Federal Appellate Court Reverses U.S. District Court
Order Granting New Trial for Reese Defendants
Three Members of Reese Family Were Convicted on
Federal Firearms Charges in August 2012
ALBUQUERQUE – The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a ruling reversing the Feb. 1, 2013 Order of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico which granted a new trial for the owner of a gun shop in Deming, N.M., his wife and their son who were found guilty on federal firearms charges by a jury on Aug. 1, 2012.
Today’s ruling upholds the convictions of Rick Reese, 58, Terri Reese, 52, and Ryin Reese, 26, on charges that they aided and abetted straw purchases of firearms at their place of business, New Deal Shooting Sports. In reaching this decision, the appellate court rejected the defendants’ arguments that the United States failed to disclose material information that could have been used to impeach a government witness at trial.
In announcing the appellate court’s decision, Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough said, “The United States takes its obligation to disclose material information favorable to a criminal defendant very seriously. The Tenth Circuit’s conclusion that my office did not violate its disclosure obligations during its prosecution of this case is, therefore, a very important one. We affirm our commitment to vigorously prosecute those who commit federal crimes and to do so in a manner that ensures that criminal defendants receive the fair trials to which they are entitled.”
The defendants have a period of time to seek en banc review from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals or a writ of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court. Absent further appeal, the case returns to the district court for sentencing. Rick, Terri and Ryin Reese each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Their sentencing hearings have yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maria Y. Armijo and Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office are prosecuting the case in the district court. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Fashing, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Appellate Division, represented the United States on the appeal.