Skip to comments.Update Reese Trial cont. Mrs. Roman & Penny Torres testify (NM ATF)
Posted on 07/31/2012 7:55:26 AM PDT by marktwain
Additional information from testimony of Mrs. Roman.
Romans wife has been with Roman for approximately 13 years nearly the entire time spanning Romans criminal career from his teen years. Although she testified about her role in helping him with the gun smuggling and marijuana cases, she denies any knowledge that Roman was also transporting illegal aliens.
She was unable to recall telling agents that her husband smuggled marijuana for 8 years. She claims she was not paid for her work smuggling marijuana, but her husband was. She claimed after expenses they had very little profit left. She testified they were paid approximately $1,000 per gun that was smuggled.
She coordinated the gun purchases made by Penny Torres by acting as the go-between between Penny and her husband. She wouldnt let her husband talk to him directly out of jealousy.
She admitted that when she decided to cooperate she knew the government had a lot of evidence against them, including people in their organization. She admitted she did not tell the agents about the stolen TV from Walmart, and denied her husband used Meth in their house, even though meth was found in their house when they were arrested.
Mrs. Torres informed that she was aware that she and her husband signed a joint plea agreement to cooperate. She claimed she did not know he had plead guilty to marijuana charges in addition to the making false statements to a FFL.
Penny Torres, the straw purchaser that Terri Reese reported to LCSO Officer Bass and started the whole case against the Reese family, testified she met the Romans thru her boyfriend sometime in 2009. Mrs. Roman recruited her originally and asked her if she had a clean background. Penny started working as a lookout for Roman during marijuana smuggling trips. She was paid $500 per load for her look-out services.
Later, Mrs. Roman approached Penny Torres again, and asked if her background was still clean, and would she be interested in purchasing weapons for Roman. She stated she needed the money, and agreed. She was paid $100 per trip.
Penny Torres admitted to making several trips alone, and her daughter accompanied her on one trip.
She claims she became familiar with one of the boys and the lady, the wife. She recalled the names Terri & Ryin.
She recalled on a Saturday, the day of the Duck races in 2010, she received a call from Mr. Roman. He allegedly had gone to New Deal to take some diet pills to Terri, and Terri had questioned him about how well did he know Penny Torres and Roman allegedly told her not well.
Penny went to New Deal and allegedly Terri pulled her into the office and showed her a fax about a weapon she had purchased being recovered. Penny testified that Terri did not say where the weapon was recovered. Penny Torres alleged that Terri told her Terri could get in trouble for showing her the fax. (Note testimony later, which will posted about this alleged incident.) Penny Torres stated she didnt purchase any more weapons after that because she didnt want to get in trouble.
Penny testified that she would be told which guns to get, write the information on her hand or in a text and then go to New Deal and purchase the weapons. She was given the money to purchase the weapons before she arrived at New Deal. She stated one time she was given money in the parking lot.
On June 30, 2010, Penny testified Roman might have been with her. She bought guns and loaded them into Romans car in the parking lot.
Penny admitted she signed the 4473 forms and certified she was the buyer of the weapons to New Deal.
Penny was not approached by law enforcement until mid-December 2010. She decided to cooperate the next day. She was not arrested, and she attempted to set up a weapons purchase with Roman, but Roman backed out.
In Feb 2011, she was charged and plead guilty to marijuana smuggling charges. The AUSA filed a motion for a conditional release, which has been sealed. As part of her deal, she is aware that the government may file to reduce her sentence. The judge in the New Deal case unsealed this. Penny Torres was deemed to be released based on exceptional circumstances and had agreed to testify against other defendants in other cases. She has not spent a single day in jail.
Penny Torres repeated over and over that she has not been promised anything by the government for her cooperation. However, she has not been charged with all of her crimes.
In her Pre-Sentencing Report, Penny Torres submitted a statement concerning her criminal activitie, however, she never mentioned any involvement of the four Reeses. She stated repeated she was never asked, when asked why she didnt mention involvement with the Reeses.
An unusual statement she made was on one occassion she alleged that New Deal didnt have what she wanted in stock, and Terri had to call her other stores to get them. Penny is completely fluent in English.
Penny Torres also hid firearms at her house for Roman.
On cross, defense asked Penny Torres is she recalled a telephone conversation with agents telling her she was doing a good job and to keep going. She denied the conversation, and denied that anyone played her a recording of that conversation with the agents.
Offering a witness a deal ought to be treated as witness-tampering.