Once Judge Brack finished reading the Jury Instructions and the portions of the Indictment they were to consider, Mr. Jordan presented his closing arguments to the Jury.
Mr. Jordan explained with the Right to Bear Arms comes responsibility. He explained how, with the 2nd Amendment we have the right to own and possess a 50 caliber weapon and ammunition, and the ability to obtain them thru a licensed Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). He reiterated that along with the right to bear arms comes a core responsibility.
Mr. Jordan described the 50 caliber weapon as a very powerful weapon, one which can pierce thru 1″ steel, go thru concrete, and hit targets from 100s of yards away. He explained how defendant Rick Reese explained how he doesn’t even like to shoot the 50 caliber at his own range out of safety concerns. Mr. Jordan stated the Reeses made lots of money selling them. Mr. Jordan repeated with rights come responsibilities that are entrusted to FFL to make sure weapons are sold to people who are legally qualified to purchase them. He claimed the evidence in this case shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the Reeses ignored that responsibility and knowingly sold to straw purchasers. He claimed they knew the ammunition and guns would be smuggled to Mexico for the cartel.
Mr. Jordan explained how Roman brought in one different person after another into New Deal, and how Roman would discuss the purchases but someone else always filled out the paperwork.
Mr. Jordan reviewed the Judge’s instructions concerning counts 2-10, false statements, and the table that set out the dates. He pointed out how instruction #19 sets out the elements required for making false statements regarding firearms sales. He also pointed out jury instruction #21, which involved aiding & abeyting.
Mr. Jordan asked the Jury to look at counts 2-28. Someone else committed the crime, and he explained how aiding & abetting is knowingly assisting the straw purchaser. He explained a second element involving consciously sharing knowledge in the underlying criminal act. He explained to the jury to use their own eyes and ears to determined whether or not the Reeses helped and knew the straw purchaser was not the actual purchaser in counts 3-10. He played an excerpt from one of the undercover operations that was unintelligible to the public observers. (The jurors, judge, defendants and prosecutors all had headsets to listen to the tapes.)
Mr. Jordan pointed out that Roman testified he was in New Deal many times, and he was seen by all four defendants.
A June 2011 video was played (unintelligible to public observers). Mr. Jordan explained to the Jurors that Roman mentioned the La Linea (sp?) cartel, talked about a 50 caliber, and stated he needed power. Mr. Jordan stated, Ryin replied that he knew he did. Mr. Jordan played another section of video, and explained to the Jury that what was going on was he had previously ordered a weapon, and now he was coming in with cash counting money on the counter with Remington & Ryin and Roman called it his money. Mr. Jordan stated Ryin went over the receipt with Roman, not the undercover agent. And he pointed out that when Roman was talking about how much money he could make in Mexico, Ryin didn’t ask about him not being the buyer, but instead stated that he didn’t want to know about that.
Mr. Jordan moved on to another video in July 2011 where Ryin was showing Roman a 50 caliber that was ordered earlier in June and explained the person who signed the 4473 form in July was not present in the store when the weapon was ordered in June. Mr. Jordan stated that Roman had the money, told him the undercover female agent was going to do the paperwork, and wanted to know if Ryin wanted him to give the money to the undercover agent. Mr. Jordan explained to the Jury that Ryin knew what was going on, but he just wanted to make the sale.
Mr. Jordan encouraged the Jury to take their time to re-listen and re-watch the recordings in the case. Mr. Jordan explained that Mr. Roman is a self-confessed cartel member, who points out what he wants to purchase and hands over the money.
Mr. Jordan moved on to the topic of knowledge and reviewed with them the first time Roman went into the store with an undercover agent and reminded them Ryin whispered to Roman that he was covering his (Ryin’s) ass. Mr. Jordan reminded there was more proof when Ryin said they (the government) was watching them and monitoring the phones.
Mr. Jordan stated a question for the Jury to resolve was whether Ryin knew Roman, and whether Roman and Penny Torres were together. He reminded the Jury that while Roman was in jail, he placed a monitored call to Ryin, and Ryin said, “Hey Buddy” before any undercover operations were initiated. Mr. Jordan stated Ryin was already familiar with Roman. Roman said that New Deal knew the guns were for him, and Mr. Jordan urged the Jury again to believe their eyes and ears.
Mr. Jordan addressed Counts 9 & 10, which involved Rick and Terri, and played a section of tape (unintelligible). Mr. Jordan explained that what happened was Terri already knew that Roman was the buyer. Mr. Jordan reminded the Jury when Terri asked a question to the undercover female agent, the agent motioned towards Roman and replied whatever he wants. Terri stated to the undercover agent that no, it was whatever she wanted.
