Feds ‘Knew Smuggler’ in Border Patrol Case

More information continues to trickle out about the accusations, trial and conviction of two U.S. boarder guards who “shot” a drug smuggler.
As time goes on, it becomes more and more evident that there is a cover-up and these two border guards were wrongly convicted.

New evidence suggests prosecuting U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton of El Paso lied about how the government found the fleeing illegal alien Mexican drug smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, according to a Border Patrol advocate closely following the case of former agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Contrary to claims, no Mexican attorney was involved as an intermediary offering to reveal the identity of the drug smuggler and bring him back to the U.S. in exchange for given immunity to testify against Border Patrol, contended Andy Ramirez, chairman of Friends of the Border Patrol.

“It’s shocking how much lying Johnny Sutton has done about Aldrete-Davila,” he told WND.

“The government made a deal with the devil to put Ramos and Compean behind bars,” Ramirez said. “Sutton’s story about the lawyer in Mexico is a total fabrication, completely and maliciously false. The government knew Aldrete-Davila’s identity from Border Patrol and DHS sources almost immediately after the event.”

Commenting to WND for this story, Sutton insisted there was insufficient evidence to charge the drug smuggler, who was in a foreign country, which would have made it difficult to extradite him.

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The government did have a choice to prosecute the drug dealer they had identified as the suspect, he insisted. Instead attorney Sutton and his office decided to give the likely drug smuggler immunity so he could testify against Ramos and Compean.

Ramirez was emphatic in his conclusion.

“If the truth about how the government got their hands on Aldrete-Davila had been told to the jury, there is no way the jury would have believed a word of his story that he was unarmed.”

In the Jan. 19 WND interview with Sutton, a reference to Aldrete-Davila’s family seemed at the time to contradict Sutton’s claim that Aldrete-Davila came forth from a Mexican lawyer seeking immunity. In explaining why his office did not seek to prosecute Aldrete-Davila, Sutton commented in the interview that:

The agents put us in a situation where there was no way to prove in a court that Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila was connected to that load of marijuana. We would not even known about him had he not come and the investigators for Homeland Security been able to find him through his family.

Now, in the context of the information provided by Andy Ramirez about the connection between agent Rene Sanchez and Aldrete-Davila’s families in Mexico, Sutton’s comment apparently corroborate Ramirez’s account. The DHS agent Sutton to which Sutton referred could be Chris Sanchez, who was working with Aldrete-Davila’s family in Mexico to bring the suspect back to the U.S.

From the beginning of the case, Sutton has claimed he could not prosecute the drug smuggler because the fleeing Mexican got away and left no fingerprints on his van at the scene Feb. 17, 2005. The van was found to contain 743 pounds of marijuana. Aldrete-Davila abandoned the vehicle to head for the Rio Grande on foot, determined to evade arrest from the Border Patrol in hot pursuit.

“Sutton’s attempt to make his decision to prosecute Ramos and Compean look sympathetic falls apart once we realize the government had found the suspect, contrary to Sutton’s claims that finding the suspect was impossible,” Ramirez told WND. “Yet, apparently attempting to cover up the truth, Sutton has stuck to his story that Aldrete-Davila came forward through a Mexican lawyer who shielded the identity of his client until the government gave his client immunity.”

Sutton has consistently claimed that without fingerprints, the prosecution had no alternative but to abandon the idea of prosecuting the perpetrator of the cross-border drug delivery.

Yet, somehow, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila showed up back in the U.S. as a guest of the government. Once Aldrete-Davila was back in the U.S., a U.S. Army doctor removed a bullet that entered his right groin after passing through the left side of his left buttocks. All this was engineered by Sutton’s office, in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, aimed toward obtaining from Aldrete-Davila ballistics evidence that would prove Ramos and Compean had fired and hit Aldrete-Davila as he fled.

WND separately has reported the ballistics evidence failed to tie the weapon fired by agent Ramos with the bullet removed from Aldrete-Davila by the U.S. Army doctor.

Since Aldrete-Davila escaped the scene without being apprehended, Sutton had no way to prove definitively the drug smuggler had been unarmed, unless he could give Aldrete-Davila immunity and obtain his testimony on the stand.

Proving that Aldrete-Davila was unarmed was a central part of Sutton’s case arguing Ramos and Compean had committed assault with the intent to kill under 18 U.S.C., Section 113(a)(c) and seeking to add 10-year mandatory sentences for having committed this assault with their weapons, in violation of 18 U.S. Section 924(c). If Aldrete-Davila was a fleeing, armed drug smuggling suspect, then Sutton simply had no case against Ramos and Compean.

WND previously has reported on a letter Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Oct. 11, 2006, arguing 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c) was the wrong statute under which to prosecute Ramos and Compean.

Ramirez told WND that charging Ramos and Compean with 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c) showed the determination of the prosecutors to pile on as much prison time as possible on the two agents. The statute carries a mandatory 10-year sentence as additional punishment for carrying or using a weapon in a violent crime, such as rape or drug smuggling.

In his interview with WND, Ramirez charged the government found Aldrete-Davila in an independent investigative manner that would have permitted Sutton to have prosecuted the drug dealer. Instead, Sutton decided to offer Aldrete-Davila immunity and free government-paid medical care, provided he would return to the U.S. and testify against the Border Patrol agents.

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