A family from Deming, N.M., accused of smuggling guns to Mexico made an appearance in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces on Thursday.
Less than a week before the set trial date, defense lawyers argued for the case to be dismissed.
The defense said in court the federal government had political motivations to target the Reese family after Operation Fast and Furious. They said the government used the same behavior as Operation Fast and Furious by using a known gun smuggler to investigate and arrest the family.
Prosecutors argued there is no solid evidence to prove that, and there is no link between the two.
The Reese family owns New Deal Shooting Sports in Deming, N.M. Rick Reese, Terri Reese, and their two sons, Ryin Reese and Remington Reese, were all arrested in Aug. 2011 after an undercover investigation by the federal government. It all started when Terri Reese reported a suspicious purchaser.
The federal government alleges the Reese family knowingly sold guns to purchasers who were smuggling them to Mexico.
The case against the family has garnered plenty of attention from those in the local community who feel the family did not commit a crime.
"I was totally shocked when I read about the charges, when they were arrested, because they just opened up a new store here in Las Cruces. Before we knew it, they were in jail," Arthur Harvey, a customer of the Reese family said.
ABC-7 spoke to the fiancée of Ryin Reese, Chelsea Duplantis. She sat in the front row of the packed courtroom on Thursday for the entire six-hour-long hearing, anxious to see if the judge would grant a motion to dismiss the case.
"They were great, outstanding members of this community, and now they're getting caught in this ordeal," Duplantis said.
Duplantis said it's been hard to watch this case, being so close to this family.
"I have my own opinions based on what I know and from what I've seen during the hearings for the last 10 months," Duplantis said.
Duplantis started an online petition to get the case dismissed. She told ABC-7 she has nearly 200 signatures.
Duplantis said this case is very important in the border community.
"We're talking about a family who owned a business, just that it happened to be close to the border, and they ran this very successful business for 15 years. They were successful members of the community," Duplantis said.
Defense lawyers told ABC-7 it looks like the case will go to trial next week. Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Tuesday for what prosecutors expect could be a month-long trial.