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  1.    #1  
    Lawmakers Demand Gov't Action as Border Patrolmen Prepare for Jail

    (CNSNews.com) - Two U.S. Border Patrol agents who were "prosecuted for doing their job" in the view of many members of Congress, will begin long jail terms next week unless President Bush or the Department of Justice intervenes.

    More than 20 lawmakers from both parties sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Wednesday, expressing their concern about the case and asking him to act.

    Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean face sentences of 11 and 12 years in federal prison respectively after being convicted on a range of offenses arising from the shooting of a fleeing Mexican drug smuggler.

    The lawmakers asked Gonzales not to oppose a motion filed in court that aims to keep the two from having to report to prison next week.

    On Feb. 17, 2005, Ramos and Compean were on duty near El Paso, Texas, when they encountered Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila in a van carrying 743 pounds of marijuana. When the agents tried to stop him, he fled. Unable to shake the pursuing agents, he abandoned his van and continued toward Mexico on foot.

    The agents' version of what happened next contradicts Aldrete-Davila's testimony. The one thing all agree on is that, while fleeing, the illegal alien and drug smuggler was shot. Aldrete-Davila was treated at a hospital in El Paso and then returned to Mexico.

    After learning of the shooting, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton sought out Aldrete-Davila in Mexico and offered him immunity from prosecution if he would return to the United States to testify against the two agents.

    Ramos and Compean were convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with serious bodily injury, discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, willfully violating Aldrete-Davila's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizure and obstruction of justice for intentionally defacing the crime scene, lying about the incident, and failing to report the truth.

    The initial immunity offer covered Aldrete-Davila's illegal entry into the U.S., the drug smuggling and his unlawful flight from the agents to avoid arrest. Sutton subsequently expanded the immunity to include a subsequent drug offense, when Aldrete-Davila tried to smuggle another 1,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States.

    "These two border agents were basically prosecuted for doing their job," said Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

    He called the government's actions "very disturbing," claiming that the government chose the side of drug smugglers not "the American people."

    "The government chose sides in this issue, and they chose the wrong side when they decided to prosecute these agents," Poe said.

    Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), who has led efforts to urge the president to pardon Ramos and Compean, called the two agents "heroes."

    "This is one of the worst examples of injustice," he said. "I am very, very disappointed in the indifference by this White House as it relates to these two men and their families.

    "They are an example of being crucified by the federal government, quite frankly," said Jones.

    The congressmen also encouraged the Justice Department to investigate Sutton and allegations that he has a history of pursuing border patrol agents.
    Pardons For Drug Dealers, Jail For Border Patrol Agents

    Federal prosecutors actually went to Mexico and offered the drug dealer immunity to testify against the Border Patrol agents who were subsequently convicted on charges of causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm and violating the drug smuggler’s civil rights. The agents were sentenced to 11 and 12-year prison terms.

    The Department of Justice claims that the defendants were prosecuted because they fired their weapons at a man who had attempted to surrender by holding his open hands in the air, causing the man to run in fear of what the agents would do to him next. One U.S. Attorney involved in the case said that it is a violation of Border Patrol regulations to go after someone who is fleeing, even if it is a drug kingpin or a terrorist.

    People of the Year: Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean



    On February 17, 2005, Ramos and Compean were patrolling the border town of Fabens, Texas, when a Mexican illegal alien and drug smuggler, attempted to secret nearly 800 pounds of marijuana into the United States in his van. Agent Compean chased Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila by vehicle and on foot, ordering him to stop. Compean says Aldrete-Davila ignored him, pushed him down, and assaulted him, whereupon the agent called for backup, drawing seven additional units, including Ramos. When he arrived on the scene, he heard gunfire, saw Compean bleeding on the ground, and the fugitive – still refusing to stop as commanded – stealing furtive glances over his shoulder while holding something shiny he believed to be a handgun. Both state they felt threatened, and both fired rounds in the alien’s direction, Ramos striking him in the buttocks. The alien got away, but the two men had jeopardized their own well-being to keep his noxious contraband off our streets.

