Skip to comments.REESE TRIAL – Penny Torres case begins S/A Martinez testifies (NM ATF)
Posted on 07/31/2012 7:46:25 AM PDT by marktwain
Special Agent Jose Martinez, working for DHS-HSI for the past 6 years, was referred the Penny Torres case by his group supervisor after Allen Bass obtained infrom from Terri Reese to check her out. ATF received the same information. HSI used a variety of techniques to investigate Penny Torres including surveillance.. He worked with ATF S/A Valles and opened an investigation on 09/07/2010.
Agent Martinez stated he and ATF S/A Valles went to New Deal to talk to Terri about Penny Torres purchases. He stated that Terri was very busy in the store, however seemed nice and personable. She was cooperative, but did not dedicate time to them. They had to follow her around while she worked. Terri did answer all their questions. Martinez informed defense that Terri was cooperative, she didnt leave out any purchases, and everything said was corroborated with receipts. She was truthful, and told them the first 3 sales to Penny Torres were paid in cash with twenties, and the last time in hundreds, and brought her daughter in. Terri told the investigators Penny Torres did not come in the store with anyone else.
A month later, Martinez and and Valles returned to New Deal to talk to Rick Reese. Rick wanted to go outside to speak to them since the store had customers. They asked him similar questions they asked Terri. Rick could not recall if Penny Torres came into the store with anyone else. They requested New Deals sales slips, however, Rick told them his accountant in AZ had them and told them he would need a subpoena. He didnt recall if Penny came into the store with anyone else. He described Ricks demeanor as lively, talkative and friendly, and characterized him as a survivalist type.
When they interviewed Penny Torres in December, the Roman drug case being worked by Agent Pacheco HSI merged with this case, since Penny Torres told them she was a straw purchaser for Roman. Agent Eddie Pacheco then became the lead case investigator.
Martinez admitted to the defense that the interviews started were in response to a multiple hand-gun sales report turned in to LSCO Officer Bass, and he admitted it was true that came about because Terri told Officer Bass to look into her purchases. Martinez stated Terri didnt leave out of any of Penny Torres purchases. He testified that Terri told them that Penny Torres was personable, came in with her daughter on at least 2 of the purchase dates. She paid in cash, which was corroborated by the sales receipts, but doesnt recall seeing the receipts. Martinez replied to the defense that Terri was truthful.
Martinez testified that Terri told them she asked Penny Torres if the guns were going to Mexico, and Penny told her no, and that the guns were in a safe. Terri told Martinez that Penny knew what kind of guns she wanted and she would point out the gun and then pay cash. Terri also described a lifted truck with Arizona plates, and that there was a male sitting inside. Terri had told them she was willing to talk to them again, however, they didnt contact her again.
Under questioning from defense, Martinez did not recall making an appointment with Rick or Terri. Rick was busy mounting a scope when Martinez & Valles came in to talk to him, and they had to wait 15 minutes. Rick also told them that Penny would call the store and place an orders or to make sure they were at the store, and Martinez admitted that phone records corroborated this.
On re-direct the prosecutor asked if Rick cooperated with Martinez & Valles. Martinez stated no, because Rick didnt provide the sales records they requested. When asked why they didnt call ahead, Martinez stated sometimes people will prepare answers and it is better to ask people when they are unprepared.