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Feb 16,2007
Let's prosecute drug smugglers, not Border Patrol agents
by Phyllis Schlafly

With mounting bipartisan criticism from Republican congressmen and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the Department of Justice has stepped up an unprecedented public relations campaign to defend its prosecution of former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, now serving 11- and 12-year prison terms. But new facts keep emerging to prove that this prosecution was a gross injustice.

CNN judicial expert Jeffrey Toobin described it as "one of the most unusual prosecutions I've ever seen ... I am baffled why this case was brought."

So am I.

The government prosecuted Ramos and Compean criminally for acts that called only for an administrative reprimand, based the case on the testimony of an admitted drug smuggler brought back from Mexico and induced to testify by a grant of immunity, withheld crucial evidence from the jury, used the wrong law (that carries a mandatory additional 10-year sentence), and now won't release the transcript of the trial without which the border guards cannot appeal.

The smuggler's reward for his testimony was immunity, U.S. medical treatment, and a government-issued border pass.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security now admits that its official lied to congressmen in claiming that Ramos and Compean had confessed, lied, destroyed evidence, and said they did not believe the smuggler was a threat. No evidence ever existed for those damaging accusations.

The government denied their freedom pending appeal and put Ramos in a prison where five criminal illegal immigrants were alleged to have severely beat him and kicked him with steel-toed work boots. Reportedly, no prison guards defended him from this attack.

The prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, claims that Ramos shot an unarmed drug smuggler in the rear end as he was running away. But the ballistics report failed to prove the bullet came from Ramos' gun, and the medical report showed that the bullet entered the smuggler's buttock on his side at an angle consistent with Ramos's contention that the smuggler was turning around with what looked like a weapon in his hand.

Ramos and Compean didn't believe they wounded the smuggler because he kept running and escaped across the border into a waiting vehicle. The doctor's description of the trajectory of the bullet he removed from the smuggler's body casts doubt on the whole assumption that his wound came from shots fired by the border guards.

Sutton claims that Ramos and Compean were prosecuted because they "lied" and covered up their actions. The alleged lie was that they gave an incomplete report of their confrontation with the smuggler on Feb. 17, 2005.

But a recently released DHS memo dated May 15, 2005, shows that the two border guards did give a prompt, complete, oral report to supervisors, who actually were present at the Feb. 17, 2005 event. The supervisors decided not to make a written report.

Failing to make a written report isn't a crime anyway. It is merely a violation of a DHS memo stating that the penalty is merely internal disciplinary action, which is not criminal prosecution.

The big question is, why didn't the government prosecute the drug smuggler and give immunity to the border guards (who had good service records), instead of vice versa? The smuggler admitted his illegal-drug project to a Immigration Control and Border Patrol agent before Sutton gave him immunity, and the prosecutor did not bother to investigate this drug smuggling by checking the cell phone left in the smuggler's van, or by ordering a fingerprint search of the van until a month after it entered the United States, and even then didn't have it done by the FBI.

A few days before the Ramos-Compean trial began on Oct. 17, 2005, the same drug smuggler was caught bringing in a second van loaded with nearly 1,000 pounds of illegal drugs, but he was not arrested so as not to interfere with his role as star witness against the border guards. To preserve the smuggler's credibility, U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone sealed the record about the second van so it could not be mentioned at the trial, and she put the families of the defendants under a gag order not to discuss it.

The judge also kept from the jury the smuggler's confession that he and his friends had considered a "hunting party" to go shoot some U.S. Border Patrol agents.

The failure to release a transcript of the trial one year after the trial took place is an outrage that prevents Ramos and Compean from starting their appeal. Nor has any hearing been scheduled on the assertion by three jurors that they were coerced by the jury foreman to vote for a guilty verdict.

The longer President George W. Bush waits to remedy this injustice perpetrated by his two appointees, Sutton and Cardone, the more he convinces the public that the answer to our bafflement about this prosecution is that the Bush administration policy is to intimidate the Border Patrol from stopping the entry of illegal immigrants and illegal drugs.
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Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 4.94Rating: 4.94Rating: 4.94Rating: 4.94Rating: 4.94 (total 727 votes)

  • some of us have recently learned of this injustice... NOT WHEN IT HAPPENED!!! I feel it is retarded to talk smack to those of us whom are very upset over this border patrol issue.... having said that... these men should be pardoned as well as get back pay... pay for getting harmed in prison... and how can OUR government expect anyone to take them serious when they are giving drug dealers special rights? Are we suppose to feel safe now? I personally didnt vote for Bush because I knew from the get go he was a worthless moron... and John... would your last name happen to be Sutton?? Me personally... I believe Sutton should be the one in prison... after all... Sutton is the TRUE idiot here... if Bush wants to show that he gives a rats ass about this country then he will immediately free Compean... Ramos... AND Hernandez
  • (Posted on February 28, 2007, 4:13 pm Dawn)

