The Ramos-Compean Affair: What really happened.
By Joe Loya
My name is Joe Loya and I am the father- in- law of Border Patrol agent Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Ramos.
There are plenty of versions of what actually took place when two Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, tried to chase down a drug smuggler in
Please listen to my story and then, please, do everything you can to persuade President Bush to issue an immediate pardon to these two fine agents.What really happened? Basically, two Border Patrol agents, attempting to interrupt a cross-border drug smuggling operation, fired their weapons in self-defense at an admitted illegal alien, drug smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila. The smuggler managed to escape across the border into
Davila surfaced again a month later with the help of his life-long friend, Border Patrol agent Rene Sanchez, stationed in
The details. With Ramos and Compean in hot pursuit of this drug smuggler, Davila was forced to ditch his van loaded with 743 lbs of marijuana. In attempting to escape, Davila assaulted and cut BP agent Jose Alonso Compean and left him on the ground bleeding. While Compean was chasing Davila on foot, Ramos had been trying to outflank Davila to cut off his escape into
Hearing gun shots and calls for help from his fellow agent, Ramos raced to the scene and found Compean on the ground bleeding. He saw Davila racing towards the
Agent Ramos began to chase after the smuggler who had just assaulted his fellow officer. Then the smuggler turned and pointed something at Ramos that he believed was a gun. The time was approximately 1:15pm. It was broad daylight. Ramos, fearing for his life and believing that Davila had already been shooting at his fellow officer, took a single shot at the smuggler. At this time, nobody knew that the smuggler had been wounded.
The smuggler turned back towards the border and kept running. He disappeared into the tall, thick brush along the river. Later, Davila was spotted running across the dry river bed and jumping into a waiting vehicle with two other suspects. This was witnessed by four Border Patrol agents, documenting that Davila was not some “innocent” illegal alien, but a bona fide drug smuggling operation. The three smugglers took off and the agents walked back to the abandoned van where they discovered the 743 pounds of marijuana.
BP supervisor, Jonathan Richards, who had arrived on the scene, was very angry that the smuggler had gotten away. Richards ordered everyone to report to the station. He also told them to load the 743 lbs of marijuana onto their vehicles and take it to the station.Richards never went across the canal to investigate the assault or to check on agent Compean. Ramos and another agent, named Yrigoyen later testified they told Richards that Compean had been assaulted. At the station, another agent, Mendez, stated that Compean had cuts on his face and hand. He said this in the presence of Supervisor Richards. This is significant because Richards denied having any knowledge of Compean’s injuries.
The BP supervisor lied on the witness stand, testifying that no one told him Compean had been assaulted, which is his excuse for never notifying the F.B.I. of this fact. The truth is that he offered Compean medical attention and had asked Compean several times if he was OK. The physical evidence was apparent as Compean was cut and covered with dirt. Richard's failure to notify the F.B.I. of the assault is the reason why the case was never investigated.
Because of the supervisor’s actions, none of the agent's filled out firearms discharge reports. This administrative policy violation calls for a five day suspension without pay. After checking again on Compean’s condition and asking him if he wanted to file assault charges, according to testimony, Richards then made a statement saying, “If we call the F.B.I. we are going to be here all night doing paperwork. We will never know who the person was that assaulted you although we've got the van and the marijuana." After than, everyone went back to work.
The Arrest. In a dramatic display of overkill, the two BP agents, Ramos and Compean, were arrested by SWAT teams, armed with automatic weapons, at their homes. They were roughed up by the arresting officers before handcuffing them. And all of this was done in front of their families, including their young children.
They were charged with attempted murder, indicted, placed under house arrest for eight long months; tried and convicted by overzealous, unethical and vicious prosecutors who were certainly not out for justice, but for reasons that, someday, hopefully, will become clear.
During their time in jail, awaiting their trial, Ramos and Compean were offered plea bargains approximately eight times. The last offer came five weeks before trial. That offer was for one year in prison and reimbursement to the government for the $35,000 in medical bills for the treatment of the drug smuggler.
Kanof continued to pile up counts against them until the agents were facing 40 years to life because of the count stacking. They rejected the plea bargain because they knew they were innocent and they had faith in our country’s legal system. Had they been guilty, they would have taken those plea bargain offers in a heart beat.
The trial. The prosecutor, Debra Kanof said that all Davila was trying to do was get back home to
The supervisor, clearly under pressure from Major Crimes Prosecutor Kanof, testified that he knew nothing of the pursuit, even though he had been on the scene and had been inspecting the van with several other agents.
At the trial, the drug smuggler claimed that Compean fired 5 or 6 shots at him. During the trial, the prosecution upped that number to 16 shots.
The story Davila told the Justice Department was that he was walking across from
The prosecution then suggested that he may have been shot as he was running across and not away from agent Ramos. The doctor disagreed and so he was quickly dismissed by the prosecution.
The Bottom Line. The two agents were sentenced to 11 and 12 years in federal prison, respectively, on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and for violation of the drug smuggler's civil rights. They were charged with 11 and 12 counts, respectively, because every time they rejected Kanof’s offer to plea bargain, she would become furious and dream up more counts against them.
In less than six weeks, two brave, honest and dedicated young agents, who have risked their lives for many years arresting illegal aliens, human smugglers and drug smugglers, will be sent off to prison, while Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, a known drug dealer goes free.
While my family is suffering emotional trauma and financial disaster, this low-life drug smuggler is laughing at the Border Patrol and planning to sue them for $5 million dollars.
Our family is already in debt more than $100,000 in legal fees. We are right on the edge of financial disaster and, yet, if these agents are not pardoned, we will have to raise the funds necessary to pay for the appeal to get a new, fair trial.
If you wish to make a contribution to help Agent Ignacio Ramos, please make your check payable to Ignacio Ramos and mail it directly to the family at Ignacio Ramos, P.O. BOX 972925,
More information on this outrageous miscarriage of justice can be found on the following websites:
FREE Border Patrol agent "Nacho" Ignacio Ramos http://agentramos.blogspot.com/