The government brought a rebuttal witness to the stand after the conclusion of Terri Reese’s testimony. Once again, without spelling his name it was difficult to understand his name. It could be Vaughn Josephson, or Joseph Vaughn, or Vaughn Joseph, or something similar. He is a BATFE I.O.I. inspector. IOI is the arm of ATF that regulates the FFLs. He has been employed with ATF approximately 4 years.
In response to Ms. Armijo’s question, he conducted a firearms inspection at New Deal in 2008. Ray Gonzalez was also present and the inspection lasted more than one day. Inspector Vaughn mentioned their vehicle broke down.
When asked if any violations were found, he stated yes.
When asked if there was a recommendation to revoke New Deal’s FFL, he stated there was.
When asked if this was part of a conference with New Deal, he again agreed.
Ms. Armijo showed him a brochure that was passed out to FFLs. It was determined that this brochure was related to Project Gunwalker, in the SW Border Initiative and that it was given to New Deal in 2008.
When asked if it was part of Project Gunwalker, he stated it was.
Inspector Vaughn was asked if IOI goes over each line with FFLs. He stated not line by line. Instructions are given to detect if firearms are going to Mexico and to give them a call if anything is suspect.
When asked if a large number of the same model firearms was one indicators, he said yes.
He agreed that structured purhases designed to avoid the reporting requirements was another clue, as well as the lack of physical stature to handle the firearm being purchased.
When asked if FFLs are given more on what to do in these circumstances, he stated they were, and that these are FFL regulations. He reviewed these with Rick and he and Rick signed the review.
He agreed this acknowledgment form is a common procedure with new FFLs and existing FFLs on inspection. They verbally review and if they want further details they can read the document. He stated that straw purchases are reviewed and that they also give some examples to the FFLs about straw purchasers and how they attempt to acquire firearms.
Insp. Vaughn agreed they review 4473 forms, and go over accuracy and if there are any errors they bring it to the attention of the FFLs.
When asked if errors are violations, he agreed.
Insp. Vaughn agreed they separated out some of the 4473s and put them on a separate pile and list to review the following day. On return, there was a discrepancy of items in a pile. They had a list and compared the piles. Insp. Vaughn stated that some of the items marked on his list had been changed.
An objection was made noting that the Reeses had not been charged with these, and a request was made for the Judge to explain to the jury that whole purpose of this was to impeach prior testimony. Judge Brack did explain to the Jury that the 2008 information being provided was not part of the indictment and the only purpose of it was to go towards the credibility of Mrs. Reese.
When asked if he noticed the changes, Insp. Vaughn stated he did, and that he brought it to their attention not to change documents and that Terri was not to make changes to the forms.
Defense attorney Robert Gorence proceeded with cross-examination of Insp. Vaughn, and wanted to know if Insp. Vaughn was part of the 2010 inspection team. Insp. Vaughn stated he was not part of the 2010 team. Insp. Vaughn explained when an inspector recommends revoking a FFL license they are reassigned so that no accusations follow.
Insp. Vaughn was asked if it was a big issue in 2008; he agreed. He agreed he and others discussed wanting all four Reese’s on the license, but that was not the whole issue involving the recommendation to revoke.
Insp. Vaughn was asked if he had reviewed the 2010 inspection by Smith. He had reviewed it. He agreed the reports follow a standard format and there is a section about suspicions. He was asked how he was train to look at suspicious items, and Insp. Vaughn gave an example of a 4473 form with a female purchasing a 50 caliber would look suspicious and that it would generate a referral, and the same types of things would have been looked at during the 2010 inspection.
Insp. Vaughn was asked if in his training and experience haggling over price was normal. Vaughn replied not to his experience.
When asked if a drug trafficker would negotiate over price, Vaughn stated he had never been in a store when a drug dealer was buying.
He was asked if he could go thru invoices to see cost, he possibly stated dealers aren’t required to show them.
He admitted he has not shot a 50 caliber weapons, and agreed that women can do anything, but a tracking indicator would be if a woman bought a 50 caliber.
Inspector Vaughn was asked about the Penny Torres purchases during the 2010 inspections and that there was nothing reported as suspicious. Vaughn stated he thought they did find it suspicious. When asked to show where that was in the report, Vaughn stated it was not in the report. When asked where it would be, Vaughn stated he spoke to a special agent. When asked if he was saying that the inspection report document was false, he stated no. When asked if it was an accurate report, he agreed.
Mr. Gorence pointed out some purchases just two months before the inspection and ask if they found those suspicious. Vaughn stated “not in the report”.
When asked if the information was available to the Reeses, he agreed, and also agreed that none of those suspicions were in the report.
Insp. Vaughn was shown one of the government exhibits and ask if it was provided to the FFLs (the inspection report). Vaughn admitted it is not, and explained they give the FFLs a copy of the checkoff list. When asked if the FFL has a chance to see the report in a closing conference, he agreed.
In response to questioning, Vaughn admitted that Mr. Reese was never told his license would be pulled.
He agreed there were technical issues in 2008, and no violations in 2010. He also agreed that the Reeses made all efforts to eliminate errors, and they made changes as told, and there were no violations.
Defense attorney Bowles asked if the 2008 inspection report was his report; Vaughn agreed.
When asked if they were in compliance with all pertinent laws regarding FFLs, Vaughn agreed.
When asked if the core of the violations revolved around 13 transfers of weapons to military personnel, and that Rick didn’t understand the difference between a permanent and temporary residence for military staff, Vaughn agreed.
When asked if he was aware the Reeses got a computer system to help, Vaughn agreed and the issues were corrected.
Defense attorney Brad Hall asked him if it was true that closing conference were a normal part of a regulatory process; he agreed.
The prosecutor continued under redirect.
When asked if they had been cited for issued related to handgun transfers to military with temporary orders, Vaughn agreed.
He was asked if there were prior violations, and Vaughn stated there were, and that he recommended the revocation because of repeat violations. He stated the dealers sign off the first time to prevent violations in the future.
A series of questions followed with objections from defense on the basis of hearsay.
The prosecutor concluded by asking if he would put anything suspicious in a report and then do referrals. Vaughn replied, it depends; if other agents are already on it, there is no reason to put it in a report.
At this point the Judge informed the Jury that this concluded the evidence in the case.