The drug smuggler who was shot at by former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean and testified against them when they were convicted in the case was issued unconditional, unescorted access to the United States during a period that included his involvement in a second drug smuggling incident, according to U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R.-Calif.

He has obtained – and provided WND with – copies of Department of Homeland Security border pass cards issued to Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, the smuggler in the case, covering that period of time.

“It appears as though the U.S. Attorney’s Office was so intent on getting Ramos and Compean that their judgment was totally clouded to the degree they aided and abetted a criminal who was at that point actively engaged and already involved with a drug cartel,” Rohrabacher said in a statement from his office.

“Obviously, giving a free border crossing pass to a known drug smuggler either reflects total incompetence or a warped sense of prosecutorial priorities which has plagued this case from the beginning,” Rohrabacher stressed.

Rohrabacher’s office released today a total of six border crossing passes that had been issued Aldrete-Davila over a one-year period starting March 2005, with the final border crossing pass issued in January 2006. That pass extended border crossing privileges to March 31, 2006.

WND broke the news that DHS issued the first border pass card to Aldrete-Davila on March 16, 2005, the date that Border Patrol Agent Rene Sanchez brought Aldrete-Davila from Mexico to William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, to have a bullet removed.

Medical records obtained by WND document that on March 16, 2005, Dr. Winston Marne removed a large bullet fragment from Aldrete Davila’s right thigh.

WND also has reported that the criminal investigation of Ramos and Compean began after the Mexican consulate contacted the U.S. Consulate in Mexico in March 2005, saying they had a Mexican national who claimed to have been shot by Border Patrol agents.

On March 4, 2005, the U.S. Consulate contacted U.S. attorney’s office at the Department of Justice. The Mexican national involved was Aldrete-Davila and the Mexican Consulate’s demand led to the indictment and conviction of Ramos and Compean.

The Mexican Consulate’s contacts with the U.S. Consulate in Mexico appear to have preceded the issuance of the first border patrol pass by DHS by less than two weeks.

The first pass was good for “multiple entries,” and was valid until April 15, 2005. The border pass was signed by DHS agent Sanchez and recorded his badge number.

Five additional border pass cards were issued to Davila subsequent to March 2005, the last one issued on Jan. 24, 2006, marked valid for “multiple entries” until March 31, 2006.

That means the final DHS border pass was issued three months after the October 2005 “second load” incident involving Aldrete-Davila with Ortiz-Hernandez.

WND also broke the news that a Nov. 21, 2005, report by DHS Special Agent Christopher Sanchez indicated the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted a “knock and talk” in Clint, Texas, Oct. 23, 2005, in which they learned of Aldrete-Davila’s second load.

According to the Nov. 21, 2005, DHS 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.

The last DHS border pass, expiring on March 31, 2006, was valid for fully three weeks after the Ramos and Compean trial had ended.

Closing statements in the Ramos-Compean case were made on March 6, 2006, before U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone in El Paso. Aldrete-Davila concluded his testimony at trial on February 23, 2006.

Rohrabacher also released documents that indicate following his March 16, 2005, surgery to have the bullet removed, Aldrete-Davila received medical treatment at the William Beaumont Medical Center that extended until October 20, 2005.

Eight medical appointments are registered for Aldrete-Davila at the William Beaumont Medical Center from March 24, 2005, until October 20, 2005.

The final border pass, expiring on March 31, 2006, then was valid for fully five months after Aldrete-Davila’s medical treatment at the William Beaumont Medical Center.

The records indicate that the total “out-of-pocket” cost to the U.S. government for the medical treatment Aldrete-Davila received at the William Beaumont Medical Center was $9,100, which includes approximately $8,500 for removing the bullet and housing costs for DHS agents to guard Aldrete-Davila during trial.

The records provide no documentation for any agents guarding Aldrete-Davila on any border crossings he may have made subsequent to the end of the Ramos-Compean trial.

The records do not indicate if Aldrete-Davila used a DHS-issued border crossing pass to enter the U.S. in October 2005, driving the Astro van that brought the 752.8 pounds of marijuana to Ortiz-Hernandez’s safe house in Clint, Texas.

Rohrabacher obtained copies of Aldrete-Davila’s border pass cards in a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Ramos and Compean currently are serving 11- and 12-year sentences respectively in federal prison for a Feb. 17, 2005, incident in which Ramos and Compean fired their weapons at Aldrete-Davila as he fled across the Mexican border.

The incident involving Ramos and Compean began when Aldrete-Davila, entered the U.S. from Mexico illegally to smuggle into the United States a van containing 743 pounds of marijuana. This load is commonly referred to as “the first load” Aldrete-Davila smuggled into the United States in the Ramos-Compean case.

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