Jesus Diaz Jr.
WND has learned that the Obama administration is moving to impose a gag order in the case of Border Patrol Agent Jesus “Chito” Diaz, Jr., in direct response to the publication by WND of an April 2009 DHS report documenting the government initially had declined prosecution.
Subsequently, apparently after the intervention of the Mexican government, the Obama administration reversed its decision and decided to prosecute Diaz for violating the civil rights of a 15-year-old Mexican drug smuggler, identified only by the initials “MBE,” who was in the process of smuggling 75 pounds of marijuana concealed in a backpack into the United States.
Diaz currently is in federal prison serving a two-year criminal sentence in solitary confinement.
Obama administration seeking to silence Diaz case debate
The U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Texas has requested a protective order from the U.S. district court to seal all discovery documents released to the defense lawyers in the Diaz case.
This is in direct response to the publication by WND on Wednesday of a report written by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility, and submitted April 20, 2009, documenting that the OPR recommended administrative action in the Diaz case, after the U.S. attorney’s office in Del Rio, Texas, had declined prosecution.
The document, as received and as published by WND, had “DEFENSE COPY” stamped across the text, making it clear the document originated from documents provided the Diaz defense attorneys by the U.S. attorney’s office, in the process of pre-trial discovery.
The OPR document published by WND also made clear that the injury suffered by the Mexican teenage drug-smuggler appeared to be minor, according to the reports of investigating DHS agents.
“In his statement [Name Redacted] did not complain that he was injured, hurt, or in pain when the official twisted his arms and applied the “heavy pressure,” the OPR report stated, referring to the teenage drug-smuggler. “[Name redacted] was processed for voluntary return to Mexico by BPA Marco A. Ramirez, and subsequently returned to Mexico on the same date.”
Andy Ramirez, president of the Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council, which is working on the Diaz case, told WND the action of the U.S. attorney’s office was designed to cut WND and other news agencies off from documentary evidence that if made public would embarrass the Obama administration in the Diaz case.
“It is our contention that this motion is in direct response to the story by WND reporter Jerome Corsi as published on November 9, 2011, in which WND published a key document by the DHS Office of Professional Responsibility identifying that their part in the case was closed and that the narco-trafficker ‘MBE’ was deemed not a credible witness,” Ramirez said in a statement on the group’s website.
“The government’s case is based on false testimony that is contradicted by the facts,” he continued. “Clearly, the U.S. attorney’s office is concerned that WND will obtain other documents proving the prosecution of Diaz involved an abuse of government authority.”
Ramirez maintained that the U.S. attorney’s office wants to make it as difficult as possible for Diaz to clear his name.
“The best way to do that is to keep the lights out, so the public cannot see,” Ramirez said. “The publication of the OPR memo by WND was humiliating to the Obama administration because the document exposed that the prosecution was without basis, resting on the testimony of a teenage drug-dealer who had no credibility.”
Government demanding payment
Separately, WND has obtained a letter sent by the U.S. attorney’s office, dated Nov. 7, 2011, in the Western District of Texas to the Diaz family demanding payment of a nearly $7,000 fine within 30 days.
The government letter specified that the government has placed a lien on all Diaz assets, including the family home held in the name of Diaz’s wife, such that the Diaz family cannot sell any assets, including the family home, without the permission of the government.
“This demand letter is another outrage,” Ramirez said, “in that the judge at Diaz’s sentencing told the family that the government would make no attempt to collect the fine until Diaz had served his prison term.”
Instead, the DOJ letter suggested Agent Diaz could work in prison under the Inmate Financial Responsibility Program to begin paying the fine in small increments, with money Diaz might earn working in prison.
“This is another example of the draconian abuse by a rogue federal prosecutor’s office in the Western District of Texas, that is bent on prosecuting Border Patrol agents doing their duty, while refusing to hold these criminal illegal aliens for the countless violations of law on their part,” Ramirez said.
Report confirms smuggler lied
On page three, a key paragraph of the four-page report that was published, available in its entirety here, documented that the unnamed teenage drug smuggler had lied on the scene about any knowledge of marijuana, thereby compromising his credibility:
On April 16, 2009, AUSA (Assistant U.S. Attorney) Schall contacted SSA (Senior Special Agent) White and advised that he had conferred with U.S. Department of Justice, Prosecutor Michal Frank, the USAO (U.S. Attorney’s Office)/San Antonio and the USAO/Del Rio. AUSA Schall stated that based on the information that [Name Redacted] was apprehended in what appeared to be illegal activity of smuggling marihuana into the U.S., and that he lied to BPAs (Border Patrol Agents) on the scene about any knowledge of marijuana; [Name Redacted] credibility was questionable at best. Further, based on the fact that [Name Redacted] was not available to testify about the alleged use of excessive force applied to him by BPA DIAZ, and there did not appear to be any chance of locating him in the near future, the USAO/Del Rio declined to prosecute BPA DIAZ.
So, why was Diaz prosecuted?
“It looks to me like the Justice Department wanted a scalp to give to Mexico,” Ramirez said.
“If we look at the time frame, a month after the DHS OPR investigative report was filed in April 2009, the Mexican Consulate told Border Patrol Internal Affairs that the Mexican teenager had been found,” he said. “The prosecution was done in order to satisfy the Mexican government.”
On October 20, U.S. District Judge Alia Moses Ludham sentenced Diaz to 24-months in prison after he was found guilty in a federal criminal trial of denying the Mexican teenager of his constitutional rights by applying excessive force during the incident.
Diaz was accused of having handcuffed the youth behind his back and pressing the suspect to the ground with his knee.
He is currently serving his sentence in federal prison in solitary confinement.
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., already has asked for a congressional investigation and he’s suggested to Attorney General Eric Holder that a fine of $6,870, which the government already is trying to collect from Diaz’ family, either be waived or delayed.
Hunter has warned, “The prosecution of Agent Diaz sets a dangerous precedent and creates unnecessary confusion among law enforcement on the border. We must not send a message to the men and woman of the U.S. Border Patrol, as well as the smugglers and criminals that they are committed to apprehending, that they could face jail time or such disproportionate sentencing for doing their jobs, regardless of the facts.”
WND previously reported that Diaz was sentenced to 24 months in jail for grabbing the arms of the drug smuggler and lifting them to make him comply with orders. According to the FreeAgentDiaz.com website, Diaz was “maliciously prosecuted at the request of the Mexican consul in Eagle Pass, Texas.”
The legal case against the officer 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.
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean
Border watchers will remember the extended battle fought by Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean after they were prosecuted, convicted and jailed, again at the request of the Mexican government, for shooting at and striking a 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.
Their 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 the protection of immunity from federal prosecutor Johnny Sutton’s office and in possession of a border-pass card authorized by the Department of Homeland Security.
WND also reported when Aldrete-Davila admitted to federal drug smuggling charges, was convicted and sentenced to federal prison for a 57 months.
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.