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 ↑
Jesus Diaz Jr.
An advocacy organization for U.S. Border Patrol agents has posted online a series of files containing the discovery documentation in the case against Agent Jesus Diaz, who is serving a 24-month prison term for his encounter with a teenage drug smuggler.
The order from U.S. District Judge Alia Moses came on the heels of a WND report based on some of the targeted documents revealing that the unidentified teenage drug smuggler had compromised his credibility by lying on the scene about any knowledge of marijuana.
The judge wrote: “On this day came on to be heard the government’s motion for a protective order concerning the discovery materials related to this cause number. Having considered same, motion is hereby granted. It is, therefore, ordered that defendant and defendant’s attorneys shall not disclose any part of the discovery materials related to this cause number previously disclosed or disclosed later to defendant, to anyone other than the defendant’s attorneys or the court.”
The prosecution’s request followed immediately after the WND story on the internal government report that suggested no prosecution for Diaz.
That document stated:
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 (sic) 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.
The information from discovery documents in the case prompted prosecutors to seek the nondisclosure order. But President Andy Ramirez of the LEOAC told WND that the order did not apply to his organization. His group obtained the documentation in March, months before the judge’s order, and he said the order applied only to the defendant and his counsel anyway.
“It is our contention that such order does not apply as we received this material nearly eight months prior to Nov. 9, 2011, the date in which it was enacted by the court and that it solely applies to the defense and their counsel on and after that specified dated,” Ramirez explained.
He said that the documents suggest that “key facts were filtered by the court to prevent the jury from learning the truth.”
“It was when the government saw that the document was published on the Internet (WorldNetDaily) on November 9, 2011, that the U.S. attorney’s office filed their motion,” he said.
The document cited by WND explained that the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that its part in the case was closed “and that the narco-trafficker ‘MBE’ was deemed not a credible witness. It also stated that they were recommending the case to CBP Internal Affairs solely for administrative action.”
“This means investigation for discipline, not prosecution,” Ramirez explained.
The same document revealed the U.S. attorney’s office also had declined to prosecute the case, which was resurrected only after the Mexican consul complained.
“This ruling is about suppression as the documents show a case that screams to be brought to public scrutiny given the inconsistencies in the statements by several government witnesses who contradict their own statements as well as each other,” Ramirez said in his statement.
“What is … clear is that such records as the discovery in the prosecution of Agent Diaz, as well as the file in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, which was also sealed …. only further prove that transparency on the part of the Obama administration means to hide or prevent such facts from being revealed to the American people.”
Among the documents revealed in the file is the complaint from the Mexican consul, which claimed that the suspect caught hauling 75 pounds of drugs into the U.S. “was arrested with excessive force” and that “minor complained about the incident once he arrived to the South Station.”
However, the U.S. government’s report said the drug trafficking suspect, who was given immunity by the federal government, “did not complain that he was injured, hurt, or in pain when the official twisted his arms and applied the ‘heavy pressure.’”
Ramirez said, “The government’s case is based on false testimony that is contradicted by the facts. 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.”
On Oct. 20, Judge Moses 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. He was accused eventually of violating the smuggler’s rights by forcing him to the ground during his arrest, handcuffing him, then pulling on his arms to coerce him into complying with orders.
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.
According to the discovery documents, other agents, hours after the alleged incident, claimed to an off-duty Border Patrol officer that Diaz used “excessive force” on the drug smuggler. That’s even though the suspect “was processed for voluntary return to Mexico by BPA Marco A. Ramirez, and subsequently returned to Mexico on the same date.”
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.
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.