Mr. Jordan went over another section of video and explained that Roman was talking to Rick about the purchase of a third 50 caliber weapon. Mr. Jordan stated that Rick knew about the prior two 50 calibers when Rick stated to Roman it would be similar to his other two Barretts. Mr. Jordan pointed out that when Roman stated he needed to break up the purchases, Rick indicated he had no problem with structured purchases. Mr. Jordan pointed to additional evidence against Rick when Roman on tape told Rick he was coming to buy the 50 caliber, and that Roman told Rick that he had spent $40,000 at New Deal. Mr. Jordan pointed out that Rick didn’t comment about others purchasing, he said instead, “Thank you, Lord.” Mr. Jordan pointed out that Rick made the sale anyway.
Mr. Jordan addressed the conspiracy to smuggle counts, the table that set out the dates and which items, along with the elements of smuggling. Mr. Jordan told the Jury not to worry about the export license that the State Department had already cleared that up. Mr. Jordan told the Jury that Roman doesn’t work for the military, and that Roman explained the willful element, and that it was done with knowledge, and that it was against the law. Mr. Jordan reminded the Jury that Terri admitted that she had known for a number of years that guns and ammunition to be exported required permission, and that Rick had a copy of the federal firearms guide, which addresses a duty to report. He also reminded the Jury that Rick and Terri both trained their sons in sales.
Mr. Jordan recalled for the Jury the 04/20/2011 incident where Remington took the ammunition out of the boxes and placed loose ammunition into range bag(s). He reminded them about Remington’s comment about it being suspicious, and stated he knew it would be exported when Roman made the comment that if the ammunition came back it would be in a body.
Mr. Jordan stated there was no doubt that Ryin knew Roman had Mexican contacts and that he knew who Roman was when they discussed an alias name for a Mexican driver’s license. He reminded the Jury about the comments made that ammunition can’t be traced, and Rick’s comments to keep shootin’, keep shootin’. He pointed out Roman was laughing and commenting how he loved the USA and loved freedom. He reminded them of Rick’s comment that he hoped his guns and ammunition would be used to shoot Federales, and pointed out Rick knew his products were going to go to Mexico. He reminded the Jury of Rick’s comments that a deuce loaded full of ammunition wouldn’t be enough, and that Rick even had a deuce (military truck) and could actually do that.
Mr. Jordan reminded them of Roger Morris’ testimony that Rick knew a cartel member from Casa Grande and they could shoot there. Mr. Jordan told the Jury Rick knew where the guns he sold were and knew the weapons sold to Penny Torres would wind up in Mexico.
Mr. Jordan reviewed dates with the Jury. Penny Torres bought guns on July 8, 2010, and Roman returned from Mexico on July 14. Penny Torres bought guns on August 21st, and Roman returned the same same from Mexico. Same thing in June. He reviewed phone calls dates also and reminded the Jury about the July 3rd calls and how Penny Torres then came in. He pointed out these were coincidences, lots of coincidences.
For the conspiracy count, Mr. Jordan pointed out there were 18 overt acts and that it was important for the Jury to remember this wasn’t Walmart – it was a family store. He stated the family talked daily and knew what was going on. He stated the shared mutual benefit was the store profits.
Mr. Jordan reminded them about the trace report, and how Terri had called Det. Alan Batts and even though the fax didn’t state the guns were recovered in Mexico, she knew.
Mr. Jordan reminded the Jury they denied Roman was in the store, and that Rick changed his story that Roman was in the store one time with Penny.
Mr. Jordan reminded the Jury Terri also changed her story when she didn’t tell DHS that she showed Penny Torres the fax.
Mr. Jordan urged the Jury again to believe their eyes and ears, and mentioned the undercover agent who saw them huddled together after the purchase of the second 50 caliber weapon.
Mr. Jordan told the Jurors this case boils down to one of rights and responsibilities. He used an example of a woman and child crossing the street and how the mother depends on drivers to stop at red lights, otherwise there would be deadly consequences. Mr. Jordan stated it is the same with the 2nd Amendment, that we have certain rights no politician should be able to take away.
However, he told the Jury, the defendants do not have the right to arm the cartel, and to sell guns to anyone who can pay. The defendants had the responsibility to refuse to sell those weapons, and the evidence shows that.
This was the first part of the prosecutions’ closing arguments. This was followed by each of the defense attorneys representing each of their clients, and lastly by Ms. Armijo for the prosecution.