Minutemen of Clay County Florida
On Jailing of Border Patrol Agents - and setting drug runners free - Page 3

-- My Letter to the Jacksonville, Fl Times-Union and to congress
-- Sheriff: Deputy prosecuted by Mexico's demand (2/22/2007)
-- Judge Kathleen Cardone sealed all information (2/21/2007)
-- Ramos attorney calls for mistrial (2/20/2007)
-- Uproar over border agents to get White House review [ When, 2010? ]
-- Feds 'knew smuggler' in Border Patrol case
-- Ballistics data don't support charge against border agents
-- Funds set up for Border Patrol agents
-- Congressman: Feds stonewalling on border agents
-- Border agent's wife at State of the Union
-- Revolt builds as Republicans seek to toss border agents' convictions
-- Smuggler's 2nd delivery of marijuana confirmed (2/16/2007)
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 Given the Vicious stupidity of the U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, it will not be long before police officers and Border Agent will cease to arrest or even detain an illegal alien because of fear for their own freedom.

Lets see how long will it be before terrorist by the droves pass freely over our southern border.  You can bet the U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton will not accept the blame for the death caused by these terrorist. 

This problem goes even to the level of the President.  There is no excuse that the president has not ordered the US Attorneys office to stop interfering with States rights.  By taking over a state function and prosecuting State Officers, a US Attorney is attacking our protectors and doing so by order of the Mexican Government.  He has done this because the state would not take orders from Mexico, and would not prosecute their officers for having done their jobs.

It seems Mexico is running the white house.  If Jeb Bush is thinking of running for congress or the white house he should take note that many of us will never accept another Bush in government.  Jeb was a great governor in many ways, but he also had Spanish on his official web site, even while Florida law requires English as our official language.  Jeb cannot be trusted to protect America’s sovereignty.  Between his Father’s and Brother’s actions or lack thereof, Jeb’s future political chances have been destroyed or at least terribly damaged.

  <<>>  This is an extract from a news report that once again proves the Mexican Government is running the White House.

Feds seeking 7 years for another Texas cop.  Deputy sheriff convicted for violating civil rights of fleeing illegal alien.  The federal government has recommended a seven-year prison term for Gilmer Hernandez, a Texas deputy sheriff who drew grass-roots support after he was convicted for violating the civil rights of a fleeing illegal alien.

In a case prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in El Paso, who also led the high-profile prosecution of former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, Hernandez was charged after stopping a van full of illegals for running a stop sign April 14, 2005, in Rocksprings, Texas. .....
 

 Sheriff: Deputy prosecuted by Mexico's demand
February 22, 2007 By Jerome R. Corsi © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

Investigators had no plans to bring charges against Texas Sheriff's Deputy Gilmer Hernandez until the Mexican government intervened and demanded it, the officer's supervisor told WND.

Sheriff Don Letsinger of Rocksprings, Texas, said the Texas Rangers were not going to recommend prosecution, but federal law enforcement took over the case in response to the Mexican government's intervention.

Also, in the high-profile case of border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, the Department of Homeland Security investigation was opened March 4, 2005, the same date the Mexican Consulate demanded prosecution for the shooting of drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, according to numerous agency investigative reports authored by Special Agent Christopher Sanchez.

WND can find no documentation of any Border Patrol investigation launched against Ramos or Compean prior to that date.

In both trials, WND has uncovered indications the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, withheld key, possibly exculpatory, information from the defense and the juries.

Hernandez stopped a van full of illegals for running a stop sign April 14, 2005, in Rocksprings. The driver attempted to run over Hernandez, prompting the officer to fire his weapon at the rear tires. A bullet fragment hit a Mexican woman in the mouth, cutting her lip and breaking two teeth. Hernandez, convicted of felony civil rights violations, is incarcerated in Del Rio, Texas, awaiting sentencing.

"Deputy Hernandez had a right to stop that vehicle," Letsinger told WND. "Can you look at what happened and say that Deputy Hernandez intentionally wanted to injure someone in that vehicle? You cannot. Deputy Hernandez did not want to injure anyone that day. He fired at the tires to stop the vehicle and he was justified in doing so."

