It is illegal for a private citizen to knowingly sell a gun to a Mexican criminal.
It is OK if the Justice Department sells 2,000 guns to Mexican drug gangs.
If a private citizen sells 30 guns, it’s jail without bond, indefinitely. If the government sells 2,000+, it’s OK. It’s covered by executive privilege.
Do we live behind the looking glass, or what?
Attorney General Eric Holder has denied knowledge of “Fast and Furious,” which sounds like a good name for a heavy metal rock band.
In contrast, New Mexico gun dealer Rick Reese and his two sons Ryin and Remington are in jail. Why? Because they are accused of a similar crime involving 30 guns.
The Reese family ran a gun shop in Deming, N.M. The father, mother, and sons were arrested in August 2011 for knowingly selling guns to Mexican smugglers.
The wife, Terri Reese, was allowed to go free after six months. The others are still in jail. There is no bail.
The crime: he had guns in his home. Ammo, too. He is a licensed gun dealer.
The guns were seized by the government.
I can understand this. The government had to replenish the gun supply, which had been drained by “Fast and Furious.”
Also, the Reeses were mixed up with the local Tea Party. That was suspicious.
The Reeses may get their day in court in July. There has been a preliminary hearing.
During this first hearing, we learned several things about the prosecution’s case. For instance, we learned that prosecutors acknowledge that every gun the Reeses sold was properly logged into and out of their store inventory, and that FBI background checks were conducted, and approvals received, for each purchaser. They also agree that all taxes were paid and no money was exchanged “under the table,” nor did any of the family members receive compensation above their normal company paycheck.
We learned that Rick Reese also employed retired and off-duty law enforcement officers as part-time help in the shop, and that a substantial portion of the company’s business came from law enforcement officers and agencies.
The prosecution charges a criminal conspiracy. They were a family. They conspired.
Probably the most important fact we learned at this hearing was that the entire investigation was instigated based on a tip that a woman named Penny Torres was making suspicious purchases of guns and ammunition, and might be illegally buying for someone else. That tip led to Torres’ arrest and her subsequent grand jury testimony against the Reese family and another gun shop where she had made some purchases. The presumption is that her cooperation garnered her leniency in the charges and sentence she was facing for her criminal activity.
What is most significant about the arrest of Penny Torres is that the original tip identifying her as a potential “straw buyer” came from Terri Reese.
That’s right: the wife.
My prediction: Attorney General Eric Holder will spend no time behind bars. Neither will the people who designed and implemented “Fast and Furious.”