Monday, December 3, 2007

Judge - prosecutors may have overreacted in Ramos, Compean case

After a hearing in New Orleans, an appeals court judge says federal prosecutors may have overreacted in their case against former border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. The two men are serving lengthy prison sentences for shooting a fleeing drug suspect.

Judge E. Grady Jolly is one of three judges in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing the appeals. He questioned whether the two agents would have been charged if they had reported the shooting. "For some reason, this one got out of hand, it seems to me," Jolly said of the agents' prosecution. He said it seems "that the government overreacted" in the prosecution that led to a 12-year prison term for Compean and an 11-year term for Ramos.

The agents' attorneys are asking the 5th Circuit to throw out their convictions. A federal jury in El Paso convicted the Border Patrol agents of assault, obstruction of justice and civil rights violations in the wounding of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila near El Paso in 2005. Aldrete survived the shooting, but was arrested in November after an October indictment on various drug charges.

There's no indication when the judges will rule in the appeals. Compean attorney Bob Baskett says he's encouraged by Jolly's comments, but Ramos attorney David Botsford says he's not reading anything into the remarks.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Benefit September 8 for Ramos Family

The American Freedom Riders will hold a benefit for the family of maliciously prosecuted and imprisoned Border Patrol Agent Ignacio Ramos on Saturday, September 8 at 6:00 p.m. at the Roadrunner Saloon on New River Rd., Exit 232 . All patriots are invited to attend the party.

Roadrunner Saloon: 47801 N. Black Canyon Hwy., New River, Arizona 85087
Directions: Take I-17 N. to New River Rd. (Exit 232), head East. Take a left on Frontage Road and proceed 1/4 mile

Roger Hedgecock will emcee, and Monica Ramos and her father Joe Loya will be the guest speakers. The event will include a band, food, a raffle, and fun. Admission is $20 per peson. Proceeds will go to help Monica Ramos keep their home and make the trip from El Paso to Phoenix to visit her husband whenever she is given visitation.

Agent Ramos was transferred to Phoenix on July 20th after spending six months at Yazoo City, Mississippi where he was severely beaten by illegal aliens. He has lost 40 pounds and is in poor emotional condition as he remains in solitary confinement.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Senate hearing generates bipartisan support to free Ramos and Compean

With a firearms law designed for drug kingpins, two former Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, were sentenced in 2006 to an extra decade in prison for firing their guns at a Mexican drug smuggler. At a Senate Judiciary hearing this week, senators from both parties decried the use of that provision against law enforcement officers.

The former agents are serving 11- and 12-year terms, while the smuggler remains free, having cut a deal to testify against them. Senators also vented their dismay at West Texas U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, a Bush appointee who has caught unrelenting grief from anti-illegal immigrant activists over his handling of the case. "This really is a case of prosecutorial overreaction," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chaired the hearing. "This was still a drug dealer who was shot fleeing. Shot in the rear end fleeing. He wasn't an innocent person."

Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Tex., a 26-year Border Patrol veteran, also joined the effort this week, pressing President Bush to commute the sentences of the two. Reyes said that even though he had supported the agent's conviction, the sentence is too harsh. "This penalty levied on these agents is excessive and ... they deserve the immediate exercise of your executive clemency powers," Senators Feinstein and Cornyn wrote to the President.

Letters to the president have been a blessing for the two affected families, but Bush may not support the requests. "The president has proven with Libby that he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants," said Patty Compean, whose husband is in an Elkton, Ohio, prison. "There's no due process with him. My husband was doing his job. I don't think Libby was."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Congressman Jones response to Libby commutation: Pardon the border agents

In light of President George W. Bush’s recent commutation of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison sentence, North Carolina Congressman Walter B. Jones has written a letter to again call on the President to pardon U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.

“I am writing to express my deep disappointment that U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean remain unjustly incarcerated for wounding a Mexican drug smuggler who brought 743 pounds of marijuana across our border,” Jones wrote.

“While you have spared Mr. Libby from serving even one day of his ‘excessive’ 30-month prison term, agents Ramos and Compean have already served 167 days of their 11 and 12-year prison sentences,” Jones wrote. “By attempting to apprehend an illegal alien drug smuggler, these agents were enforcing our laws, not breaking them.”

“Mr. President, it is now time to listen to the American people and members of Congress who have called upon you to pardon these agents,” Jones continued. “By granting immunity and free health care to an illegal alien drug trafficker and allowing our law enforcement officers to languish in prison – our government has told its citizens, and the world, that it does not care about protecting our borders or enforcing our laws.”