    Returning to Mexico, Aldrete-Davila related his misfortunes to his mother, who contacted the mother-in-law of Border Patrol agent Rene Sanchez. Sanchez in turn tipped off a member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, who went to Mexico to offer immunity if Osbaldo would act as a state’s witness against Ramos and Compean: the feds wanted to prosecute the agents shooting the alien narcotics supplier.
    ...
    Aside from conflicting stories of Border Patrol agents caught up in the heat of a shootout, the case comes down to the word of two exemplary officers with spotless records versus that of a drug smuggling border crasher who may or may not have opted to have his gangland friends execute innocent Border Patrol agents as long as it would not entail “getting into more trouble.” Ramos is a Navy veteran and has been nominated for Border Patrol Agent of the Year.
    ...
    Some of the jurors broke down in tears at the reading of the guilty verdict. Three jurors – Robert Gourley, Claudia Torres, and Edine Woods – came forward days before the sentencing in October to say they had been holdouts against a guilty verdict and only voted with the majority when other jurors told them the judge would not allow a hung jury. Doing so, they noted, violated their consciences. Gourley wrote, “Had we had the option of a hung jury, I truly believe the outcome may have been different.” Two days later, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone denied the motion for a new trial.
    emphasis added
    Last edited by hoovs; 01/12/2007 at 07:52 PM.
  2. vw2002's Avatar
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    Let em all in, gosh darn it!!! may there be a giant flood of illegals to saturate every square mile of our nation, so that americans themselves become the minority.


    Give america away - all of it. and let the americans pay for all those who surge in here, without holding them accountable for anything.

    ya gotta love what our country's turning into....

    everyone is entitled to our country it seems, and we are made to feel unjust to trying to uphold laws.

    it smacks of ringling brothers and barnum and bailey circus, anymore, folks. honest to frickin god....
    I gotta have more cowbell
  3. vw2002's Avatar
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    Seriously, though. You can almost imagine americans who are here legally and legitimately eventually becoming the minority, and the nation's majority will be for the most part... illegal.
    I gotta have more cowbell
  4. #4  
    F**k yeah! $crew the Constitution.
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  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxtreo View Post
    F**k yeah! $crew the Constitution.
    Regarding???
  6. vw2002's Avatar
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    let em all swarm in, right pdxtreo? give america ALL your drug smugglers, the human smugglers, every single illegal, and prosecute any fool who tries to uphold the law, right?

    AMERICA, F**k yeah!!! THATS the america I'm coming to know!!! right on!!!!!! future's looking bright, gotta wear mexican shades uh, I mean sombreros!!!!
    I gotta have more cowbell
  7. vw2002's Avatar
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    and we'll cover all of the illegals' unpaid medical bills when they seek treatment here, so our health insurance goes up each year as well!

    SOUNDS FAIR TO ME!!!
    I gotta have more cowbell
  8. #8  
    Believe it or not, illegals are not all a bunch of drug smugglers or dangerous criminals. The fact is the majority of illegal aliens are hardworking Joes looking to make a living for themselves and their families. More hardworking than many lazy Americans, I might add.

    Then there are those wonderful entreprenurial American men and women who hire illegals under the table and pocket our precious tax revenues in the process. Those employers of illegals who actually contribute to our immigration problem just as much as the illegals themselves. What are we doing to them? Why aren't we ranting at them too?

    Unchecked, these illegal employers will just keep doing what they are doing, and this problem will never be solved, no matter how many aliens are shot at, and no matter how big of a wall is built.
  9.    #9  
    Since I started this thread can I request that we discuss:

    1) How can two Border Patrol agents be sentenced to 10 and 11 years respectively for shooting a known Mexican drug smuggler in the **** after a pursuit in which the smuggler scuffled with one of the agents and then fled towards the border weilding what appeared to be a gun?

    2) Does the act of picking up spent shells and failing to report firing a weapon merit a decade in federal prison?

    3) How can the U.S. not only offer a Mexican national immunity for smuggling 750 lbs of marijuana across the border in return for his testimony against the border patrol agents but then extend that offer of immunity to a charge of smuggling another half ton of marijuana after the fact?!

    4) Does the fervor with which the U.S. Attorney pursued these Border Patrol agents betrayed some higher agenda between the U.S. and Mexico?

    5) Are we okay with a U.S./Mexico agenda that neuters our Border Patrol?

    6) Isn't it a bit odd that the mother of a major Mexican drug smuggler is close personal friends with the mother-in-law of a U.S. Border Patrol agent?

    Or anything else that pertains to the original post?

