Border Agents’ Accuser Pleads Guilty to Drug Smuggling
In February, 2005, undocumented immigrant Osvaldo Aldrete Davila crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S. with a million dollars’ worth of marijuana in his van. Border Patrol Agents Jose Compean and Ignacio “Nacho” Ramos, tried to stop him. When he did not stop, the agents shot and wounded him. They were subsequently tried and convicted of violating Aldrete's civil rights and of tampering with evidence because they did not report the shooting and because Compean picked up his shell casings.
Last week, Davila pled guilty to smuggling marijuana after the DEA arrested him on an indictment charging him with federal drug smuggling. These charges stem from offenses committed after receiving immunity to testify in the case against the two agents. If he is convicted, the charges could bring 6 to 10 years’ jail time, less than the 11 and 12 years Ramos and Compean are serving. Davila will be sentenced in July.
The border agents’ cases have become a cause celebre on talk radio shows and among groups that advocate tougher border controls.
“It does seem to me that the government overreacted here,” said Judge E. Grady Jolly, one of three judges of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is hearing the case of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean. If the agents had reported the shooting as required, "this prosecution never would have occurred, in all likelihood," Jolly said.
The White House recently released a list of presidential pardons and once again, former Border Patrol agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos didn’t make the cut.
“Mr. Bush commuted the sentence of yet another drug dealer, but not the agents who were on our front lines of defense against terrorists and coyotes,” said Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.
Tags: Compean And Ramos , US Mexico Border Crime , Aldrete Davila , Davila , Drug Smuggling , Agents
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