Lawyers for embattled former Deming gun dealers Rick, Terri and Ryin Reese filed a motion last Wednesday in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico “to dismiss with prejudice the four remaining counts of the indictment.” The filing, co-signed by defense attorneys Robert J. Gorence, Jason Bowles, Brad D. Hall, and Peter V. Domenici Jr. moved for dismissal on counts “the Indictment pending against [the defendants] on the grounds that the Government has willfully or was recklessly negligent in not disclosing Giglio [“material tending to impeach the character or testimony of the prosecution witness in a criminal trial”] information that was in the possession of the Government.”
Gun Rights Examiner had previously reported that the father and son are part of a family of gun dealers jailed for allegedly knowingly selling guns to cartel members, but who were found not guilty on the most serious charges of conspiracy and had money laundering charges against them dismissed. They were convicted on a handful of lesser charges of making false statements on forms, basically under the presumption that they should have know federal agents were lying. Wife Terri was released on bond last year, and son Remington was cleared of all charges. The judge in the case ordered the father and son released on bond and a new trial for the remaining counts when it was discovered the prosecution had withheld evidence from the jury about a law enforcement officer testifying against them himself being under criminal investigation..
“The procedural posture of this case was summarized in the Court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order [when] the Court found that Rick, Terri and Ryin Reese did not receive a fair trial because the Government had Giglio information in its possession at the time of trial; that evidence was favorable to the Defendants ‘as it impeached a Government witness and would have put the entire investigation in a negative light;’ and finally, that the evidence was material because ‘Deputy Batts’ credibility was vitally important at trial,’ and that there was a reasonable probability that the outcome of the proceeding would have been different had the material been disclosed,” the motion explained.
“Defendants now request an evidentiary hearing in order to elicit testimony from AUSA Randy Castellano, Las Cruces Branch Chief Alfred Perez, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Yarbrough, and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Gonzales,” the motion continued. “The collective testimony of all of the prosecutors with a hand in this ill-baked pie will be relevant and prove to establish either a willful constitutional violation or that there has been a pattern and practice in the U.S. Attorney’s Office under Mr. Gonzales’ tenure of suppressing Brady [“exculpatory or impeaching information and evidence that is material to the guilt or innocence or to the punishment of a defendant”]/Giglio information.
“What is relevant here is to show the pattern and practice of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in not disclosing what is constitutionally required,” the motion charges. “[T]he long history of Brady and Giglio violations … show an office that has been reckless at best with what is constitutionally required for a defendant to receive a fair trial. Additionally, in … a case prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales, a new trial was again ordered for the Government’s failure to turn over Giglio information which involved a law enforcement witness.”
Gonzales, as has been noted in previous reports, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to fill a vacancy in the U.S. District Court.
“The Defendants assert that this constellation of mishaps is sufficient to show a pattern of practice that constitutes either intentional or reckless ignorance of their constitutional obligations to Americans when they are charged with a crime in order that a fair trial may unfold and a true verdict can be rendered,” the motion concludes, requesting an evidentiary hearing and subpoenas to compel government prosecutors to testify so “the Court can hear their testimony as to how, in a post U.S. Senator Ted Stevens world, this can happen.”
The last cite referred to the investigative report on the prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Stevens, which “found that prosecutors engaged in ‘systematic concealment’ of evidence in the corruption case that could have helped Stevens defend himself.”
Obviously, in spite of clearing significant hurdles throughout their ordeal, there is still a ways to go before the Reese family can breathe easy. Those unfamiliar with the case may wonder why so many attorneys are involved in their defense, and that is because the court would not allow them to all be represented by one, as the prosecution was hoping to get them to turn on each other. As their assets were seized early on, and as expenses continue to mount, supporters say an immediate transfusion of funds from supportive citizens is crucial.
An account has been set up where supporters can contribute to help, and donations can be sent to the Reese Defense Fund, Attention Patricia Arias, First Savings Bank, 520 South Gold, Deming, NM 88030. Additionally, Jeff Knox of The Firearms Coalition advises they have set up an online donation page at their website.
UPDATE: A Tea Party Patriots of Luna County post analyzes the significance of this latest development in the Reese case.
If you’re a regular Gun Rights Examiner reader and believe it provides news and perspectives you won’t find in the mainstream media, please subscribe to this column and help spread the word by sharing links, promoting it on social media like Facebook (Dan) and Twitter (@dcodrea), and telling your like-minded friends about it. And for more commentary, be sure to visit “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance.”