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Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean (KFOX-TV, El Paso, Texas)
An organization supporting legislation to pardon imprisoned former U.S. Border Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean says about 10,000 faxes have been scheduled to go to Congress – each day – since it launched its campaign.
Grassfire.org Alliance, launched its fax initiative only a week ago, officials said. It seeks to rally support for H.R. 563, by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., that calls for a full pardon for Ramos and Compean, who have been in prison since January.
“Grass-roots Americans refuse to forget about Ramo and Compean and the horrific miscarriage of justice perpetrated against them,” said Steve Elliott, president of the organization. “The fact that we’ve far exceeded our goal in less than one week is proof positive that Americans want justice on behalf of Ramos and Compean.”
Ramos and Compean are in federal prison serving 11 and 12 year sentences for their actions in the shooting of a drug smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila-Aldrete, as he fled back to Mexico after driving across the border with a load of 742 pounds of marijuana in February 2005. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton gave the smuggler immunity to serve as the government’s star witness and testify against the border agents.
While under the protection of that immunity, Aldrete-Davila participated in another drug delivery, but the trial transcript in the Ramos-Compean case shows prosecutors successfully sought to have Judge Kathleen Cardone seal all information about Aldrete-Davila’s second drug bust from the jury.
Defense lawyers had argued the information about that incident – as documented in Department of Homeland Security and Drug Enforcement Administration investigative reports – went to the heart of the smuggler’s credibility when he told jurors his February 2005 escapade was the only time he’d done something like that.
Grassfire.org had intended to have 50,000 faxes scheduled to go to members of Congress after the first week, but far exceeded the plans. The FaxFire plan gives citizens a way to send personalized faxes to their members of Congress, as well as the more than 300 members of Congress who have yet to add their support to the Hunter bill.
“These respected lawmen have been away from their families and in solitary confinement for 104 days. That’s exactly 104 days too many,” Elliott said. “There’s growing bipartisan support for the agents, and Duncan Hunter’s legislation is our best opportunity to free these men and return them to their families.”
In addition to the fax initative, Grassfire.org also has rallied more than 350,000 people to sign a national petition to free the two border guards, officials say.
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