Judicial Watch • Was U.S.-Mexico Deal Behind Border Patrol Convictions?

Was U.S.-Mexico Deal Behind Border Patrol Convictions?

Was U.S.-Mexico Deal Behind Border Patrol Convictions?

JULY 26, 2007

Judicial Watch was in federal court this week in its ongoing effort to obtain potentially damaging information from the U.S. government regarding Mexico’s role in the conviction of two U.S. Border Patrol agents who shot an illegal immigrant drug smuggler.

Just days after the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing over the veteran agents’ controversial imprisonment, Judicial Watch was in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to ask a judge to force the government to release the documents relating to the 2005 incident.

In January Judicial Watch filed a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with three federal agencies – Homeland Security, Department of Justice and State Department – but none has bothered to respond so Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit and a judge ordered this week’s hearing.

The goal is to find out if any deals were made between the U.S. and Mexican governments in the Justice Department’s overly aggressive and uncharacteristic prosecution of federal agents guarding the border. In fact, on the day in question Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean intercepted a vehicle containing 743 pounds of marijuana near El Paso.

The admitted drug smuggler, a Mexican named Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, tried to flee and one of the agents shot him in the buttocks though he still got away. Federal prosecutors actually went into Mexico and offered the drug dealer immunity to testify against the veteran agents who were subsequently convicted on charges of causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm and violating the drug smuggler’s civil rights.

Ramos and Compean were sentenced to 11 and 12-year prison terms and their case has sparked bipartisan outrage with prominent lawmakers from both parties calling for a presidential pardon. One California Congressman went so far as to call the convictions a travesty of justice beyond description.

Judicial Watch will continue to aggressively follow this case and legally pursue the documents that can shed more light on these highly controversial prosecutions of federal agents with impeccable records.

Judicial Watch is a non-partisan, educational foundation dedicated to fighting government and judicial corruption and promoting a return to ethics and morality in our nation’s public life. To view the Judicial Watch Internet site click here (www.judicialwatch.org).

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