The Unjust Prosecution of
Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos
Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos are two agent of the Border Patrol who got a very raw deal in court
just for doing their jobs. Most of the articles linked below include at least a brief recap of
the story. If I understand the facts of the case, it seems to me that the agents should have been
pardoned months ago and given their freedom.
The latest: Sutton resigns as U.S.
attorney. The San Antonio federal prosecutor at the center of a politically charged case against two Border
Patrol agents convicted of covering up their role in the shooting of a drug smuggler resigned Thursday [4/9/2009].
Supreme Court refuses to hear border
agents' appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from two former Border Patrol agents
convicted of shooting a fleeing drug smuggler and trying to cover it up. Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean served
roughly two years of their respective 12-year and 11-year prison sentences before President George W. Bush
commuted their sentences Jan. 19.
border guards speak out. Former U.S. Border Patrol agent Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos wakes up in the middle
of the night expecting a guard to shine a flashlight in his face. Jose Alonso Compean, his colleague, still
has nightmares that he's not really home. It has not been easy readjusting to life outside their one-man
prison cells where they spent the last two years of their lives in segregation.
Where Do They Go To Get Their Lives Back?
For nearly two and a half years they've been in solitary confinement for their own safety. They will soon
be released thanks to outgoing President George W. Bush's rare commutation of their 10-year mandatory
sentences. Mr. Bush should have gone one step further and granted former U.S. Border Patrol Agents Jose
Compean and Ignacio Ramos complete presidential pardons. ... Four months before the agents' trial was to begin,
guess who got picked up at the border trying to smuggle in a vanload of drugs? Yep, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila.
The jury in the case against the two agents never heard about the second smuggling attempt.
Former El Paso Border Patrol Agents Released
From Prison. At 3 a.m. Mountain time former Border Patrol agent Jose Compean was released
from the Elkton Federal Prison in Elkton, Ohio. Former agent Ignacio Ramos was released about five hours
later from the Phoenix Federal Prison in Phoenix, Ariz. Ramos and Compean will "officially" be released
from Federal Bureau of Prison custody on March 20, but on Tuesday both were allowed to rejoin their
families as part of a house arrest agreement. They had been in prison since January 2007.
agents who had sentences commuted are released from prison. Attorneys say two former Border
Patrol agents convicted of shooting a drug smuggler and covering it up have been released from prison.
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean each had their sentences of more than 10 years commuted earlier this year
by former President George W. Bush. Their commutation becomes effective March 20, and both
will serve out the remainder of their sentences in home confinement.
Bush Commutes Border Agents' Sentences, No
Pardon. Agents Ramos and Compean have been in prison since January '07 for wounding a fleeing
drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete Davila on the U.S. Mexican border. Both Republicans and Democrats alike voiced
opposition to the 11 and 12 year sentences of the agents claiming they were too harsh and that
the agents were merely doing their job.
Bush commutes prison sentences of 2 former Border Patrol guards.
In his final acts of clemency, President George W. Bush on Monday [1/19/2009] granted early prison releases to two
former U.S. Border Patrol agents whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug dealer fueled the national
debate over illegal immigration.
The Final Bush
Pardons: [Scroll down] The reason for the long sentences: dumb laws. The
federal mandatory minimum system, enacted by Congress in 1986, tacks 10 years onto a federal crime
committed with a firearm. As Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., noted last year, the federal firearms
sentence enhancement was "designed to deal with criminals who carry firearms in the commission of felonies and
crimes of violence," but was applied to law-enforcement officers who "came to work with no criminal intent, no
mind set to commit any crime."
A silver lining in Ramos, Compean commutations. One of
the more controversial things an outgoing president can do is to hand out pardons and commutations like party
favors. To his credit, President George W. Bush generally demonstrated restraint and wise judgment
on this issue during his final days in office. Contrast this with Bill Clinton's pardon of tax evader
Marc Rich, whose ex-wife contributed to the president's library foundation. Or the acts of other
presidents who have used the power to settle their own political debts.
'Attempted hit' put on Ramos
family. The family of imprisoned Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos was the victim of an
attempted hit on their lives this month, as the agent's wife says someone broke into their El Paso home and
filled it with gas, trashing photographs and pummeling their dog.
