Tuesday, December 5, 2006

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 El Paso. But, unless you were there; unless you were present for the fifteen day trial; unless you paid $6,000.00 to read the 3000 pages of transcripts; unless you spoke with their fellow officers; unless you saw the affidavits from jurors who claimed that they were bullied into going along with the conviction, you cannot appreciate the enormity of this outrage.

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 Mexico, but he left his vehicle, loaded with more than 700 pounds of marijuana. It was another good bust. (Agent Ramos has taken part in more than 100 drug busts and has never hurt anyone, despite having been assaulted and fired upon many times.)

Davila surfaced again a month later with the help of his life-long friend, Border Patrol agent Rene Sanchez, stationed in Willcox, Arizona. Davila was also assisted by Homeland Security agent Christopher Sanchez in El Paso, who started an investigation into the case. Somehow, they managed to get Debra Kanof, Chief Prosecutor for Major Crimes with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Justice Department involved. (How or why someone at this level would want to escalate and aggressively prosecute two outstanding BP agents for administrative policy violations is a whole other story.)

Kanof acted swiftly, handing out immunities to anybody who would testify against Ramos or Compean. She also provided the drug smuggler with free medical attention at William Beaumont Army Hospital in El Paso and free passage back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico, not bad treatment for an illegal alien and known drug smuggler. Kanof alleged that the smuggler was an innocent person who was shot by the agents as he ran away from them, fearing the agents were trying to beat him up.

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 Mexico.

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 Rio Grande, about to cross into Mexico and escape.

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 Mexico. She said the agents never should have chased him, because they did not know what was in the van. (Doesn’t spotting a van crossing the Mexican border into the U.S., illegally, count as probably cause to warrant interdiction by the BP?)

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 Mexico (illegally) when Ramos and Compean tried to beat him up. Although under oath, he changed his story many times during the trial. He finally admitted that he was paid $1000.00 to bring the load to an El Paso stash house after he was given immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony against the two agents.

Davila claimed that he was shot in the back as he fled back to Mexico. The U.S. Army doctor who removed the bullet fragment from the smuggler's right groin disagreed. Although he was testifying as a government witness, he told the truth and stated, "The smuggler was not shot from behind". "He was in a running position, (bladed position) and pointing back with his left arm and hand when the bullet hit his left side of his left buttock and traveled to his right groin.

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, El Paso, TX 79997.

Thank you.

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/

U.S. Border Control’s Ramos-Compean blog http://ramos-compean.blogspot.com/

Go to U.S. Border Control’s Legislative Action Center to send an email to President Bush demanding he pardon agents Ramos and Compean http://capwiz.com/usbc/home/


19 comments:

Eddie said...

This leaves no doubt that the huge bureacracies of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have ben forced to abandoned their stated goals and are now merely political props of the Bush Administration.

Ken Prescott said...

What really happened?

Damn good question. I wish I could believe Ramos and Compean when they say they're telling me what really happened this time around.

(Agent Ramos has taken part in more than 100 drug busts and has never hurt anyone, despite having been assaulted and fired upon many times.)

Or, if he ever did hurt anyone, he never reported doing so. (c8

Danny said...

This is all insane. I have one question. IF Ramos did in fact shoot and hit this guy at fairly close range why did he NOT go down?? I cannot imagine being shot in the left hip and the bullet traveling to the groin and he kept running and apparently never even slowed down. I suspect he was shot when he got back to Mexico and told whoever he lost all that dope. If one thinks about the whole ordeal there should be a LOT of questions asked if they haven't been already

Roberto said...

Right Danny. And ballistics, performed by DPS rather than the FBI as it should have been, left none of Adrete-Dival's DNA on the slug-if it were even in him. This means there is no proof that the slug presented in court is from the dope smugglers body (or booty).

Ballistics could no say for certain that the bullet came from Ramos' firearm.

The bullet was removed from the doper A MONTH after the alleged shooting.

Janice Mauro said...

Will there be a march on Washington?
E-mail me as I will definitely go to the rally.
I'm outraged & so terribly disappointed with the George Bush.
I think about these wonderful men
daily & whatever I can do please
notify me.

Marson said...

I am amazed that there are almost no coments on the impossibility of the illegal alien drug smuggler continuing to run and jumping into a van after receiving such massive injuries to both buttocks and his groin. The guy must be a superman!

mcleo said...

Grassfire.com has a petition for pardon w/300,000 names. Anyone who hasn't, please go to that site & add your name - perhaps if it hits a million + signatures the White House will listen. What a travesty of justice this whole mess is!

PDG said...

I don't understand what civil rights were violated. US civil rights are for US citizens. Didn't the lawyers for Ramos and Compean bring that up or am I missing something?


http://www.congresslink.org/print_basics_histmats_civilrights64_doc7.htm

Allaeriel said...