In early 2006, Letsinger suspected the FBI was conducting a criminal investigation against Hernandez in Edwards County when he was notified by the Little Miracle Child's Care in Rocksprings that two FBI agents and a Texas Ranger had come to the child care center and interviewed Ashley, Hernandez's wife, for several hours without any advance warning.

"Ashley became very upset by the FBI visit," Letsinger said, "and so did the director of the child care center."

Up to that point, Hernandez had continued to perform his normal law enforcement duties under the direction of Letsinger.

WND has established the timeline in the Hernandez case:

April 14, 2005 – the shooting incident involving the van of speeding illegal immigrants in Rocksprings, Texas.

April 18, 2005 – as previously reported by WND, the Mexican Consulate in Eagle Pass, Texas, writes Letsinger demanding the incident not go unpunished.

April 20, 2005 – the Mexican consulate in Eagle Pass writes Norman Townsend of the FBI in Laredo, Texas, a similar letter demanding punishment in the incident.

April 29, 2005 – Letsinger advises Texas Ranger agent Robert Smith that state and local law enforcement have been removed from the Hernandez investigation and the FBI and the federal government were taking over.

Early 2006 – FBI interviews Ashley Hernandez at the Little Miracle Child's Care.

June 7, 2006 – Gilmer Hernandez is indicted under 18 U.S.C. section 242 for violating the civil rights of illegal alien Maricela Rodriguez Garcia and prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton begins.

Letsinger insisted nothing would have happened without Mexico's intervention. [This sounds like State or Homeland Security, both are in the presidents chain of command, it all comes down to Bush doing nothing to jerk some sense into his subordinates].

"Without a letter from the Mexican consulate," he told WND, "I do not believe federal authorities would have gotten involved in the case."  He was equally firm, after reading the investigative report, that the Texas Ranger probe against Hernandez would not have resulted in a grand jury indictment.  Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, told WND it appears the Mexican government was "the driving force in the Hernandez case.

"The Mexican government wanted a Texas deputy sheriff prosecuted and they got their way," he said.  Poe expressed confidence in the report by Texas Ranger Bobby Smith not recommending prosecution.

"In my 30 years experience in law enforcement, the Texas Rangers have as good a reputation as Scotland Yard, precisely because the Texas Rangers don't play favorites with anybody," he said. "Whatever the Texas Rangers recommends is, in my experience, always the way justice truly prevails in the case." Poe was adamant that the Hernandez prosecution was unwarranted.  "In this case, it comes across that the Mexican government arrogantly demanded prosecution and our federal government succumbed to the pressure," he said. "Unfortunately, the rest is history."

Letsinger contended that if the federal grand jury had heard "the whole truth of what transpired," Hernandez would [not] have been indicted.

"The statements by the prosecution that Gilmer Hernandez had chased the illegals across a pasture, cursing them and shooting at them were completely false," he said. "The Texas Ranger and a federal ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) agent and an ATF dog were taken to that location. That dog searched that location thoroughly and could find no shell casings. When the dog failed to find the shell casings, the officers used a metal detector to search the field thoroughly and [again] failed to find any shell casings."

Letsinger added he has no way of knowing for sure what the federal grand jury was told or was not told.  He suspects "the grand jury was told about shell casings, but most probably not about the law enforcement search that failed to find shell casings."

Hernandez is under the custody of U.S. Marshals in at the Val Verde County detention facility in Del Rio.
Hernandez is scheduled to be sentenced on March 12, the day President Bush is scheduled to be in Mexico meeting with Mexican President Calderon.

Ramos and Compean are also in federal prison, serving 11 and 12 year sentences respectively. They are preparing appeals but have been denied freedom on bond.

Lou Dobbs' CNN Report

 Judge's gag order in border agents' case prevented jury from learning of situation

February 20, 2007    By Jerome R. Corsi     © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

Smuggler's 2nd drug case confirmed by accomplice.   A report by a Department of Homeland Security agent confirms the drug smuggler given immunity to testify against imprisoned border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean committed a second offense, which was hidden by prosecutors (and judge), and identifies the smuggler's accomplice.

