Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Agents Ramos and Compean’s Appeal is Heard

By Tony Vega
Monday, December 03, 2007

Today, December 03, 2007 the appeal for former U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean was scheduled to be heard at 9:00 am at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The encouraging news is that Judge E. Grady Jolly, one of three Appellate judges stated that federal prosecutors "may have overreacted in their case against" Ramos and Compean. Jolly questioned Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Steimach saying, "It does seem to me that the government overreacted here."

To the casual observer these agents should have never been arrested in the first place. The Western Texas U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton apparently engaged in some very questionable practices in bringing forth the prosecution. Sutton’s team heavily relied on procedural violations by the agents after the attempted arrest and shooting of the drug smuggler, illegal criminal alien Osvaldo Alrete-Davila. There is precedent, namely United States v. Christo, in which the court held that criminal convictions based upon civil violations constituted plain error. Due process will be challenged. There are other nefarious actions by Sutton and his office, such as withholding details that would have shown Davila was not an innocent migrant humbly trying to enter the U.S. to better his life.

Investigators came into contact with Davila after a phone call generated by his mother to a long time family friend. This friend is the mother-in-law to a questionable Border Agent in Arizona. This agent Rene Sanchez grew up with the drug dealer and remained a contact for him. After the February incident in Texas involving Ramos and Compean, the Arizona agent Sanchez made numerous inquiries about the incident to the Texas station, including computer queries, to yet another agent by the name of Blanchett. Sanchez even went so far as to give agent Blanchett times of future illegal border crossing in his area. Why, did he pass this info on? How did Sanchez get this inside information into the illegalities of smugglers? These questions were never answered because U.S. attorneys refused to put agent Blanchett on the stand and successfully prevented the defense from calling him as a witness. The web becomes more tangled.

U.S. attorney Johnny Sutton has claimed there was no evidence at the scene capable of identifying Davila as the perpetrator. An independent review of court testimony available to the public reveals that two agents testified that Davila’s cell phone was recovered from his van, the same van containing 743 lbs of marijuana. This was not a scant mention of a phone, but a detailed account of where the phone was recovered and codes in the phone, commonly used by drug dealers. Johnny Sutton gave Davila immunity, so testimony about the cell phone and drugs in essence was pointless. It did, however, reveal more of Sutton’s deceptive ways and the need for a special prosecutor to look into this mess.

Agents Ramos and Compean could not catch a break; it seems they were caught up in a perfect storm of prosecutorial and investigative malfeasance. High level investigators from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was lying about Ramos and Compean when they reported the agents were “rouge agents looking to shoot a Mexican”, so admitted DHS Inspector General Skinner. Congress is calling for the firing of these investigators. Meanwhile agents Ramos and Compean sit in prison. There is no indication when the Appellate decision will be rendered.

Steve Elliott, President of Grassfire.org Alliance who has championed the cause of the two agents has requested the grassroots to respond-and keep respondinguntil this tragic wrong is righted and Ramos and Compean are freedto spend Christmas with their loved ones! Part of that effort is to blanket the nation with yellow ribbons for Ramos and Compean. After ordering yours, forward this message to your friends urging them to do the same by clicking here: http://www.grassfire.org/8142/offer.asp?rid=14953742

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