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A U.S. District Court criminal complaint obtained by WND documents a Drug Enforcement Administration attempt this month to arrest a man involved in a second drug smuggling attempt by Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, who was given immunity to testify against Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
The complaint says DEA special agents attempted to serve an arrest warrant March 5 on Cipriano Ortiz-Hernandez at 12101 Quetzal Road, Clint, Texas.
The development is significant because the jury in the Ramos-Compean trial was not made aware of the second drug smuggling attempt – which would have violated the immunity agreement with Aldrete-Davila, the chief witness against the agents.
Ramos and Compean are serving sentences of 11 and 12 years respectively for their actions in the shooting of Adlretd-Davila in February 2005 as he fled across the border during a smuggling attempt.
The complaint, which identifies the address as Ortiz-Hernandez’s residence for the past two years, says DEA Special Agent Michael T. Stevens has had contact with Ortiz-Hernandez at that location several times during that time period.
WND previously reported Ortiz-Hernandez involvement in the second drug smuggling incident. Aldrete-Davila was familiar with Ortiz-Hernandez, having grown up with his brother, Jose Roberto Ortiz, in San Ysidro, Mexico.
Ortiz-Hernandez’s address was identified in a Nov. 21, 2005, Department of Homeland Security memo written by DHS Special Agent Christopher Sanchez, as the place where Aldrete-Davila dropped off 752.8 pounds of marijuana in a 1990 Chevy Astro van Oct. 23, 2005.
At the time Aldrete-Davila dropped the drugs off he was under a grant of immunity so he could testify against Ramos and Compean.
WND also has reported Kathleen Cardone, the judge in the Ramos-Compean trial, agreed with prosecutor Debra Kanof’s request to put under seal and keep from the jury all information about Aldrete-Davila’s involvement in the drug incident.
The U.S. District Court criminal complaint documents that DEA special agents knocked on the door at 12101 Quetzal Road at approximately 8 a.m. on March 5. Finding the door slightly ajar, Stevens pushed it open and announced the DEA presence.
Entering the residence, DEA agents were not able to find Ortiz-Hernandez.
Arrested were Ismael Carmona-Bernal and David De La Paz-Rivas after DEA agents found 351.1 pounds of marijuana in two bathroom closets.
According to the criminal complaint, Carmona-Bernal was read his Miranda rights and agreed to speak with the DEA without the presence of an attorney. Carmona-Bernal told that De La Paz-Rivas was being paid $500 a week to guard the marijuana at the residence.
Carmona-Bernal also stated that he observed additional marijuana being delivered to the residence while he was there. Carmona-Bernal told the DEA that he too expected to be paid for guarding the marijuana, but as of the time of the arrest all he had been provided was food and a free place to stay.
A third suspect, Vicente Montoya, was arrested after he drove to the residence a Dodge Hemi truck that neighbors had identified as being involved with the drug traffic at that location.
The criminal complaint charges Carmona-Bernal, De La Paz-Rivas and Montoya with “knowingly and intentionally conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute” the 351.5 pounds of marijuana found at the Ortiz-Hernandez residence.
WND was unable to find out any information about Ortiz-Hernandez’s current location or whether or not Aldrete-Davila was involved with the marijuana confiscated by the DEA during the March 5 search.
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