As WND previously reported, El Paso Judge Kathleen Cardone sealed all information about smuggler Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila's second offense and refused to allow the defense to present the information to the jury.

Cardone placed the attorneys involved in the Ramos-Compean case under a gag order and threatened to prosecute the families if any member discussed publicly Aldrete-Davila's second drug-smuggling incident. The office of the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, did not return WND phone calls asking for comment on this story.

The Nov. 21, 2005, report by DHS Special Agent Christopher Sanchez indicates Drug Enforcement Administration investigators conducted a "knock and talk" in Clint, Texas, Oct. 23, 2005, in which they learned of Aldrete-Davila's second incident.

According to the report, Cipriano Ernesto Ortiz-Hernandez, the occupant of 12101 Quetzal in Clint, Texas, positively identified Aldrete-Davila as the driver who dropped off 752.8 pounds of marijuana in a 1990 Chevy Astro van at Ortiz-Hernandez's home the day before.

Ortiz-Hernandez said he was able to make the identification because Aldrete-Davila lifted his shirt to show him the catheter inserted in his body by a U.S. Army doctor at Beaumont Medical Center in El Paso. Aldrete-Davila was treated at government expense for the wound he suffered in the initial Feb. 17, 2005, incident with Ramos and Compean.

Ortiz-Hernandez – reportedly in a wheelchair at the time of the DEA interview – reciprocated by showing Aldrete-Davila his own catheter.

According to Sanchez's report, Aldrete-Davila took 752.8 pounds of marijuana across the border Oct. 22, 2005.

Ortiz-Hernandez explained to DEA investigators that Aldrete-Davila decided to bring the drugs to 12101 Quetzal in Clint, Texas, after the van developed engine trouble. Ortiz-Hernandez had never met Aldrete-Davila. But Aldrete-Davila knew about Ortiz-Hernandez, having grown up with his brother, Jose Roberto Ortiz, in San Ysidro, Mexico.

Because of the family connections, Ortiz-Hernandez gave Aldrete-Davila refuge at his safe house.

Ortiz-Hernandez, born Sept. 8, 1970, is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. He does not have a Texas driver's license but carries a Texas ID card and has a U.S. Social Security number.

In the Ramos-Compean trial transcript, Mary Stillinger, defense attorney for Ignacio Ramos, makes a reference to Ortiz-Hernandez in a sidebar comment to the judge (Vol. VII, p. 226), saying Aldrete-Davila was "discovered at the house of Cipriano Ortiz in September 2005." WND has confirmed Stillinger had the name correct but the date wrong.

Prosecutor Debra Kanof tells Stillinger, in the trial exchange, Aldrete-Davila would take the Fifth Amendment on any questions concerning his involvement with Ortiz-Hernandez.

Stillinger and family members of Ramos and Compean refused to discuss with WND matters concerning Ortiz-Hernandez out of fear Sutton would prosecute them for violating the gag order.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, who has helped lead efforts in Congress on behalf of Ramos and Compean, told WND the deal made with Aldrete-Davila to not prosecute him for a second time "tells you two things."

"Number one, our federal government would do anything to prosecute Ramos and Compean, even giving immunity more than once for bring drugs into the United States," he said. "And, second, the jury should have known about the second instance, to judge the credibility of this prosecution witness, their only witness, the drug dealer."

Poe explained that the "better deal a person gets as a witness, common sense would say, the more likely you're to say what the government wants you to say."
 

 Ramos attorney calls for mistrial
Claims key document withheld from border agents' defense

February 20, 2007 By Jerome R. Corsi © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

The prosecutor in the high-profile case that sent border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean to prison never showed the defense a potentially exculpatory Department of Homeland Security memo.

