Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
It’s happening again!
Jesus Diaz Jr.
U.S. Border Patrol agent Jesus Diaz Jr. has been sentenced to 24 months in jail after his arrest of an illegal alien for grabbing the arms of the drug smuggler and lifting them in order to make him comply with his orders.
The legal case against the officer, who previously had been cleared of wrongdoing in two separate investigations, was “solely motivated by politics and is yet another example of prosecutorial abuse and misconduct while protecting Mexico’s narco-terror influences,” organizers of the website said.
The prosecution was conducted after the juvenile suspect, who reportedly was caught with some 75 pounds of drugs he had smuggled into the U.S., was given immunity by the U.S. government.
The sentence was announced by U.S. District Judge Alia Moses Ludlum in San Antonio.
Border watchers will remember the extended battle fought by Border Agents Iganica Ramos and Jose Compean after they were prosecuted, convicted and jailed, again at the request the Mexican government, for shooting at and striking another drug smuggler who reportedly dropped a load in the U.S. and was fleeing back to Mexico.
Their punishments ultimately were commuted by President George W. Bush, although they did not receive pardons, leaving their convictions on their records.
“We have reviewed the paperwork … as well as the official court transcripts. … The government’s case is based on false testimony that is contradicted by the facts. This includes the charge that Agent Diaz was physically abusive to the then minor ‘MBE’ as noted by court documents and transcripts in that Diaz allegedly put his knee on his back and pulled back on his handcuffs,” said a statement prepared by Andy Ramirez, president of the LEOAC.
Other witnesses who claimed to have seen any misbehavior also could not, as it was 2 a.m. and dark at the time of the incident on Oct. 16, 2008, the organization said.
“The agent who stood next to Mr. Diaz, Marco Ramos testified that he did not see anything that was claimed to have taken place,” noted Ramirez.
Those who testified against Diaz not only didn’t raise any objection at the time, they “went off-duty to a local ‘Whataburger’ restaurant, got their stories straight and reported it hours later to an off-duty supervisor at his house.
“The doper claimed he suffered no injuries during his testimony during the trial. He was sore from his shoulders. However, that was due to the weight of the drug load, approximately 75 pounds that he carried across the border. There were two dopers apprehended during the incident and 150 pounds total drugs seized,” the agent’s support team said.
The then-minor lied to the field agents, the Border Patrol station, the government and the consulate, as well as the grand jury.
He “then admitted to his lies … after being granted immunity,” Ramirez said.
Diaz’ wife, in a statement released through LEOAC, said, “This is a bogus case to begin with as the facts clearly showed.”
“We will continue to lead this fight and stand by Chito, Diana, and their children until his name is cleared,” said Ramirez. “Having worked on as many cases as we have, this one is without question, the most atrocious yet. It is clear that our government gave Mexico City the scalp of yet another agent.”
He noted Diaz previously was cleared by the Office of Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility.
“How this became a criminal case demands intense scrutiny and oversight. It should have been prosecuted against the dopers,” he said. “Our government is far more concerned with the so-called rights of criminal illegal alien dopers than our agents who continued to be prosecuted for doing their job.
“Congress needs to investigate this case and the pattern of misconduct and abuse that has resulted in an innocent agent going to prison yet again,” he said.
He said he’d been in touch with several members of Congress already regarding this issue, and said the unvarying response has been, “Again?”
Ramirez said the courts have proven unreliable for delivering justice in such cases, and he’ll be working to present evidence to Congress and others.
Ramos and Compean were convicted of various charges that stemmed from firing their service weapons at a fleeing drug smuggler, and they were given prison terms
of more than a decade.
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean
While Bush commuted the prison sentences – releasing them for time served – a pardon was not granted, leaving the felony convictions on their records.
The original case stemmed from the Feb. 17, 2005, shooting of Oswaldo Aldrete-Davila. The two officers said they thought Aldrete-Davila was armed and made a threatening move.
WND was among the first to report Aldrete-Davila then committed a second drug offense, smuggling a second load of 750 pounds of marijuana across the border while he was under immunity by federal prosecutor Johnny Sutton’s office and in possession of a border-pass card authorized by the Department of Homeland Security.
“The man was handcuffed, and allegedly, Diaz lifted his handcuffs to force him to the ground because he was not cooperative” he wrote. “These two Border Patrol prosecutions have more in common than the eternal vigilance of Johnny Sutton. In these cases and many others, the U.S. attorney’s office was responding to protests from the Mexican government that its citizens were being mistreated by Border Patrol agents.
“Why do we see this acute sensitivity to the wishes and interests of the corrupt government of Mexico in matters of U.S. criminal law and U.S. border security? This is almost laughable, but to the 20,400 officers of the Border Patrol, it is more than a nuisance. It is a threat held over their heads daily,” Tancredo said.
Aldrete-Davila was granted immunity for his drug smuggling by federal prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against the agents. He had crossed the Rio Grande and picked up a marijuana-loaded vehicle near El Paso. After a car chase in which he fled from the officers, he abandoned the vehicle and ran back across the border on foot. He was shot in the buttocks as he ran.
Joseph Farah, editor of WND, launched a petition and letter-writing campaign in the latter days of the Bush administration, seeking support for the agents.
The petition collected more than 40,000 signatures by the time President Bush commuted the agents’ sentences. The letter campaign produced more than 3,000 FedEx letters to the White House.
WND sent copies of some of the news stories and commentaries to the agents in prison. When Compean learned about the petition and FedEx campaign, he sent a letter to WND from the Federal Correctional Institution in Lisbon, Ohio.
“Although our case received attention before we reported to prison, I truly believed people would forget all about us,” Compean wrote at the time. “Once we reported to prison, I was very happy to see how wrong I was. I have received thousands of letters from people all over the country. I have also received letters from other countries such as Italy and even a few from soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Joe Loya, Ramos’ father-in-law, also said at the time he was thankful for the in-depth coverage.
“We can only thank Joseph Farah, Jerome Corsi and the staff at WorldNetDaily because from the beginning you have been with us and you never gave up on the case,” he said at the time of the commutation. “Your reporting had a lot to do with the decision … by President Bush to commute the sentences.”