid indictment for not releasing documents and stonewalling to a Congressional committee, his friend the President issued an executive order to save his sorry ### from further action. The poor Gun shop family had no help in protecting them from a questionable police action, causing them to lose everything they owned, including years of their lives. Something is very wrong when the Government can look the other way for a crime they committed by their own, aka the Fast and Furious operation, causing a few hundred deaths of American and Mexican citizens, while a reportedly honest and above board Business faces the harrassment by a branch of the same Government. I hope the Reese family recovers their losses, and the guilty parties get what they deserve.

  • Stephen Mattingly

    OBAMA is still a communist Impeachment
    sounds good.

    All the Dem's and there ally in the Liberal Media can do is if you don't
    agree with them, You are a racist and or homophobe.

  • Judy Ratliff

    I hope they get to sue and get back more than what was taken.

  • James Kroeger

    Give this family back their goods and stick these JERKS from the Federal Agencies behind bars for twice the time frame that this family had to endure! This country is run by manure brained morons!!! I'm sick of our sorry-a$$ law enforcement and judicial system...what losers!!!

  • jwright673

    Batts (as in batty) seems to be a fitting name for an employee of the Luna County S/O (as in loony) as this case is a pure travesty and had to be hatched by someone living in Happy Dell Acres (or on meth). There are various agencies out there that take cases like these, usually pro bono, and I'm hoping one of them jumps on board to take this one. Batts and everyone involved in this malicious prosecution need to see what life is like on the other side of the bars.

  • Silas Longshot

    Welcome to the real world of innocent people and the fedgov. If the govt has a quota or agenda to deal with, they will pull this crap on anyone whom they target. Ruby Ridge and Randy Weaver come to mind? And a lying cop / detective to get the ball rolling is standard operating procedure. All gun stores should have real time video WITH SOUND, monitoring recorded off site, so that entrapment or BS cases like this will get sunk before they even leave the dock.

  • Roy

    That will happen on a routine basis in the future with Obama's "arest and jail without trial law". The so called terorist law, Home land open war on citizen, that is designed to remove political enemies without due process.

  • hiskid1964

    these storys need to reach the head in the sand crowd

  • Smirking Wolf

    Get REal. All their stuff is spent, gone stolen by the "authorities". Deprived by the DA of their freedom, ripped off by the feds. their lives ruined to cover a corrupt system. The folks who failed to share the info should be barred for life and then sentenced to jail for perjury and lying to the feds. But they won't.

  • Saltporkdoc

    Regards a court action by the Reeses against the county and all Federal Agencies involved, I will personally move to Deming to sit on the jury.
    I hope they win their criminal case and any subsequent civil cases. I'd rather see them bankrupt the country than the batch of buffoons currently doing so!

  • camdenme2

    Screw the feds !!!

  • Plaintruths

    In addition to money, each officer involved should serve the same time, in the same prison/jail. Faur and balanced. A few examples like that and prosecutors will act more responsibly.

  • simpletony1

    Our entire govenment and legal system has run amuck and it's time we take it back. We entrusted them with our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and they rammed it up our butts. It's past time to ram a hot poker up theirs. May God damn our government as it stands today

  • simpletony1

    just about ALL of them, I think...abuse the 'authority' stuff. They've pretty much outlived their usefulness to good men and must be replaced by other good men. One only need to have spent decades in CA as I did to know how rotten the CHP is from the top down, and that disease permeates every arm of our enforcement communify. For starters, let's have them knock off that nazi storm trooper garb crap. They don't need that stuff to impress us with their authority and they abuse the look way more than not. Show me a well dressed Chippie and I'll show you a Nazi.

  • Watchdogman

    They need to contact the NRA, or one of the firms that take such cases pro bono...

  • fwiw

    I thought Joe Biden said the government was just too busy too track down people who knowingly or accidently put down false information on gun forms. I guess they CAN find the time when it suits their agenda.


    Their property probably has already been sold...

  • DocJimmy

    I believe that as word gets out about this case, the Reese Family Business will have more help than they ever expected. I sure hope that's the case. In the meantime, Batts and his accomplices should be charged with perjury, evidence tampering, conspiracy and whatever else. I hope and pray the system works in favor of the Reese family - ALL the way...

  • jsmithcsa

    Seems I read this somewhere: "[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy...trial...." (6th Amendment)

    Martha: even worse events have taken place. Look up my old friend Charles "Tom" Sell and see what happened to him when he crossed the government.

  • James Hart

    Hey, anyone know a way to send money to them? I'd like to help in any way I can

    • Libertarian Soldier

      I don't know about these people but I know of a young family that had their home invaded by 5 young, armed thugs. 4 from Oakland, and the other was the San Leandro, CA neighbor. They stormed the family home at 4:00 AM on 8/2/2011. The young patriarch is still in jail fighting weapons charges for firing a weapon within city limits and for firing into an occupied dwelling (drive by law). His shotgun discharged into the home across the street as he repelled them out his front door, pushing them onto the porch and some out the front door..