The document, an April 12, 2005, memo by Special Agent Christopher Sanchez, was first made public by WND in a report published Feb. 6. Mary Stillinger, attorney for Compean, confirmed she learned of the memo from the WND story.  "This is huge," Stillinger told WND, arguing the government's failure to disclose the document to the defense denied her client his right to a fair trial and establishes the basis for declaring a mistrial.

"The government has a 'Jencks Act requirement' to give us any written statements by DHS Special Agent Christopher Sanchez before the defense cross-examined him," Stillinger told WND.  The Jencks Act requires prior statements of a witness be turned over to the defense before the defense begins cross-examination   "The prosecution could have waited until they questioned Sanchez at trial," Stillinger noted, "but they had an obligation to turn that document over to the defense before we started our cross-examination."   According to the recently published transcript of the Ramos-Compean trial, Stillinger first cross-examined Sanchez Feb. 21, 2006.

Stillinger said the other reason the document should have been disclosed is because the April 12 Sanchez memo is "Brady material" that "could have proved my client innocent."   Under the Supreme Court's 1963 decision Brady v. Maryland, the prosecution is required to turn over to the defense any information that may be exculpatory to the defendant.   As previously reported by WND, the memo lists seven Border Patrol agents and two supervisors who were on the scene of the Feb. 17, 2005, shooting incident for which Ramos and Compean are now in federal prison, sentenced to 11 and 12 years respectively.

The second full paragraph of the DHS memorandum filed by agent Sanchez states:

Investigation disclosed that the following BP agents were at the location of the shooting incident, assisted in destroying evidence of the shooting, and/or knew/heard about the shooting: Oscar Juarez; Arturo Vasquez; Jose Mendoza; David Jaquez; Lance Medrano; Lorenzo Yrigoyen; Rene Mendez; Robert Arnold; and Jonathan Richards.
Of the nine listed agents, two were supervisors, Robert Arnold and Jonathan Richards. Arnold was a supervisory Border Patrol agent and Richards was a field operations supervisor, the senior officer on the field that day. Three of the agents, Vasquez, Jaquez and Juarez, were given immunity by Sutton's office. All were called as witnesses in the case.

The next paragraph of the memo states the DHS investigation concluded the agents on the field Feb. 17 knew about the shooting, assisted Ramos and Compean in picking up the spent shell casings and all failed to report the incident.  Investigation disclosed that none of the above agents, to include Compean and Ramos, reported the shooting or the subsequent cover up when Compean and Vasquez picked up expended brass cartridges (i.e., evidence of the shooting) and threw them away.   "The document couldn't be more important," Stillinger emphasized. "DHS Special Agent Christopher Sanchez makes the defense argument in that report. He points out that none of the seven Border Patrol agents or 2 supervisors on the field reported the shooting, not just Ramos and Compean. Moreover, Vasquez picked up the shells and threw them away, again without the supervisors objecting or filing a report that evidence was being destroyed."

Stillinger stressed Sanchez's report emphasizes why her client Ramos had come to the same conclusion the day of the shooting.  "Ramos thought that surely the supervisors were told about the shooting by all these Border Patrol officers who were standing there on the field discussing the case with their supervisors," she said. "Ramos knew for a fact that several of the Border Patrol agents heard the shooting, so why wouldn't they tell the supervisors?"

Frustrated at the government's decision to withhold the Sanchez memo, Stillinger expressed to WND her distress:   "What the Sanchez memo proves is that if Ramos and Compean were guilty that day, then the other Border Patrol agents who were there and their two supervisors were equally guilty," she said.   Stillinger explained to WND in detail why she considered the memo critical to the defense.   "At the trial, the prosecution acted like it was the most ridiculous thing in the world for my client to have assumed the other agents heard the shooting," Stillinger argued. "Yet here you have a DHS special agent investigating the shooting, and Christopher Sanchez came to the conclusion Ramos came to."