“I urge you to correct a true injustice by immediately pardoning these two law enforcement officers,” Jones concluded.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ramos, Compean convictions based on federal crime which doesn't exist

Mr. Speaker, as the Members of this House well know, in February 2006, U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean were convicted in a U.S. District Court in Texas for shooting a Mexican drug smuggler. They were sentenced to 11 and 12 years imprisonment, respectively, and today is the 153rd day since the two agents entered Federal prison.

What Members of this House may not know is that 10 years of each of their sentences were based on an indictment and conviction for a Federal crime that does not exist. The Federal crime they were convicted of does not exist.

The law that they were charged with violating has never been enacted by the United States Congress but rather was fashioned by the Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas, Johnny Sutton.

The law that the agents were charged with, 18 United States Code section 924(c)(1)(a) as enacted by Congress, requires a defendant to be indicted and convicted either of using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to the commission of a crime of violence or possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

However, neither Mr. Ramos nor Mr. Compean was ever charged with the specific elements of the crime. Instead, Mr. Sutton's office extracted from the United States Criminal Code a sentencing factor, discharging a firearm, and substituted that sentencing factor for the congressionally defined elements of the offense.

In this case, I can imagine how difficult it would be to obtain an indictment and conviction for ``using,'' ``possessing'' or ``carrying'' a firearm when the Border Agents were required to carry firearms as part of their job. That difficulty may well, very well, explain why this United States Attorney's Office unilaterally changed Congress's definition of a crime to a definition that would be easier to prove by the prosecution.

Any change in the elements of a crime amounts to the seizure of legislative authority by a Federal prosecutor. When this encroachment upon the legislative power of Congress was brought to my attention and to the attention of my colleagues, Congressmen Virgil Goode and former Texas State judge, Congressman TED POE, we joined forces with the Gun Owners Foundation, U.S. Border Control, U.S. Border Control Foundation and the Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund to file a friend of the court brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court.

The brief urges reversal of these unjust convictions and 10 year mandatory minimum sentences by spelling out how changes contained in two counts of the indictment against the agents are ``fatally defective'' because they fail to charge an offense as defined by the statute.

Mr. Speaker, many of my colleagues and the American people have been greatly concerned about the denial of due process of law to Agents Ramos and Compean. The American people must be confident that prosecutors will not tailor the law to make it easier to convict in a particular case. Federal prosecutors take an oath to enforce the law, not to make the law.

It is my understanding that the House Judiciary Committee will soon hold hearings to examine the prosecution of this case, and I want to thank Chairman John Conyers for his interest in investigating the injustice committed against these two Border agents.

I encourage the chairman and the committee to take a thorough look into the actions of the Office of U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas and its pattern of aggressively prosecuting law enforcement officers, including Ramos and Compean, former Border Patrol Agent Aleman and Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez. These are legitimate legal questions and concerns about this prosecutor's office, and they need to be answered.

And again, I thank the chairman of the Judiciary Committee for his interest and concern about justice to right an injustice.

June 18, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Actual Transcripts of the Ramos-Compean Trial

For those of you who really wish to know what happened, please copy and paste the URL's below into your browser and start reading.



















Monday, January 29, 2007

Was There a Government Conspiracy to Frame Ramos & Compean


Ballistics reports, used in the trial of Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos, one of two Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting fleeing drug dealer Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, do not support the prosecution's claim the bullet was fired from Ramos' gun, according to documents provided by an organization called Friends of the Border Patrol

Despite the conclusion of a laboratory criminalist that he could not conclusively link the bullet removed from Aldrete-Davila with Ramos' service weapon, a Department of Homeland Security agent swore, in an affidavit of complaint filed against Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, that Aldrete-Davila was hit by a round fired by Ramos.

According to FBP, Johnny Sutton and his assistants are guilty of malicious prosecution. The prosecutors lied to the jury and he twisted evidence to make it fit his case. And when he couldn't twist the evidence, the government demanded that the court seal evidence which would have been exculpatory to the defense.

Nearly two years after the conclusion of the trial, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas has yet to release a transcript of the trial.

"Back on Sept. 26, 2006, officials from the DHS Office of Inspector General made serious allegations against both agents Ramos and Compean to four members of Congress from the Texas delegation," Ramirez said.

"The Inspector General has subsequently refused to provide their evidence to substantiate their claims to Congress.

Ramirez consinues, "So I am also accusing the DHS Office of Inspector General of making false statements to Congress in order to prevent a congressional inquiry. I am asking the U.S. Congress to subpoena all documents pertaining to this case including the full transcripts, sealed testimony, and the sealed indictment against Aldrete- Davila in order to get to the truth of this case once and for all."

