Please Support Our Border Agents!
On November 12 and 13, 2008,( twenty months into their sentences), former border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were re-sentenced in El Paso by Judge Kathleen Cardone to their original eleven and twelve year sentences. Their prosecutor, U.S Attorney Johnny Sutton of the Western District of Texas, said he was satisfied with the outcome, saying it was a righteous prosecution.
The agents were charged with violating the civil rights of drug-smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila as he eluded them, carrying nearly 800 pounds of drugs. He refused to stop at their commands, then suddenly turned and pointed a shiny object at them which they thought was a gun: in a split- second decision, they shot in self-defense. They were charged with the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime; although 924 (c) of the criminal code is intended to punish armed felons in the commission of a crime, not the law enforcement officers who apprehend them, said Congressman Ted Poe. The first time it had ever been used against law enforcement officers was in the Ramos/Compean case, carrying with it a ten year mandatory prison sentence.
Prosecutors gave Osvaldo immunity for his criminal activities in exchange for testifying against the agents, but he broke his immunity agreement when he made another ( successful) drug-run across the border three months before the trial. This was sealed from the jury. Osvaldo was portrayed as an inexperienced one-time offender, whose motive was to buy medicine for his sick mother. The jury believed him, as the prosecutors hoped they would.
Agents Ramos and Compean didn't get a fair trial, because the prosecution withheld evidence which would have discredited Osvaldo. This happened in an earlier case to border agent David Sipe, charged by the U.S. Attorney's office for "use of excessive force" in arresting a human smuggler. The smuggler was given immunity for his crimes and 80 thousand dollars in exchange for testifying against Agent Sipe. Several years later, Sipe was granted a new trial and acquitted.
Americans can show their support by purchasing an American flag from their senators-- asking that it be flown on Friday, January 16, at the U.S. Capitol in honor of Ramos and Compean. Flags may be ordered from Senator Pat Robert's website under "constituent services."The families of these agents are hoping that hundreds of American flags will fly from the Capitol on that day and they should, we should support them!
Kansas and Missouri Director
Minuteman Civil Defense Corps