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The federal government has obtained an indictment against Cipriano Ortiz-Hernandez for drugs found in his safe-house in October 2005, but still has failed to pursue action against Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, the drug smuggler in the Ramos-Compean case, who reportedly delivered those drugs to the safe-house, according to documents WND has obtained.
Ortiz-Hernandez has been named in a federal drug indictment that alleges federal agents discovered about 5,000 pounds of marijuana at his house over a period of several visits from March 2004 to October 2005. But Aldrete-Davila, who made that 750-pound delivery on Oct. 23, isn’t being pursued, apparently because of the immunity U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton gave him for an earlier smuggling operation when he unsuccessfully brought a vanload of drugs into the U.S., documents indicate.
That first smuggling operation was when Aldrete-Davila was confronted by U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, and as they shot at him he fled on foot back across the border into Mexico.
It was for that case that Ramos and Compean were convicted of shooting at the fleeing drug dealer, and for which they now are serving prison sentences of 11 and 12 years.
“This shows that Ortiz-Hernandez was a major drug dealer,” Joe Loya, father-in-law of Agent Ignacio Ramos, told WND. “It also should prove that Aldrete-Davila lied on the stand in the Ramos and Compean case when he said he was an amateur who only did this one offense because his mother was sick and he needed to buy her medicine he could not afford. Aldrete-Davila’s story is lie, after lie, after lie. He crossed the border and drove the second load directly to Ortiz-Hernandez’s home.”
But WND can find no documentation that Aldrete-Davila has yet been brought before any federal grand jury on drug charges or that any drug offense criminal indictments are outstanding for him, even though government documents confirm links between Aldrete-Davila and the Oct. 23, 2005, drug discovery at Ortiz-Hernandez’s home.
Sutton’s office did not return messages left by WND asking for a comment, but Loya said he believes there is a reason for the government’s behavior.
“It would appear that Sutton doesn’t want to catch Aldrete-Davila,” Loya told WND. “Sutton in effect has [given] complete immunity to Aldrete-Davila both for the Feb. 17, 2005 incident with Ramos and Compean and now for this second load that he brought to Ortiz-Hernandez’s home on Oct. 23, 2005.
“If Sutton really wanted to enforce the law, all he has to do is ask the Mexican government to hand over Aldrete-Davila for prosecution,” Loya told WND. “What more proof does Sutton need to demand the Mexican government hand him over?”
Loya also speculated that Sutton does not want to prosecute Aldrete-Davila because Sutton intends for the blame to go on Ramos and Compean if Aldrete-Davila should win his $5 million law suit against the Border Patrol.
“Sutton has been protecting Aldrete-Davila from the very beginning,” Loya maintained. “At trial, all the government had to do was put the handcuffs on Aldrete-Davila and take him away for the second load. But that would have thrown Sutton’s case against Ramos and Compean right out the window.”
“It’s totally unjust that Ramos and Compean are in prison, put there by the word of a lying drug smuggler,” Loya told WND. “How can it be fair when Aldrete-Davila is free to sue the Border Patrol and collect for his lying testimony, while Ramos and Compean are behind bars? Our attorneys were prohibited by the judge from letting the jury know that Aldrete-Davila came back with the second load while he had immunity from Sutton to testify.”
“By protecting Aldrete-Davila and sealing from the jury the information about the second load with Ortiz-Hernandez, Sutton has decided that he will participate in Aldrete-Davila’s lie,” Loya charged. “It’s time justice be served. Where is the indictment against Aldrete-Davila? We now have the proof that both these guys, Aldrete-Davila and Ortiz-Hernandez, are professional drug dealers who need to be behind bars. Ramos and Compean need to be free. That’s the only way justice will be served in this case.”
WND has obtained a copy of the March 28, 2007, indictment (Page1 and Page 2) against Ortiz-Hernandez that was filed in the U.S. District Court in El Paso. The indictment was signed for the government by Debra Kanof, the assistant U.S. attorney in Johnny Sutton’s office who prosecuted the Ramos-Compean case. The indictment was filed with Kathleen Cardone, the judge who presided over the Ramos-Compean case.
The three counts of the indictment charge Ortiz-Hernandez under 21 U.S.C. Section 846, with conspiring to possess a controlled substance.
WND has also obtained a copy of an earlier criminal complaint (Page 1, Page 2, and Page 3) prepared against Ortiz-Hernandez in the El Paso U.S. District Court on March 2, 2007, when authorities still apparently were seeking the indictment.