  • I am all but puking my guts out over the many members of the media, Congress, public and the Border Patrol Union who ''suddenly'' caught wind of this case, well after the fact. Where were all these people at when this case was set for trial, and during that trial? It grips my ass to no end how everyone that supposedly today, and at this late date are so knowledgeable, and convinced that this pair of idiots got railroaded, yet were never seen nor heard from prior to the trial,during the trial,nor even during the interim between conviction and sentencing. Where were they when this terrible wrong they now cite was being committed? And at this late date what are they now doing? Attempting to free this pair of lying fools who are in fact the one's that brought this all down on their own heads. ''It's not their fault'' ''They were charged with the wrong crime'' ''These men are heros'' ''The government hid evidence'' ''The prosecutor lied''. So? Welcome to our judicial system! As I have stated time and time again, these convictions will most likely be overturned once the appeals court reviews the case. Meanwhile all of this late date hype and nonsense about these two having been ''framed'' or railroaded is energy focused at the wrong time, and to the wrong place. For those of you who have not, take the time and read the transcripts of the trial. When doing so pay close attention to the testimony of Border Patrol agent Vasquez. What you will learn from his testimony is just how screwed up the whole of the U.S. Border Patrol really is. Agents discarding a loaded shotgun, other agents discovering the gun but failing to secure it. You'll learn that despite 9 Border Patrol agents being involved including at least two Supervisors not one of secured the crime scene, nor had they EVER received any training concerning preserving a crime scene! You learn that the third agent on scene stood idle by, with a discarded and loaded shotgun laying on the ground, while two other agents (Ramos and Compean) were out of his sight pursuing the fleeing suspect and slinging lead at him. You would learn that the fourth agent to arrive did so during the time of these shots being fired, heard them himself, but yet instead of responding toward the sound of this gunfire and his fellow agents, he instead takes a cell phone from the smuggler's van, and begins scrolling through the phone numbers on it!!! Neither he nor the other agent ever make any effort to go assist Ramos and Compean, even though they had fired shots! Yes, there should be a public out cry in this, but not for the sake of this pair of idiots, but rather to completely revamp the Border Patrol, and to bring their stupidity to the public light. John
  • (Posted on February 22, 2007, 7:46 pm John)

  • The reason the president has turned a deaf ear to any and all pleas to protect the sovereignty of this country by closing the borders is because his administration is working toward a North American Union. This union is modeled on the European Union and is well underway. The most comprehensive treatment of the NAU can be found at StoptheNorthAmericanUnion. Once viewed through this prism, all actions by the president, his attorney general, his office of Homeland Security, etc., are made clear.
  • (Posted on February 17, 2007, 1:19 am Chris)

  • The real problem here is that the Bush Administration is in bed with Mexico. A travisty like this cannot happen without the highest authority making it happen! Mexico demanded that these agents be prosecuted to send a signal to all border enforcing entities to stand down or be jailed! People, this is your govenment and if you do not make your voice heard on an issue such as this then you deserve what happens as this gets worse. Not to mention the officers used as scapegoats!
  • (Posted on February 16, 2007, 5:40 pm JonR)

  • If the truth can't set these men free, then I guess were all up the creek. The corrupt people are always on the offensive, and the good guys are just doing their job, this is why the good guys lose, most of the time. The good guys need to start aggressively uncovering the corruption of the bums who are destroying our country. If we don't push now, while we still have a small voice and something left in our wallets, we definately don't have a prayer when the economy goes in the tank and we are just trying to survive. This next election cycle will probably be the last time we will have a podium, stand up and let your views be heard, the America of our foundings fathers is on her last breath.
  • (Posted on February 16, 2007, 4:11 pm Joel flores)

  • Add my voice to those who are outraged at this injustice! I have called the White House, my congressman, and my senators to demand action. Why is this President completely tone deaf to the lament of thousands of us who have faithfully supported him? If he's allowing this in order to send a message about his determination to have an open border with Mexico, his legacy will be one of treason and betrayal of his oath of office. His name shall become a by-word among loyal Americans!
  • (Posted on February 16, 2007, 4:11 pm david)

  • The longer this travesty of justice goes on, the worse it gets. This is unbelieveable. Does President Bush not get it? We should be prosecuting the drug dealer, Sutton, Gonzales and the rest of the corrupt officials who prosecuted these two Border Agents. Shame on all those involved in this horrible reversal of justice.
  • (Posted on February 16, 2007, 9:40 am Irene)

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