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Archive for October 20th, 2006

Former U.S. Border Patrol agent Jose Alonso Compean left the United States Court House on Thursday after being sentenced to 12 years in prison. Compean’s wife, Patty Compean, is in the wheelchair. The woman at left is unidentified.

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Well, thanks to the pathetic U.S. justice system, border patrol agents and commended illegal immigration heroes Ignacio “Nacho” Ramos and Jose Compean were sentenced to federal prison yesterday–Ramos for 11 years and Compean for 12.

How could this happen? Why did this happen? I wonder if professional slime-bitch prosecutor, Debra Kanof even knows why she ruined the lives of these two men. I doubt it. It seems apparent that she was only doing as she was told–destroy Ramos and Compean. As a lawyer, her ethics are questionable to anyone who followed the trial. As a human being, Kanof has proven she wants nothing to do with us, which is fine by me. My only hope is that she’s never allowed to do something this despicable again.

In the meantime, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean are thankfully not required to report for incarceration until the 17th of January, 2007. In that time, their appeals process will likely begin. It is hoped that they will be allowed to remain out of prison while appeals take place. If the convictions eventually get overturned, then Ignacio and Jose won’t have to spend a moment in jail. Here’s hoping.

Former U.S. Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos, center, left the United States Court House on Thursday with his wife, Monica Ramos, after being sentenced to 11 years in prison. Former Border Patrol agent Jose Alonso Compean got 12 years. (Photos by Mark Lambie / El Paso Times)

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Agents sentenced, hope to stay out of prison during appeal

 

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times

The former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a drug smuggler in the buttocks last year were sentenced Thursday — Ignacio Ramos to 11 years in prison and Jose Alonso Compean to 12 years in prison — but allowed to remain free on bond at least until mid-January.The agents and their families, who had prepared themselves for the possibility that the agents would be taken to jail after Thursday’s hearing, breathed a sigh of relief.

“I’m happy to be going home to my family right now,” Ramos said.

“That was the biggest concern, that the six kids would have to spend Christmas without their fathers,” said Joe Loya, Ramos’ father-in-law.

Ramos and Compean each have three children.

The agents must surrender Jan. 17, but they hoped that they would be allowed to continue to stay free on bond until their appeal.

On Feb. 17, 2005, Ramos chased a van loaded with marijuana to a ditch near Fabens, where the van’s driver, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, abandoned his vehicle and ran toward Mexico.

According to court testimony, agent Compean tried to block his path, but Aldrete continued running toward the Rio Grande. Compean and Ramos then shot at Aldrete and a bullet from Ramos’ gun hit the smuggler in the buttock. Aldrete made it to Mexico, wounded. The agents did not report the shooting, and Compean picked up his shell casings.The agents, who will be officially fired now that they have been sentenced, said in court that they thought Aldrete had a gun.

They were convicted of various charges, including violating the Aldrete’s civil rights and tampering with evidence. The case has become a cause celebre among conservatives, especially in California.

After the sentencing Thursday, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, Border Patrol AssistantÊChief Robert Boatright and Jay Smith, the special agent in charge of the Office of the Inspector General at Homeland Security,Êpraised prosecutors for their work on an unpopular case.

Sutton said that the Border Patrol badge is not “a license to shoot people, especially unarmed suspects who are running away from you, lie to your superior and write a false report.”

Sutton took to task radio talk shows and cable news shows for presenting only one side of the story.

He also questioned the agents’ claim that they thought the smuggler had a gun.

“The evidence reflects something completely different,” he said. “The agents did not take cover and did not tell other agents to ‘Get down. Someone has a gun.’ ”

Sutton said that he felt no sympathy for Aldrete, whom he called a “piece of dirt.”

Aldrete did not appear in court Thursday. But his lawyer, Walter Boyaki, who represents him in a lawsuit against the government, spoke. Boyaki said that his client, a truck driver by trade, was incapacitated by the bullet, which shattered his urethra, and cannot work.

“I was expecting at least one of them (agents) to say, ‘I’m sorry,’ ” Boyaki said. “I know Aldrete Davila would say he was sorry, too.”

The agents chose not to make statements to the court and presented no witness Thursday.

Compean’s lawyer, Chris Antcliff, blamed Aldrete, saying, “Had he stopped like any normal citizen, we wouldn’t be here today. É This case is a little bit upside down in my mind.”

He called his client, “a good man in a really bad situation.”

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone said that she took into account the risk to the agents in prison and the conduct of the victim when deciding on lenient sentences on most charges, but that she could not reduce the 10-year mandatory, consecutive sentence mandated by federal law when a gun is discharged in the commission of a crime.

The agents were not ordered to make restitution to Aldrete.

Outside the United States Courthouse, dozens of family members and friends of the agents who couldn’t fit inside the small courtroom waited three hours to hear the sentence. About five volunteers with the Texas Minutemen were also there, carrying signs in support of the agents. The Minutemen are in the Fabens area for a patrol operation this month.

Family members said the fight was not over.

“It’s going to be step by step,” said Ramos’ brother Hector Ramos. “The first step is going to get him home. It’s a process.”

Also Thursday, Judge Cardone denied the defense’s motion for a new trial on the basis that three jurors said they were misled by theÊ jury foreman and voted guilty because they thought they were not allowed to have a hung jury.

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