The sad truth of the matter is that these two men will probably die in prison, either being beaten by inmate aliens, or by an 'accident' caused by the government, and only years after their deaths will their names be pardoned.
Stuff like this makes me ashamed to be an American.

J.Almendariz said...

I understand the HR 563 bill to pardon Agents Ramos and Compean is stalled in two committees (Homeland, Judiciary). I've received email requests to send faxes to each of the members of those committees. I could not afford to pay for those faxes as I live on a fixed income.

I have found an inexpensive way to send unlimited faxes to Washington officials.

I have a PC with Windows XP home ed. Windows comes with Fax/Modem software...but you must upload it manually onto your hard drive. I purchased a fax/modem for $42 plus tax. I already pay the phone company for unlimited long distance (as I have a teen-age daughter).

I got my fax/modem up and running. Then I created specific fax lists (House Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security, my DC reps). I type up a single letter and copy the lists to "recipient." I push the SEND button and the entire process is automatic. The software swaps the names and fax numbers like a mail/merge program; dials the faxes; sends the letter. This process takes about 1 min. per letter if the fax line isn't busy.

IF the fax at the other end is busy, the software skips that person and goes on to the next one. Later it comes back and redials the numbers that didn't go thru.

I will be able to send out 100 faxes tonite for Agents Ramos and Compean. AND I CAN DO THIS EVERY NITE.

PS. Personally, I enjoy the thought of all that paper flowing out onto the hallowed floors of our "Honorable" Washington representatives.

J.Almendariz said...

I understand the HR 563 bill to pardon Agents Ramos and Compean is stalled in two committees (Homeland, Judiciary). I've received email requests to send faxes to each of the members of those committees. I could not afford to pay for those faxes as I live on a fixed income.

I have found an inexpensive way to send unlimited faxes to Washington officials.

I have a PC with Windows XP home ed. Windows comes with Fax/Modem software...but you must upload it manually onto your hard drive. I purchased a fax/modem for $42 plus tax. I already pay the phone company for unlimited long distance (as I have a teen-age daughter).

I got my fax/modem up and running. Then I created specific fax lists (House Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security, my DC reps). I type up a single letter and copy the lists to "recipient." I push the SEND button and the entire process is automatic. The software swaps the names and fax numbers like a mail/merge program; dials the faxes; sends the letter. This process takes about 1 min. per letter if the fax line isn't busy.

IF the fax at the other end is busy, the software skips that person and goes on to the next one. Later it comes back and redials the numbers that didn't go thru.

I will be able to send out 100 faxes tonite for Agents Ramos and Compean. AND I CAN DO THIS EVERY NITE.


PS. Personally, I enjoy the thought of all that paper flowing out onto the hallowed floors of our "Honorable" Washington representatives.

Eva said...

I think they just want to convict them of that because they're too ignorant and lazy to actually go out and look for Davila they just want to be done w/ it.So why not just blame Ramos and we could relax and do nothing because we're jost too lazy to go after Davila? They're also doing this so they won't look bad in the eyes of the Americans.They don't want to look like they can't handle a drugtrafficker.They're doing that to shut our mouths up.So they won't be criticized. Eva Alvarez
Santa Maria,California

Neal_Jones said...

First let me say that I am a supporter of keeping illegal immigrants out of the United States of America. I do however support the legal immigration into America beacuse I believe that this is part of what has made America what it is today.

Will someone please explain to me how the information provided in this article is completly accurate. I understand the article is written from a bias perspective coming from a victims family, but how is it possible that all these things happened in the trial and they we're still convicted.

What are the prosecution's evidence and how is an illegal allien going to sue and American citizen?

I feel for the family of the boarder agents and the agents themselves but I just do not believe this article provides all the information from the trial.

At the time I am currently in a political geogpahy class at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina and my class is very concerned with your issue. Please inform us all you can about the trial issues and the updated information on what is happening to the two boarder agents. We would like to help your situation because we support the stop of illegal immigration but we would like to know that it is going to an honest cause and honest family that truly has been frauded by the U.S. justice system.

Thanks,
Neal T. Jones

(Senior, Criminal Justice and Criminology major at Barton College in Wilson, NC)

Student of Dr. Jean Palemer-Moloney

WesTexEx said...

The only way the U.S. is going to win any war on this invasion is to post snipers along the battle fronts, equipped with the finest spotters and shooters supplies available to the military. The daily flow of women and children can be assisted when they have passed beyond the front so they don't suffer, but the smugglers and extremists can easily be taken out by trained marksmen. There are refugees and there are combatants; we must realize this is a war of occupation and we must win this war of ideology or we will all lose.

Dianne said...

GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTER. I WILL BE WRITING MY SENATORS AND CONFRESSMEN. DO NOT LOSE FAITH.

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