    Thanks!
  10. #10  
    1) Federal law
    2) For a judge or jury to determine
    3) Politics
    4) Possible
    5) I'm not, but shooting an unarmed human in the a$$ is not the most progrssive way to deal with illegal immigration
    6) Yes

    After a little more research it seems this shooting isn't as black & white as I had assumed. I'll agree that the sentencing in this case may be a bit excessive, but you and '02 in a anti illegal immigration circle jerk is not a pretty sight. Cellmatrix is right in that there are more consequential factors that must be addressed before any real progress is made.
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  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs View Post
    Since I started this thread can I request that we discuss:

    1) How can two Border Patrol agents be sentenced to 10 and 11 years respectively for shooting a known Mexican drug smuggler in the **** after a pursuit in which the smuggler scuffled with one of the agents and then fled towards the border weilding what appeared to be a gun?

    2) Does the act of picking up spent shells and failing to report firing a weapon merit a decade in federal prison?
    I think the problem was that the officers knew that the shooting wasnt justified (otherwise they wouldnt have jeopardized the crime scene and they wouldnt have lied about what/how things occurred. The officers get 10 years, they serve 5 (for shooting someone who was allegedly unarmed, violating his constitutional rights and then lying...that doesnt seem all that bad)

    Im not in favor of letting the drug smuggler off for testifying but those kinds of deals are done all the time. Of everyone, cops have to abide by the law.

    I suspect that the jury had more information in front of them then we do...the media reports are focusing on the immigration issue for the backdrop and I don't think that was even an issue for the jury.
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  12.    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxtreo View Post
    1) Federal law
    2) For a judge or jury to determine
    3) Politics
    4) Possible
    5) I'm not, but shooting an unarmed human in the a$$ is not the most progrssive way to deal with illegal immigration
    6) Yes

    After a little more research it seems this shooting isn't as black & white as I had assumed. I'll agree that the sentencing in this case may be a bit excessive, but you and '02 in a anti illegal immigration circle jerk is not a pretty sight. Cellmatrix is right in that there are more consequential factors that must be addressed before any real progress is made.
    I didn't say anything about illegal immigration and I don't think it has any place here except to cloud the real issue. Border Patrol doesn't just guard the borders from illegal immigrants, it also guards them from drug smugglers, human traffickers, terrorists and other criminals. A "regulation" that prohibits Border Patrol from pursuing any suspect that is fleeing is asinine at the very best.
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho View Post
    I think the problem was that the officers knew that the shooting wasnt justified (otherwise they wouldnt have jeopardized the crime scene and they wouldnt have lied about what/how things occurred. The officers get 10 years, they serve 5 (for shooting someone who was allegedly unarmed, violating his constitutional rights and then lying...that doesnt seem all that bad)

    Im not in favor of letting the drug smuggler off for testifying but those kinds of deals are done all the time. Of everyone, cops have to abide by the law.

    I suspect that the jury had more information in front of them then we do...the media reports are focusing on the immigration issue for the backdrop and I don't think that was even an issue for the jury.
    First, I very much agree with you that law enforcement has to be held to account for their actions. But I don't think it's all that clear that the agents were trying to obstruct justice. For instance, only on of the agents picked up his spent shells, the other did not. And since there were several other units on scene who also filed reports it doesn't seem likely to me that they would be able to hide the act of firing the weapon. That said, I don't think it's innappropriate to punish the agents for those violations but the sentences they got appear to be more the result of a witch hunt than a pursuit of justice. Second, regarding the jury, three of them came out before the sentencing to state that they felt pressured into providing a guily verdict. I don't know what legal ramifications this has but it tells me that the case wasn't so clear cut.

    EDIT: By the way, you're also right that the media attempted to couch this in the illegal immigration issue. In fact, of all the rallies that were held today, the only one that was covered by the local media was the one sponsored by the Minute Man Project. It was pretty telling that one side corner of the street you had people rallying in support of the Border Patrol agents and on the other corner people hilding signs that said "Racists Go Home". As if supporting any protection of our southern border--even from drug smugglers--is racist.
    Last edited by hoovs; 01/14/2007 at 05:10 AM.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs View Post
    Isn't it a bit odd that the mother of a major Mexican drug smuggler is close personal friends with the mother-in-law of a U.S. Border Patrol agent?
    You want to learn about latin american drug trafficing and connections to US officials, then check this article out. I found it to be rather amazing.
    http://www.chicagoreader.com/feature...s/jerryweller/
  15.    #15  
    So, it's official. The judge just denied a motion to allow these two agents to remain free on bond until their appeals process. But you know who is free right now? A known drug smuggler. One drug smuggler free, two Border Patrol taken off the beat. You tell me who's winning this battle.