Stillinger maintained this point "goes to the heart of the government's case against my client, that somehow Ramos and Compean 'lied' because they didn't make a point of telling the supervisors, 'We fired our weapons.'"   "Now that we see the Sanchez memo, we find the DHS investigator documented that Ramos and Compean was right in assuming everybody knew," she said.   Stillinger was not sure whether the prosecution had withheld the Sanchez memo from the defense or whether DHS withheld the memo from the prosecutors.   "It doesn't matter," Stillinger told WND. "Either way, prosecutors have to know how serious it is that this memo was withheld from us," she said. "If we had this memo, we certainly would have cross-examined Christopher Sanchez and the other Border Patrol agents differently."

Stillinger pointed out the jurors after the trial told the defense they did not believe Aldrete-Davila.   "We discredited the drug smuggler Aldrete-Davila pretty thoroughly at the trial," she said. "But the overall sentiment was that the jurors had a problem that Ramos and Compean didn't report the shooting. This memo would have proved different."

Stillinger was adamant a mistrial must be declared.   "This memo addresses the most essential element in the trial," she said. "It proves the agents on the field knew about the shooting and even DHS special agent Christopher Sanchez concluded the other agents on the field and the supervisors knew about the shooting."   Attorney Jerri Ward, who has conducted an extensive analysis of the Ramos-Compean case on her blog, supported Stillinger's arguments.

"If all the agents, including the supervisors knew the weapons had been discharged, then there was no need for Compean and Ramos to walk up and say, 'I shot my gun,'" Ward said.   Moreover, she argued, "If the supervisors knew, it was their duty to take it up from there."   Ward concurred that withholding the Sanchez memo was a serious violation of the defendants' right to a fair trial.   "The prosecution's case was 'made' by representing that the agents intentionally hid the discharge of the weapons from the supervisors because they supposedly 'knew' they shot at Aldrete-Davila wrongfully," Ward explained. "This report suggests that nothing was hidden from the fellow Border Patrol agents or the supervisors.

"Withholding exculpatory evidence is not only a violation of the discovery rules," Ward stressed, "it is a violation of the U.S. Constitution to withhold such evidence from the defense."

 Smuggler's 2nd delivery of marijuana confirmed

Border agents' trial transcript shows judge ordered information withheld [ from jury ]
February 16, 2007 By Jerome R. Corsi © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

WASHINGTON "Records have confirmed that Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, the Mexican drug smuggler given immunity to return to the United States and testify against two Border Patrol agents, was involved in smuggling a second load of marijuana into the United States after he was given court protection.".

Newly released transcripts of the trial for Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos have corroborated WND reports that the Mexican illegal alien was involved in the second drug case, this one involving a load of marijuana brought into the U.S. in October 2005.

That followed his grant of immunity by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in return for his testimony against Compean and Ramos, who now are serving 11 and 12 year prison terms following their convictions that they shot Aldrete-Davila as he was fleeing back into Mexico.

A number of activist organizations have been outraged by the agents' predicament for doing what many people believe was no more than their reasonable duties.  There have been repeated calls to President Bush to issue pardons to the former agents [producing absolutely no results - as if the president is covering up the corruption of his friend Sutton, the prosecutor ].

As WND also has reported Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-CA., has sponsored a resolution calling for a congressional pardon for Ramos and Compean, and his office confirmed the resolution already has 82 co-sponsors.

The transcripts, which were obtained by WND, include a discussion between the agents' defense attorney, Mary Stillinger, prosecutor Debra Kanof, and Judge Kathleen Cardone, outside of the presence of the jury.  "For instance, let's just start with "not the October load, let's start with this load," Stillinger states matter-of-factly in the discussion.

Stillinger charged Aldrete-Davila lied when he described himself under oath as a drug amateur who only agreed to drive the drugs to a U.S. stash house because of his indigent state: "But he (Aldrete-Davila) told them (the jury) the story about he's a little mule, and he needed money for his mother's doctor bills, and he needed money to renew his commercial driver's license. He doesn't know who hired him. He doesn't know where the stash house." Stillinger then argued that Aldrete-Davila's second offense revealed him as an experienced drug smuggler:

"In light of the fact that he (Aldrete-Davila) did it again in October, and he personally took the load to the stash house, I think they (prosecution) know that that's a lie." Stillinger argued Aldrete-Davila's statement compromised his grant of immunity, which the prosecution had predicated upon Aldrete-Davila telling the truth. Stillinger continued, mocking statements Aldrete-Davila made about himself under oath which Stillinger claimed were lies, given the second drug offense:

"It goes to the scope of his immunity. One is, he was dishonest back then when he said I'm just a poor little mule. Some guy named Chavo, but I have no idea who he is, hired me. I don't know where the stash house is. Someone was going to meet me and tell me all those things. Those were lies he told back in March." The transcript shows that during the trial conference with the prosecution and defense lawyers, the judge talked about Aldrete-Davila's second offense in an equally matter-of-fact way.

The transcript shows Cardone commenting as follows: "In other words, all the investigation they've (government) done to investigate this case leads up to him (Aldrete-Davila) coming into the country, and then in October committing this second involvement. Okay? But there's no lying, if that's what we're characterizing it as, until the October incident."

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., told WND that the trial transcript now makes clear that "the prime witness against these two Border Patrol agents was involved in another major load of drugs and the prosecution made a conscious decision to keep these facts from the jury."

At the trial, Cardone ruled that Aldrete-Davila was not on trial. She ruled that no reference about the October 2005 drug offense was to be made to the jury and she sealed all records concerning that offense, despite vigorous defense objections that this information not only violated Aldrete-Davila’s immunity grant, but also went to the heart of the defense argument that Aldrete-Davila's testimony was not credible.

Rohrabacher expressed continued outrage that Sutton had decided to grant immunity to an admitted drug dealer so he could prosecute two Border Patrol agents who were trying to apprehend him. "Once Aldrete-Davila was caught a second time," Rohrabacher told WND, "it unmasks the indefensible nature of the prosecutor's decision to go after the Border Patrol agents. If the jury is not allowed to know about Aldrete-Davila's second offense, then Ramos and Compean did not get a fair trial."

The revelation also "raises questions whether what we're talking about here is two honest Border Patrol agents who stumbled across a drug cartel operation and are being punished for coming up against the power of the cartel," Rohrabacher said. "The second drug incident makes clear that Aldrete-Davila's profession is drug smuggling."

Rohrabacher was harshly critical of both Sutton and President Bush. "What Ramos and Compean got was a screw job from day one by the U.S. attorney's office in order to send a message to all Border Patrol agents," Rohrabacher told WND. "The message from Sutton was that the President of the United States makes policy on the border, so don't get in the way. If you haven't gotten the message yet, this is an open border."

He said Sutton was running a "public relations campaign," and charged that Sutton's purpose has been to "poison the well of public opinion, calling Ramos and Compean corrupt, when there never were any corruption charges, then suggesting they shot an unarmed man in the back, when we only have (the) drug dealer's word he was unarmed and the medical evidence is that he was not shot in the back."

"In the Ramos-Compean case we have lie after lie after lie coming out of Sutton's office. And now we've got a public relations campaign to protect Sutton because he is a protégé of the president and the president doesn't want to see his career destroyed," the congressman told WND.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, was equally critical of the prosecution.

"It would now appear that Aldrete-Davila was not some innocent, poor migrant mule bringing narcotics into the United States so he could buy medicine for his sick mother," he said.

"From a reading of the trial transcript, it would now appear that there is at least one more case of bringing drugs into the United States illegally involving Aldrete-Davila," he said.

Poe also felt this information should have reached the jury. "If the jury would have heard about this second instance, it certainly would have affected the drug smuggler's credibility. The drug smuggler was the prosecution's case. This star witness, Aldrete-Davila, had a lot of baggage, no pun intended."

WND has previously reported that the prosecution provided Aldrete-Davila with a multiple-use border pass signed by Homeland Security Special Agent Christopher Sanchez, along with his badge number.

WND also had specifically asked Sutton a broadly framed question, whether "there was any second incident of any kind involving Aldrete-Davila." He responded by denying that the prosecution's star witness was involved in any second drug incident, but the trial transcript now available appears to directly contradict Sutton’s denial.
 
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