Home of family of jailed ex-Border Patrol agent
burglarized, vandalized. The wife of one of two ex-El Paso Border Patrol agents convicted
of shooting a man says her home was broken into and vandalized earlier this month. Monica Ramos, wife of
Ignacio Ramos, said in an interview on blogtalkradio.com that the family was robbed and that the intruders
opened up the gas lines inside the home on Jan. 3.
Texans ask Bush to commute
agents' sentences. Nearly all members of Texas' congressional delegation are asking President
Bush to commute the sentences of two Border Patrol agents. All but three of the 34 Texans in Congress
signed a letter to Bush asking for the leniency.
Big name senators plead for
agents' freedom. With only one week left until Inauguration Day, lawmakers are urging President
George Bush to pardon imprisoned Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. Today, Sen. John
Cornyn, R-Texas, released an open letter to the president pleading for their freedom.
10 congressmen urge clemency for
agents. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., today called on U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton to support
a commutation in sentence for imprisoned Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. "Mr. Sutton,
we are asking you to look into your heart as a prosecutor and advise the president to commute the sentences of
Ramos and Compean so they will not spend the next 10 years in solitary confinement," Rohrabacher said.
Ramos, Compean Commutation under
Review by U.S. Pardon Attorney. In the waning days of the Bush administration, the Department
of Justice (DOJ) is mulling whether to recommend a commutation for the two former Border Patrol agents jailed
for more than a decade each for shooting a Mexican drug smuggler in the buttocks.
Patrol agents lose last appeal over shot smuggler. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New
Orleans denied a request Thursday [9/11/2008] for a rehearing in an appeal by two U.S. Border Patrol agents who
received lengthy prison terms for shooting a drug-smuggling suspect in the buttocks as he fled Texas into Mexico.
smuggler in '05 shooting sentenced. An admitted drug smuggler whom two U.S. Border Patrol
agents shot in the buttocks as he fled back to Mexico was sentenced Wednesday to 9½ years in
federal prison on drug-related charges. Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, who pleaded guilty in April on charges
of drug smuggling and conspiracy, was at the center of a firestorm of criticism in 2005 after Border Patrol
agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean were sentenced to 11 and 12 years in prison,
respectively, for the shooting incident.
Pardon Ramos and
Compean. If President Bush would simply pardon the unjustly imprisoned former Border Patrol
Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, we could all rest much easier knowing that in the United States, a
foreign drug smuggler's word does not prevail over the word of federal agents in the line of duty. This
week, the Kentucky-based group, Christians Reviving America's Values, filed an ethics complaint with the Texas
Bar Association to investigate U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, whom the group argues willfully misled a jury to
convict the agents.
What Happened To Justice In America?
[Justice] certainly wasn't served on July 28 when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the unjust
convictions of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. ... What started off as simple procedural
mistakes by the agents has turned into an unimaginable travesty of justice unlike anything I've ever seen in
my 30 years in Washington, D.C.
Group files ethics complaint against U.S.
attorney. A conservative Christian group has filed an ethics complaint against a federal prosecutor,
arguing that he mishandled the case of two Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a fleeing drug suspect and
hiding evidence. In the complaint, Kentucky-based Christians Reviving America's Values asked the Texas Bar
Association to investigate U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, arguing that he willfully misled the jury to convict
Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
Hunter call for agents' pardon. Two California Republican congressmen yesterday [1/17/2008]
called on President Bush to pardon two former U.S. Border patrol agents sent to prison a year ago this week
for shooting a drug-smuggling suspect in the buttocks as he fled back into Mexico. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
accused Mr. Bush of being "arrogant and heartless" for refusing to pardon or commute the sentences of
former agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, who were ordered last January to serve 11- and 12-year
prison sentences, respectively.
There Now Hope for Jailed Border Agents?. Representative Delahunt, a Democrat, and Representative
Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican, as well as other members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle are
convinced that justice was not served by the prosecution of Agents Ramos and Compean, and these Congressmen are
working hard for the beleaguered agents.
Lack of pardon for agents
ripped. Several members of Congress derided President Bush yesterday [12/12/2007] for not
including former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean among the 29 pardons
that he issued this week.
Drug Dealers Pardoned; Border Patrol
Agents Remain in Prison. My disappointment with our current political and governmental
administration reached an all-time high this week. The reason? While U.S. Border Patrol Agents
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean are left to languish in jail for actually doing their jobs, President
Bush has opted to pardon eight (count them — eight) drug dealers.
