Terri Reese’s defense attorney, Brad Hall, addressed the Jury next.
Mr. Hall informed the Jury that in any heavily regulated business in our country it is easy to make a mistake, whether it is an industry making a EPA violation, or the banking industry or a gun shop. New Deal didn’t even violate any regulations during the 2010 inspection. If they did, there would have been a conference. They should have had a meeting when five months later the government arrested a cartel member. The government didn’t request a conference and should have.
Mr. Hall reminded the Jury that Terri was suspicious and called to report her suspicions. Terri testified the ATF conferences were courteous, professional and the helpful. Mr. Hall described the relationship as a positive evolution of things.
However, Mr. Hall told the Jury, DHS HSI got involved with cartel member Roman and he took them for a ride. His wife was out of jail within two months. Penny Torres works in a hospital. The Reese family needs you to put the story straight.
Mr. Hall explained that political issues were talked about during routine sales, which is not a crime. You’d expect the government to come in with an agreement. Nothing was recorded. Nothing was acknowledged. This is a strange case, Mr. Hall declared.
Mr. Hall referred the Jury to page 166 (of the FF Guidelines book) and pointed out one page of the government’s evidence out of the book. He explained that the paragraph discussed straw purchases, and how if someone does do a straw purchase the buyer should be arrested, not the seller. He reiterated the buyers are supposed to be arrested. He pointed out the strangest part of the case is even Roman doesn’t say the Reese’s knew about this. He was instructed to talk, to create confusion. In this case we have Proof by a Reasonable Doubt.
Mr. Hall described Terri as running around, very busy, and somehow she’s supposed to know somehow when they left the store they were criminals.
He pointed out that the government showed video clips showing carrying merchandise out to the car was normal.
Mr. Hall pointed out removing labels from ammo was to protect the contact information of their distributors, and this had become a normal routine practice and had been for years.
Mr. Hall told them in this case they have criminals working off charges.
Mr. Hall asked them if they believed the story about the trace in the manner Penny Torres described. He reminded the Jury that Terry Reese showed the trace to any customer as a matter of routine. You may want to know if one of your guns is missing, and she said she did it as a courtesy. There was nothing illegal about that.
Mr. Hall told the Jury there were 15 meetings between the agents and Roman and Penny Torres told them that Terri Reese stated that she would deny it (showing her the trace report). Yet this was a standard business practice, where Terri informed business customers to check if a weapon was missing.
Mr. Hall pointed out the government cut a sweetheart deal, and all they managed to come in and remove labels from ammo. The government went in with a criminal who needed to reduce his sentence, instead of just talking to the Reeses.
Mr. Hall explained the government claimed Terri should have known that the cartel was behind “Jesus” (Roman), and that she should have known it was a fake (straw purchase at the time of purchase). However, he pointed out, it took the government five months to determine it was a fake (straw purchase). Mr. Hall called this crazy. Mr. Hall stated the government developed a theory to support this.
Mr. Hall described customers coming in week in and week out, and some shared a weapon and would pool money, and this is not illegal.
He reminded the Jury that the agents successfully used fake ID and fooled them. The Reeses didn’t know it was fake ID.
Mr. Hall explained every charge requires knowledge and intent. He explained a car salesman could sell someone a car, and then the buyer could go out and rob a bank. All the bank robber would have to do is blame the car dealer who supplied a speedy get-away car, therefore it is the car dealer’s fault. That would happen if they could get away with that. He provided another example when a pharmacy sells schedule two prescriptions. If a criminal came in with a fake ID, would the pharmacy be charged? No.
Mr. Hall told the Jury in this case there is a lot of talk and no proof.
Mr. Hall had no explanation for why the whole investigation and attack on this family occurred. The government seized more than 1 million dollars of their assets that took them a lifetime of work to accumulate. It took the government five days to haul it all away.
Mr. Hall asked them what was the motive to go all in? A cartel member developed a story with the agents. And ATF Project Gunwalker gets a boost with the arrest of a FFL gun store.
Mr. Hall pointed out it took the government 4-5 months after Terri reported her to arrest Penny Torres. He pointed out they didn’t even know the Reese’s names. Terri didn’t know anything about their arrest. There is a lot of typical banter in the New Deal. And the government took the bulk of their assets pending the outcome of this case.
Mr. Hall told the Jury now is the time to correct the mistake of the government with Roman. Instead of a regular conference they went all in within five days (of Roman’s arrest) because of “cartels” and the Reeses got fooled by Roman. Now is the time for a happy ending, he urged. Make it a happy ending for Terri for crossing every T and dotting every I. She has been waiting for 11 months for this day.
Mr. Hall summed up with a request for the Jury to acquit Terri and the whole family of all of the charges.