A report by a Department of Homeland Security agent confirms the drug smuggler given immunity to testify against imprisoned border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean committed a second offense, which was hidden by prosecutors, and identifies the smuggler’s accomplice.
As WND previously reported, El Paso Judge Kathleen Cardone sealed all information about smuggler Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila’s second offense and refused to allow the defense to present the information to the jury.
Cardone placed the attorneys involved in the Ramos-Compean case under a gag order and threatened to prosecute the families if any member discussed publicly Aldrete-Davila’s second drug-smuggling incident.
The office of the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, did not return WND phone calls asking for comment on this story.
The Nov. 21, 2005, report by DHS Special Agent Christopher Sanchez indicates Drug Enforcement Administration investigators conducted a “knock and talk” in Clint, Texas, Oct. 23, 2005, in which they learned of Aldrete-Davila’s second incident.
According to the report, Cipriano Ernesto Ortiz-Hernandez, the occupant of 12101 Quetzal in Clint, Texas, positively identified Aldrete-Davila as the driver who dropped off 752.8 pounds of marijuana in a 1990 Chevy Astro van at Ortiz-Hernandez’s home the day before.
Ortiz-Hernandez said he was able to make the identification because Aldrete-Davila lifted his shirt to show him the catheter inserted in his body by a U.S. Army doctor at Beaumont Medical Center in El Paso. Aldrete-Davila was treated at government expense for the wound he suffered in the initial Feb. 17, 2005, incident with Ramos and Compean.
Ortiz-Hernandez – reportedly in a wheelchair at the time of the DEA interview – reciprocated by showing Aldrete-Davila his own catheter.
According to Sanchez’s report, Aldrete-Davila took 752.8 pounds of marijuana across the border Oct. 22, 2005.
Ortiz-Hernandez explained to DEA investigators that Aldrete-Davila decided to bring the drugs to 12101 Quetzal in Clint, Texas, after the van developed engine trouble. Ortiz-Hernandez had never met Aldrete-Davila. But Aldrete-Davila knew about Ortiz-Hernandez, having grown up with his brother, Jose Roberto Ortiz, in San Ysidro, Mexico.
Because of the family connections, Ortiz-Hernandez gave Aldrete-Davila refuge at his safe house.
Ortiz-Hernandez, born Sept. 8, 1970, is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. He does not have a Texas driver’s license but carries a Texas ID card and has a U.S. Social Security number.
In the Ramos-Compean trial transcript, Mary Stillinger, defense attorney for Ignacio Ramos, makes a reference to Ortiz-Hernandez in a sidebar comment to the judge (Vol. VII, p. 226), saying Aldrete-Davila was “discovered at the house of Cipriano Ortiz in September 2005.” WND has confirmed Stillinger had the name correct but the date wrong.
Prosecutor Debra Kanof tells Stillinger, in the trial exchange, Aldrete-Davila would take the Fifth Amendment on any questions concerning his involvement with Ortiz-Hernandez.
Stillinger and family members of Ramos and Compean refused to discuss with WND matters concerning Ortiz-Hernandez out of fear Sutton would prosecute them for violating the gag order.
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, who has helped lead efforts in Congress on behalf of Ramos and Compean, told WND the deal made with Aldrete-Davila to not prosecute him for a second time “tells you two things.”
“Number one, our federal government would do anything to prosecute Ramos and Compean, even giving immunity more than once for bring drugs into the United States,” he said. “And, second, the jury should have known about the second instance, to judge the credibility of this prosecution witness, their only witness, the drug dealer.”
Poe explained that the “better deal a person gets as a witness, common sense would say, the more likely you’re to say what the government wants you to say.”
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