Ramos, Compean pardons? 'No,' 'No,' says
Bush rep. The White House apparently is so reluctant to discuss the issue of pardons or
commutations for convicted U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean that a spokesman doesn't
even want to allow questions about the issue to be finished.
Jailed Border Agents Home for Christmas. Two Democrats and one Republican introduced a House
resolution Thursday [12/6/2007] calling for the release of two jailed ex-Border Patrol agents by
Christmas. "President Bush can correct a gross miscarriage of justice with the stroke of a pen," said
Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass.), who co-sponsored a resolution to commute the sentences of the two men.
When big government
goes bad. Finally, a ray of hope for Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. The jury apparently
did not buy the agents' claim to have seen a shiny object — which they feared was a gun — in
Aldrete's hand. The big question is whether jurors would have ruled against Ramos and Compean if they had heard
cross examination likely to have punctured Aldrete's self-portrayal as a down-on-his-luck professional truck driver with
a sick mom in need of a quick $1,000 to $1,500.
Must Investigate Ramos-Compean Case, Senator Says. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wants to
know why it took so long to charge the drug dealer — used as the star witness in putting two ex-Border
Patrol agents in prison — with a second smuggling offense. Critics of the prosecution of former
border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, sentenced to 11 and 12 years respectively,
have long asked why the drug smuggler wasn't prosecuted.
Senate, Would Free Ramos and Compean. If Congress expressly denies the Executive Branch the funds
to pay for imprisonment of the two Border Patrol Agents, the agents would win what amounts to a legislative
commutation of their sentences.
Congress Probes Jailing of Border
Agents. Angry lawmakers and experts, during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on
July 17, demonstrated the utter hypocrisy of federal bureaucrats who railroaded two brave Border
Patrol agents into long-term prison sentences for lawfully pursuing a fleeing drug dealer who illegally
entered this country from Mexico. Responses by government apologists were weak and incoherent.
Senators say Prison terms for U.S. agents
excessive. Tackling a case that has become a flashpoint in the immigration debate, senators today
denounced as excessive the prison sentences for two Border Patrol agents from Texas who shot and wounded a
fleeing, unarmed Mexican drug smuggler. Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, California Democratic Sen.
Dianne Feinstein and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee criticized the 12- and 11-year prison
sentences given to ex-agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos, respectively.
Examines Convicted Border Agents. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee criticized the heavy
sentence two former Border Patrol agents received for non-fatally shooting an illegal alien who smuggled drugs
across the border. After the hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.)
agreed they would write a letter to President Bush asking him to commute the sentences of Ramos and Compean.
The Real Ramos And Compean
Story — Cancerous Government Arrogance. I sat dumbfounded as I watched U.S. Attorney Johnny
Sutton defend his prosecution of Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean in a recent interview
with CNN's Lou Dobbs. To just about anyone who knows anything about this case, the prosecution and
subsequent imprisonment of these two agents (who were simply attempting to enforce our nation's immigration
and drug laws) is an unfathomable miscarriage of justice.
for the Border Agents. The case of agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean has long been a
cause celebre on the populist right. It has now broken into the mainstream with a Judiciary Committee
hearing chaired by California Democrat Dianne Feinstein in which all senators present took exception to how
the case was handled.
Examines Convicted Border Agents. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee criticized the heavy
sentence two former Border Patrol agents received for non-fatally shooting an illegal alien who smuggled drugs
across the border. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.), who chaired the committee in place of Chairman
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.) Tuesday, called it "a case of prosecutorial overreaction."
Time to free Ramos and Compean.
There was an unusual spectacle in the nation's capital Tuesday, downright rare, in fact: U.S. Senators
seeking truth, and justice, and taking action. And they deserve great credit and thanks. The Senate
Judiciary Committee hearing, led by Dianne Feinstein, focused on the reasons for the prosecution of two Border
Patrol agents now serving long sentences in federal prison.
want federal prosecutor out the door. Appointed to the job a month after the 9-11 attacks by longtime
friend President Bush, [Johnny] Sutton has in recent months become the target of anti-illegal-immigration groups who
say he's leading an unjust campaign against law enforcement officers, particularly Border Patrol agents. The
case that put Sutton in the national spotlight was last year's conviction of former agents José Compean and
Whose Side is He On?
President George W. Bush pardoned 16 criminals including five drug dealers at Christmastime, but so
far has refused to pardon the two U.S. Border Patrol agents who were trying to defend Americans against drug
smugglers. It makes us wonder which side the self-proclaimed "compassionate" President is on.