    In case anyone wants to sign a petition to see these two men pardoned.
    Last edited by hoovs; 01/16/2007 at 08:02 PM.
  16. vw2002's Avatar
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    This is another disgusting example of how our country's legal system is devolving further into a ridiculous joke..

    criminals and drug smugglers running free?

    These judge are accomplices to these crimes - THEY should be jailed for decisions like these..

    petition signed.
    I gotta have more cowbell
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs View Post
    But I don't think it's all that clear that the agents were trying to obstruct justice. For instance, only on of the agents picked up his spent shells, the other did not. And since there were several other units on scene who also filed reports it doesn't seem likely to me that they would be able to hide the act of firing the weapon. That said, I don't think it's innappropriate to punish the agents for those violations but the sentences they got appear to be more the result of a witch hunt than a pursuit of justice. Second, regarding the jury, three of them came out before the sentencing to state that they felt pressured into providing a guily verdict. I don't know what legal ramifications this has but it tells me that the case wasn't so clear cut.
    I recently started working full time for a criminal defense firm (here in Orange County) that specializes in police criminal misconduct (civil and criminal). The cases I have read, the police reports I have seen and the testimony I have heard from all parties involved would make your head spin. If anyone thinks that the police aren't above doctoring reports, collaborating on details to an investigation then they are living in a world with their head in the sand (as I was before I started working here.)

    Don't get me wrong...95% of law enforcement are great. It's the 5% that continue to break the law, falsify reports and violate individual's civil rights that paints the picture. I find it hard to believe that the other officers did not know that he fired his weapon and find it even harder to believe that they werent involved in some way in trying to cover this up. Obviously the jury was in a better position to judge the evidence.
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  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs View Post
    I didn't say anything about illegal immigration and I don't think it has any place here except to cloud the real issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs View Post
    In case anyone wants to sign a petition
    Hoovs, if this is not about illegal immigration, then why are you referring us to this political anti-immigration website? In addition to the petition, your referenced site allows me to choose from a wide selection of political anti-immigration paraphenalia, including 7 foot vinyl "stop the invasion" mini-billboards. It is rather an impressive effort, I must say.
    http://www.grassfire.org/11042/offer.asp?Ref_ID=842

    As far as the trial, I do not presume one way or the other as to the fairness that these men received in their trial, but as t2gungho stated above, there are two sides to every story and while we heard only one side, presumably the jury heard both.
  19.    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho View Post
    I recently started working full time for a criminal defense firm (here in Orange County) that specializes in police criminal misconduct (civil and criminal). The cases I have read, the police reports I have seen and the testimony I have heard from all parties involved would make your head spin. If anyone thinks that the police aren't above doctoring reports, collaborating on details to an investigation then they are living in a world with their head in the sand (as I was before I started working here.)

    Don't get me wrong...95% of law enforcement are great. It's the 5% that continue to break the law, falsify reports and violate individual's civil rights that paints the picture. I find it hard to believe that the other officers did not know that he fired his weapon and find it even harder to believe that they werent involved in some way in trying to cover this up. Obviously the jury was in a better position to judge the evidence.
    Well, in my mind that would bring up a whole slew of new questions. If there were “several” other units there, as the reports state, then the cover up would be far more widespread. In that case, why are these two agents the only one’s being charged and prosecuted? On the other hand, if several other agents were there but not charged with obstruction then how could these two agents have concocted a story that would contradict what every other unit there witnessed?

    But, as I said before, these agents obviously made mistakes. I am wondering, though, why two border patrol agents who picked up spent shells and failed to report a shooting get 10 years and a guy who walks out of the National Archives with documents in his socks gets a fine and probation? Okay, two different situations, but you get my point.
  20.    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix View Post
    Hoovs, if this is not about illegal immigration, then why are you referring us to this political anti-immigration website? In addition to the petition, your referenced site allows me to choose from a wide selection of political anti-immigration paraphenalia, including 7 foot vinyl "stop the invasion" mini-billboards. It is rather an impressive effort, I must say.
    http://www.grassfire.org/11042/offer.asp?Ref_ID=842

    As far as the trial, I do not presume one way or the other as to the fairness that these men received in their trial, but as t2gungho stated above, there are two sides to every story and while we heard only one side, presumably the jury heard both.
    First, if the petition was being hosted on an Environmentalist website, I would have directed you there. My point was to allow people to sign the petition. Second, yes, the jury did hear both sides and several of them came out afterward and said they felt pressure to bring back a guilty verdict.
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