And whats the outcome? A recommended 20 year sentence for the border patrol officers, no charges for the 743 pounds of pot, and Aldrete-Davila now is suing the Border Patrol (i.e., you and me) for $5 million dollars.
Be a Border Patrol agent, do your job, go to prison. That's how the job must look to agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.
In February 2005, the agents tried to stop a van driven by drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila near the Mexico border. After a scuffle with Compean, Aldrete-Davila fled on foot. Ramos says he believes that he saw a gun -- which the smuggler denies. Both agents fired at Aldrete-Davila, who fell, then continued his escape across the border. After he got away, Ramos and Compean filed a report on the 743 pounds of marijuana they found in the van, but not on the gunfire. As it turns out, Ramos had shot Aldrete-Davila in the butt. A Homeland Security agent heard about the episode, went to Mexico and offered Aldrete-Davila immunity, if he testified against Ramos and Compean.
Read the rest
Hat tip: Jarhead
The rationale? The man had no gun, tried to surrender, was supposedly almost struck by the butt of a shotgun of one of the officers, and was attempting to flee. The Border Patrol's policy, after all, is not to pursue fleeing criminals. Thats right -- not to pursue:
According to the U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted the agents, the man they were chasing didn't actually have a gun, shooting him in the back violated his civil rights, the agents didn't know for a fact that he was a drug smuggler, and they broke Border Patrol rules about discharging their weapons and preserving a crime scene.
Even more broadly, Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Kanof said, Ramos and Compean had no business chasing someone in the first place.
"It is a violation of Border Patrol regulations to go after someone who is fleeing," she said. "The Border Patrol pursuit policy prohibits the pursuit of someone."
As Real Clear Politics points out, apparently not:
No surprise, Border Patrol agents routinely ignore the regs. As Ramos responded to Kanof: "How are we supposed to follow the Border Patrol strategy of apprehending terrorists or drug smugglers if we are not supposed to pursue fleeing people? Everybody who's breaking the law flees from us. What are we supposed to do? Do they want us to catch them or not?"
Maybe the answer is: not. T.J. Bonner, president of the agents' union, the National Border Patrol Council, believes this prosecution will discourage agents from doing their jobs. Worse, the agents go to jail, while the smuggler got immunity -- and an incentive ($5 million) to claim he was unarmed, which can't be verified, because he fled.
This is an interesting point, and I believe it is correct. By and large, the movers and shakers in this country don't want illegal immigration solved. They don't want it fixed, because fixing it means ending it. As my dad routinely points out to me, the American people get precisely what they want. Nothing has been done about the "problem" so the outcome is: no problem.
Take it from this point of view. You are an employer in some line of business that requires quite a bit of manual labor. Capitalism dictates that you compete or go out of business. Those around you are more competitive than you because they hire illegals -- and don't pay payroll taxes, health coverage, benefits, or minimum wage. Even if you take the moral high ground and refuse to hire illegals, you're soon driven out of business by market pressure. What's the outcome? The folks left in business (and the ones with money) are the ones hiring illegals.
And don't forget about the illegals themselves. Since they don't pay taxes and get healthcare and schooling for essentially nothing, they're actually making quite a bit of money. In a way, its a commentary on how crippling our high-"service", high-tax economy can be.
The consumers, in the end pay for the illegal alien's use of public services through the tax burden. But they also benefit from the cheaper houses and other products that illegals offer us. The result? People don't really care.
There's the crux of the problem, I believe. This sort of thing is potentially strangling the economy (it is possible that the positive and negative effects come out to a wash, but I don't believe thats the case) and nobody wants to do anything. When the people don't care, the government doesn't care. Worse, then folks with political clout (i.e., money) like the status quo, and would really suffer (i.e., lose money) if it changed, the government actually chooses to fight for the illegals, rather than against them. And you get cases like this, which simply defy the logic of the common man.
So, then, why was this case even prosecuted? Oh, yeah -- what we were just talking about. Corruption.
Why indeed? When the drug dealers have friends among the police, and the police have friends in the justice system...well, you get the idea.
More than two weeks after the shooting, a Department of Homeland Security investigator - acting on a tip from a Border Patrol agent in Arizona - tracked down Aldrete-Davila in Mexico, offering him immunity if he testified against the agents who shot at him.
"Osbaldo (Aldrete-Davila) had told (Border Patrol agent) Rene Sanchez that his friends had told him they should put together a hunting party and go shoot some BP agents in revenge for them shooting Osbaldo," reads a memo written by Christopher Sanchez, an investigator with the department's Office of Inspector General. "Osbaldo advised Rene Sanchez that he told his friends he was not interested in going after the BP agents and getting in more trouble.
Christopher Sanchez outlines how the investigation into Ramos and Compean was initiated.
On March 10, 2005, Christopher Sanchez received a telephone call from Border Patrol agent Rene Sanchez of Wilcox, Ariz., who told the agent about Aldrete-Davila's encounter with Ramos and Compean.
According to the document, Rene Sanchez stated "that Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila's mother, Marcadia Aldrete-Davila, contacted Rene Sanchez's mother-in-law, Gregoria Toquinto, and advised her about the BP agents shooting Aldrete-Davila. Toquinto told her son-in-law, Rene Sanchez, of the incident, and he spoke to Osbaldo via a telephone call."
During the trial, the connection between Rene Sanchez and Aldrete-Davila confused the Ramos family, and "we questioned how an agent from Arizona would know or want to defend a drug smuggler from Mexico," said Monica Ramos.
The sad thing is two good cops who will be in jail for at least the next decade. Try to wrap your mind around that one. The MSM is carefully ignoring this article -- no surprise there.
If they were crooks, they would serve shorter time. Last month, a Border Patrol agent, who admitted to smuggling 100 illegal immigrants while he served on the Border Patrol, got five years. (Prosecutors had recommended three years, but in San Diego, U.S. District Judge John Houston hiked the sentence, telling the man: "You violated the sacred trust of your comrades. As a link in the chain, they depended on you.")
Last week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the case, as she fears this prosecution may represent "a serious miscarriage of justice." It does.