Bordering on insanity:
The strange case of Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos and Jose Compean deserves your attention. More importantly, it
deserves the attention of President Bush. Ramos and Compean are those two former Border Patrol agents who
were convicted of shooting a Mexican drug smuggler as he ran from them in February 2005.
letter to President Bush. Dear Mr. President: I am glad to see that you fired some U.S.
attorneys. But you missed one: U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who prosecuted border guards Ignacio
Ramos and Jose Compean instead of a professional drug smuggler, and who prosecuted Texas Deputy Sheriff Gilmer
Hernandez instead of a professional people-smuggler.
Friends of the Border Patrol was created in 2004 with the
primary objective of educating the public concerning duties, responsibilities, and effectiveness of federal
law enforcement officers and operations in domestic border security operations. Most recently, with the
infamous prosecution cases of U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean and the lesser known cases of Agents
Sipe, Brugman, and Deputy Sheriff Hernandez, the role of FOBP expanded.
Pardons For Drug
Dealers, Jail For Border Patrol Agents. President George W. Bush has pardoned 14 criminals,
including several drug dealers and a man convicted for bombing a coal mine, but he refused to pardon two U.S.
Border Patrol agents sentenced to prison for intercepting an illegal immigrant drug smuggler at the
Texas-Mexico border last year.
Bush-whacked. American Free Press has learned from the office of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
(R-Calif.), ranking Republican on the House International Relations Subcommittee on Oversight and
Investigations, that the subcommittee chairman, Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass.), has approved hearings to
investigate interference from Mexican officials into border enforcement and irregularities in prosecutions
of U.S. Border Patrol officers by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton for the Western District of Texas.
Attorney makes many enemies.
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, a longtime ally of President Bush, is being targeted by lawmakers and others across
the country because of his successful prosecution of three U.S. Border Patrol agents and a deputy sheriff on
charges of violating the civil rights of illegal aliens. One congressman accused Mr. Sutton of being
"on the wrong side of the border war"; another called the prosecutions "the worst betrayal of American defenders
I have ever seen"; one said the cases were a "grotesque misdirection of our judicial system"….
Let's prosecute drug smugglers, not Border Patrol
agents. With mounting bipartisan criticism from Republican congressmen and Sen. Dianne
Feinstein, D-Calif., the Department of Justice has stepped up an unprecedented public relations campaign
to defend its prosecution of former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, now
serving 11- and 12-year prison terms. But new facts keep emerging to prove that this
prosecution was a gross injustice.
US Government Attempt to Sell a Border Patrol Agent Down the River. Just when we-the-people thought
that the US government's continued persecutions of our US Border Patrol Agents — for doing their respective
jobs — couldn't get much worse, it did. Although DHS Inspector General Richard L. Skinner recently
admitted to Congress that he and his Agents had lied in their provision of evidence against USBP Agents Compean
and Ramos, the officers still remain in federal prison — a prison in which Agent Ramos was released into the
prison's general population and then beaten within an inch of his life via a "hit" fomented by incarcerated
May Proceed With Hearings on Border Agent Case. Lawmakers may hold hearings on the
controversial prosecution of two former Border Patrol agents who shot a Mexican suspected of
smuggling drugs into the United States. They want to determine whether the Mexican government
played a role in the affair.
discretion. Their trial uncovered policies that seem designed to undermine success — such
as the rule that prohibits agents from pursuing a speeding suspected smuggler without a supervisor's
authorization. Drug smugglers know that if they speed to the border, they'll likely get away.
But the real outrage in this story is how federal prosecutors used their discretion to shelter a drug
smuggler and go after two men who, at the worst, should have been fired for shooting at the smuggler
and then not reporting what they had done. The outrage is that this case ever came to trial.
Border Patrol Agents in Jail, Drug Smuggler Free.
The current controversy over Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean is rapidly building into
another Harriet Miers or Dubai Ports controversy revealing once again how completely tone deaf the Bush
administration is to key conservative themes. Right now, Ramos and Compean are in federal prison, where
they were ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cordone. Even though their appeal is pending,
somehow the judge thought the law enforcement agents were some sort of a "flight risk," either that or she
just wanted to start punishing them now.