The complaint documents that DEA Special Agent Michael T. Stevens and agents with the U.S. Border Patrol conducted a drug raid at Ortiz-Hernandez’s home on October 23, 2005, and both filings lend additional corroboration for WND’s previous report that a drug raid at the Ortiz-Hernandez home on that date involved the “second load” delivered by Aldrete-Davila, while he had immunity from Sutton’s office in the Ramos-Compean case.
The March 2, 2007, criminal complaint documents that Stevens found Ortiz-Hernandez at home on October 23, 2005. Further, Ortiz-Hernandez admitted there was marijuana on the property. Ortiz-Hernandez signed a DEA “Consent to Search” form.
A DEA canine then searched the property and detected drugs in a storage shed and a van on the Ortiz-Hernandez property. Agents searched the shed and found seven sacks containing 300 pounds of marijuana. The van contained six bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 450 pounds.
The criminal complaint fails to identify the van. The 750 pounds of marijuana found on the Ortiz-Hernandez property, however, correspond to the 752.8 pounds of marijuana WND previously reported were documented in a Nov. 21, 2005, report written by Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Christopher Sanchez.
The criminal complaint further indicates that shortly after the drug raid, on October 26, 2005, Stevens and Special Agent Ramirez met Ortiz-Hernandez at the Fabens, Texas, Border Patrol Station. This is the same Border Patrol Station to which Ramos and Compean were assigned.
According to the criminal complaint, “Ortiz was told by SA Ramirez that he was not going to be arrested and was free to leave.” Ortiz agreed to talk with the agents.
Ortiz told the agents that marijuana had been seized from his house on March 11, 2004. According to the criminal complaint, “El Paso DEA reports confirm that 998 pounds of marijuana was seized from Ortiz’s residence located at 12101 Quetzel Road on March 11, 2004. At that time, Ortiz stated that he was allowing his house to be used as a “stash house.”
The criminal complaint further indicated that Ortiz-Hernandez was not arrested, either on March 11, 2004 or on October 23, 2005, despite the drugs that were seized at his home on each occasion.
The criminal complaint explains the failure to arrest Ortiz-Hernandez on March 11, 2004 as follows:
Due to an on-going investigation and Ortiz’s medical condition, Ortiz was not arrested at that time. Ortiz stated that he was storing marijuana at his residence on this occasion for someone that he did not know. Ortiz stated that a friend had sent someone over with the marijuana and asked Ortiz to store it overnight at his residence for $1,000. Ortiz stated that the DEA came to his residence on that night and seized the marijuana.
The criminal complaint also documents that in July 2005, a juvenile had come to Ortiz-Hernandez’s home and asked to store marijuana. The juvenile paid Ortiz-Hernandez $300 and stored five sacks containing 300 pounds of marijuana in Ortiz-Hernandez’s shed.
The report continued, reporting on what Ortiz-Hernandez told federal authorities at the Fabens, Texas, Border Patrol Station on Oct. 26, 2005:
Ortiz then stated that from early July of 2005, through October of 2005, he had stored marijuana for this juvenile subject on approximately 10 occasions. Ortiz stated that on each occasion the marijuana was delivered and stored at his residence in the same manner.
Each time, the juvenile dropped off five sacks containing 300 pounds of marijuana and Ortiz-Hernandez was paid $300.
The criminal complaint documents the following marijuana incidents involving nearly 5,000 pounds of marijuana held at Ortiz-Hernandez’s “stash house” residence in Clint, Texas, between March 2004 and October 2005:
March 11, 2004, 2004 – Approximately 998 pounds of marijuana seized from Ortiz’s residence in Clint, Texas.
October 23, 2005 – Approximately 750 pounds of marijuana seized from Ortiz’s residence in Clint, Texas. This is the incident that corresponds with the Aldrete-Davila “second load” delivered while he was given immunity by Sutton and had possession of a DHS-signed border pass card.
July – October, 2005 – Approximately 3,000 pounds of marijuana stored at Ortiz’s residence in Clint, Texas.
At the Ramos-Compean trial, Aldrete-Davila was given “use immunity” by prosecutors, meaning that Aldrete-Davila’s testimony at trial could not be used to prosecute him for any drug offenses involving the Feb. 17, 2005 incident for which Ramos and Compean were prosecuted.
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