World net daily reports that Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, has filed a Freedom of
Information Act request against the DHS Inspector General's office to obtain those investigative reports. Poe took this action after DHS informed the Texas Republican delegation the documents would not be turned over to them because the Democrats were now in control of Congress and Rep. McCaul was no longer chairman of the Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
What are the Feds Trying to Hide

Is this another case of judicial abuse similar to what
District Attorney Mike Nifong did to the Duke lacrosse players?

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner has refused to deliver documents confirming his office's outrageous claims that Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean admitted they "were out to shoot Mexicans."

McCaul and three other House members met with Skinner on Sept. 26, 2006, to discuss the agents' case. A confidential Office of Inspector General memo from an interview Compean gave to investigators on March 18, 2005 supports the agent's claim that he believed his life was in danger when he tried to apprehend the Mexican drug smuggler on Feb. 17, 2005.

Special Agent Christopher Sanchez of the Inspector General's office stated in the memo that Compean believed Aldrete-Davila was carrying a weapon when Compean fired at him. Sanchez was the main DHS investigator on the case.

Compean also stated that he saw a shiny object that might be a gun and he felt that Aldrete-Davila was going to shoot him because he kept looking back at him as he ran away ... ."

According to McCaul and the other congressmen who met with Skinner - Reps. John Culberson, Kenny Marchant and Ted Poe, all Republicans who represent Texas - the inspector general told them during their meeting last fall that Ramos and Compean
had confessed to knowingly shooting at an unarmed suspect.

"According to the inspector general, they had evidence that the agents said they were out to shoot Mexicans," Poe said. "I found that hard to believe and asked if I could see that evidence. They never gave us what was promised."

McCaul, a former federal prosecutor in Texas, said the Inspector General's office has refused to provide any evidence thus far to support its claims.

He and his colleagues are now demanding that Skinner turn over documents related to the case or face a subpoena or contempt of Congress.

"I want to weigh the facts and the evidence in this case," McCaul said. "Either it is total arrogance or gross incompetence on the part of the Inspector General's office. If what (the DHS) told us was a lie, or if they misrepresented the facts on this case to members of Congress, we are going to hold them accountable."

Full transcripts from Ramos and Compean's trial last spring still have not been made available to Congress or the public. According to McCaul, repeated requests for the transcripts since November have been answered with excuses.

The agents were convicted of several charges related to the shooting, notably assault with a deadly weapon. Ramos received an 11-year prison sentence, Compean 12 years.

The steadfast refusal of the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to provide relevant information to Congress and the public about why Border Patrol agents Compean and Ramos were prosecuted causes people to wonder what they are trying to hide.

Editor's note: How the Hell can a U.S. Attorney charge on-duty Border Patrol agents who are in hot pursuit of a drug smuggler carrying 700 pounds of narcotics of assault with a deadly weapon? Can somebody tell me?

Monday, January 15, 2007


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Joe Loya at Rally for Agent Ramos

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Congressman Royce Issues Statement on Border Agent Appeal

Washington, Jan 11 - Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement calling on the Attorney General to allow Border Agents to remain free on bond pending appeal

“The government and the US Attorney have elected to support a criminal - in this country illegally - over the men and women who protect our society from drugs."

Two family members of drug smuggler, Aldrete-Davila, interviewed by the Daily Bulletin in El Paso, said Aldrete-Davila has been smuggling drugs since he was 14 and "wouldn't move drugs unless he had a gun on him."

The family member, who insisted on anonymity, added that Aldrete-Davila has "been bragging about the money he's going to get in a lawsuit every time we talk to him - but now he's nervous."

"Aldrete-Davila is suing the U.S. Border Patrol for $5 million for violating his civil rights. Meanwhile, the families of both agents are struggling under the financial and emotional strain of impending lengthy prison terms."

"The drug smuggler, who was granted immunity to testify against the two agents, has subsequently been apprehended again, with an even larger cache of drugs. I find this simply astonishing."

"Several glaring discrepancies in the government’s case and the handling of the jury, raise serious questions whether justice has been served. Permitting these men to be incarcerated in the interim will put their lives at risk."

”This is yet another example of how some in government are more concerned about the welfare and rights of illegals and drug dealers than they are about America and the brave Americans that protect this country.”

Click here to send an email to President Bush right now!


Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean are currently scheduled to serve 11 and 12 year prison terms, respectively, this month. The case has garnered national attention because of the harsh prosecution and seemingly unjust conviction of the agents for shooting a fleeing illegal drug smuggler during an altercation. Over 740 pounds (over $1 million street value) of marijuana was discovered in his van near the border.