Ramos/Compean Case Becoming Another
Watergate? In an exclusive interview with www.FireSociety.com, Jerome
Corsi — author of the best-seller Unfit for Command, — says that "the
Mexican government was directly involved in the initiation of the investigation
against Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean which led to their arrest, conviction
Democrat Shocked By Lack Of Liberal
Support for Ramos and Compean. Reader reaction to my two previous pieces on the
Ramos-Compean "Bordergate" affair has been sharply supportive of my view that these two Border
Patrol agents were railroaded by forces seeking to intimidate our brave officers and further
achieve an open border with Mexico.
Border Agents Deserve Better.
It is this reporter's opinion that in my 72 years of covering the news, we have never witnessed such a
miscarriage of justice as in the case of the two U.S. Border Patrol officers. ... As the story unravels,
each day brings forward lies, distortions, and cover-ups. At least two Department of Homeland Security
documents contradict the version of events put forth by the U.S. attorney, a Bush appointee, who prosecuted
as Border Patrol Agents Begin Prison Terms. As two U.S. Border Patrol agents surrendered to
federal marshals Wednesday afternoon [1/17/2007] to begin serving more than a decade in jail for shooting
an illegal drug smuggler, a federal lawmaker and conservative advocacy group expressed outrage at President
Bush for not pardoning the men. "This is the worst betrayal of American defenders I have ever seen," Rep.
Dana Rohrabacher said of the president.
Border agents sent to
prison. Amid protests and a flurry of last-minute efforts by congressmen, two border patrol
agents are scheduled today [1/17/2007] to begin long prison sentences for shooting and wounding a Mexican
drug smuggler who was granted full immunity to testify against them.
Update: Ex-Border Agent Said Beaten in
Prison. A former U.S. Border Patrol agent who was convicted of shooting a drug smuggling suspect
and then lying about it was beaten by fellow inmates in prison, his relatives and a congressman said Tuesday
[2/6/2007]. Prison officials did not immediately confirm that Ignacio Ramos had been attacked.
Immigrants Beat Jailed Border Patrol Agent. One of the U.S. Border Patrol agents
sentenced to prison for intercepting a Mexican drug smuggler has been severely beaten in jail by a
group of illegal immigrant inmates. Ignacio Ramos, imprisoned along with fellow Border
Patrol agent Jose Campeon, was violently assaulted by a gang of illegal alien convicts who
yelled in Spanish "maten a la migra" (kill the Border Patrol agent) as they delivered multiple
blows to his body.
Government admits lying about
jailed border agents. A Department of Homeland Security official admitted today [2/6/2007] the
agency misled Congress when it contended it possessed investigative reports proving Border Patrol agents
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean confessed guilt and declared they "wanted to shoot some Mexicans" prior
to the incident that led to their imprisonment.
Death Would Spark Impeachment Talks, Republican Says. Weeks after accusing President Bush of
"shameful" behavior over the imprisonment of two Border Patrol agents who shot an unarmed suspected drug
smuggler along the U.S.-Mexico border, a federal lawmaker turned up the heat further Wednesday [2/7/2007],
suggesting the president should be impeached if either of the two men is murdered in prison.
Ballistics data don't support
charge against border agents. 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 to WND from
Andy Ramirez, chairman of the Friends of the Border Patrol.
Deception and Stonewalling Over
Prison Attack on Border Patrol Agent. Last September four congressmen were told by Department of
Homeland Security officials that the DHS and the Department of Justice would provide them with documentary
evidence showing that agents Compean and Ramos had engaged in serious criminal activity during their attempted
arrest of Mexican drug smuggler Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila. However, at a February 6 Congressional
hearing DHS Inspector General Richard L. Skinner admitted that DHS did NOT have any documentary evidence
to back up the false and defamatory charges that had been made against the two agents.
Punished for Doing Their Job. On January 10, 2007,
President Bush, in a prime-time address to the nation, lobbied for his new Iraq War policy, which included
more troops and strengthening the interior borders of Iraq. This while at home he ignores securing our
own borders and demoralizes our brave men and women of the Border Patrol who protect it.
Ex-Border Patrol Agents' Families Continue Investigation,
Dispute Testimony. A recent federal report says the two former Border Patrol agents lied to
investigators, destroyed evidence and failed to report the shooting of a suspected drug smuggler about two years
ago, which led to their conviction last year. Now a relative is disputing those claims, saying it is the
investigators who are lying to congress about their evidence in the case.