      Many charges have been dropped but he still has a bail of 2.5 million and an offer of 6 years with 2 strikes toward life in prison or 9 year with 1 strike and will never be able to own a firearm again.

      He's in the Alameda County jail @ Santa Rita Rd. Dublin, CA if you can send money for his defense.

  • George Williams

    Sounds like the prosecutor in the Duke U. "rape" case finally got a new job in New Mexico.

  • stinkerbean

    This looks like a Bill O'Reilly story. He seems to get things moving because they (feds, gvt. etc) are afraid of him because he puts the spotlights on the bad people. Look at how fast he got that marine out of the mexican jail. Yes it was him while Obummer and his team did nothing as usual, although they did try to take credit for it but we know different. Someone needs to tell him so he can have the wife on to tell her story.

  • Davnkatz

    "I hope they collect millions . . . "
    I agree totally - and I would love to sit on that jury. When supervisory departments (sheriff's office, townships, counties, states, etc) are faced with and LOSE such lawsuits they will clarify questionable laws and personnel and stick to the Constitution and local laws.

  • Adam Moreira

    Unfortunately, if they are acquitted - that is a year-plus of life lost...that they can never get back. You can put a dollar amount on possessions and lost earnings...but not life.

  • Scott Schoemann

    The seizure of Personal property was over the line and unlawful. As the case surrounded the sale of a single firearm and not a trafficking charge there was no just cause to seize personal property as the single sale could not have paid for everything seized.
    And Yes Martha there ARE multiple cases . One example is a Wisconsin vet loaned his friend a legal AR 15 to target shoot. at the range the firearm began to double and triple fire. It was seized by law enforcement turned over to the BATFE who then charged the owner with felony- transferring a class three firearm without the proper paperwork. One agent cleared the issue stating the disconnector was clearly damaged and that was not good enough for the director so he had another agent who had no technical background in firearms mechanics and engineering examine it so that he could get the report he wanted. The defense was NOT at any time allowed access to the firearm. and by the time it came to trial the BATFE had it in their possession for several years, so there was no way for the defense to prepare proper expert testimony.
    The BATFE pulls this all the time. They have been unlawfully given authority they do not need nor should have. They, like the IRS are a TAX agency, and somewhere along the line have unlawfully been given enforcement authority, which is a direct conflict of interest, as it bypasses the justice system, although today, with the administration we have, that isn't much of a difference. This same argument applies to the IRS. At one time all federal law enforcement was required to be done through the FBI. This was efficient, cost effective and above all protected the rights of the people. we need it to be returned to this manner of operation.

  • Kathleen3

    This type of report only further confirms the wisdom of our founding fathers. Citizens need guns to protect them from government tyranny, not to kill deer.

  • Vic Bailey

    Holder and Bama and their goons all need to be put away for life and a DAY! This kind of illegal crap goes on ALL the time with the ATF, and they are probably are the ones that corrupted the Sheriff's department! Holder and Bama are behind ALL of this, you can bet!
    I want the REAL America back , not Bama's Socialist Comunist America! Semper Fi.

  • Libertarian Soldier

    The vast hussein-obama conspiracy

  • Libertarian Soldier

    This is a call for the country to arm itself against the lawlessness of a tyrant executive that has suspended the literal, clear, careful, specific intent and meaning of the Constitution and its amendments regarding Congress, Naturalization and Congress and most egregiously, Article 1., Section 8., clause for and our 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th and 10th Amendments.

  • Robert Keith Ando

    I hope the LEOs that lied are put away for good. The family has a right to redress, especially from the BATFE and the County. Remuneration should be in dollars as some of the "evidence" will have disappeared...

  • Robert Keith Ando

    New trial? Where's the justice in that? they are innocent and the "evidence " was tainted. Maybe in a new trial, they will get a judgement against all the law enforcement agencies, BATFE, Sheriff, D.A. - Good Luck!!!

  • Douglas W. Rodrigues

    Government is out-of-control, plain and simple. "I'm from the Government, I'm here to help."

  • IMSweetOlBob

    One more example of the local and federal governments ruining the lifetime endeavors of innocent people. The BATFE is still a rouge agency. The prosecution, in this case, has behaved exactly as the BATFE has in the past. Hiding exculpable evidence and obfuscating the criminal exploits of their main witnwess against the Reese family. They all should be fired and/or disbarred and have their assets seized just as the Reese familys have been. The siezure of all the assets of these people further assures their conviction by making sure that they cannot mount a defense against false charges.
    One more gross miscarriage of justice by our benevolent government.

  • ElizabethConley

    The most shocking thing about civil forfeiture laws is that the government steals the victims' assets without due process, making it extremely hard for the victims to fund their legal defense.
    This is profoundly evil. We need to fix it. It's one thing for the government to be able to take assets from convicted criminals, but it's another thing entirely for the government to be able to steal from people who are merely accused of a crime.