Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean

The U.S. government admitted today in federal court that the prosecution’s star witness in the criminal trial of Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean – confessed drug dealer Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila – lied under oath.

“He told some lies on the stand,” Mark Stelmach, the assistant U.S. attorney representing prosecutor U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton said under questioning by a three-judge 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in New Orleans.

Ramos and Compean are appealing prison sentences of 11- and 12-years respectively for a 2005 incident in which they fired on Aldrete-Davila as he fled back into Mexico after smuggling 750 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. near Fabens, Texas.

“Today the justice system worked the way it is supposed to,” Tara Setmayer, communications director for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., told WND immediately following the hearing.

Setmeyer, who attended the hearing, said, “I feel cautiously optimistic the judges will make a ruling quickly.”

“Based on the nature of the questions from the judges, it seems as though the government made their own bed and now they have to lie in it,” she said.

According to Setmayer, Judge Patrick Errol Higginbotham questioned Stelmach closely about why the prosecution had sought to seal from the jury information about a second smuggling attempt by Aldrete-Davila after Sutton’s office gave him immunity and a border pass.

Higginbotham rebuked Stelmach’s suggestion that Aldrete-Davila’s drug history prior to the Feb. 17, 2005, incident with the border agents was not relevant to the trial. The judge argued the second load was relevant because it showed Aldrete-Davila had a brazen disregard for the law, a key factor in evaluating his testimony for the prosecution.

“It defies common sense in the street world,” Higginbotham told Stelmach, “to believe Aldrete-Davila was a poor mule, as he represented at trial, instead of an actual player in the world of the drug cartels.”

As WND reported, the defense lawyers in the appellate briefs filed for Ramos and Compean had argued that the likelihood Aldrete-Davila was carrying a firearm was greatly increased if he was a major player for the drug cartels.

Aldrete-Davila was the only witness who testified at trial that he was unarmed. Since he was not apprehended and frisked on the scene, it was his word at trial against the word of Ramos and Compean. The border agents both testified they saw Aldrete-Davila pointing a shiny object they believed was a gun as he ran away.

“Before the hearing today we were skeptical because we know the government is good at lying,” Joe Loya, father-in-law of Ramos, told WND in a telephone interview.

“Now we are optimistic justice will prevail,” he said. “The government had to admit today the prosecutors let Aldrete-Davila commit perjury at trial.”

The judges today questioned the government closely about the appropriateness of prosecuting Ramos and Compean under 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c), a law passed to require an additional 10-year minimum prison sentence, if felons in the act of committing crimes such as rape or burglary carry a weapon.

WND has reported the Ramos and Compean appellant briefs argued the law was never meant to be applied to law enforcement officers in the pursuit of their duties.

Judge E. Grady Jolly commented the “government overreached” in applying 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c) to Ramos and Compean.

Sutton was present today in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals courtroom in New Orleans, but he did not speak or answer questions from the three-judge panel.

In a press statement issued by his office, Sutton claimed the Ramos-Compean case “has always been about the rule of law.”

“Some in the media and on the Internet have tried to portray agents Compean and Ramos as heroes, but that narrative is false,” Sutton said. “The actions of Compean and Ramos in shooting an unarmed, fleeing suspect, destroying evidence and engaging in a cover-up are serious charges.”

Ramos and Compean were prosecuted “to uphold the rule of law,” Sutton claimed.

“A jury rejected their factual claims of innocence after a two week trial,” he continued. “The case is now before the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which will resolve the disputed legal issues in accordance with the rule of law. I look forward to the decision of the Court of Appeals.”

The third member of the three-judge panel was Judge Edward Charles Prado.

The three-judge panel is expected to issue a ruling within four to six weeks.

Special offers:

Get “The Late Great USA” and find out how America is giving away its sovereignty

“PREMEDITATED MERGER: How leaders are stealthily transforming USA into North American Union”

Autographed! – Pat Buchanan unleashed on border crisis

Tom Tancredo: America itself “In Mortal Danger”

Get Minutemen founder’s new book

“Conquest of Aztlan: Will Mexicans retake American Southwest?”

Previous stories:

Jailed border agents plead for new trial

Rights ‘denied’ Ramos, Compean

Ramos, Compean feared for their lives

Drug smuggler arrested for 2nd marijuana load

‘Pardon Ramos and Compean now!’

Arrest prompts call for release of Ramos, Compean

Bush won’t get involved in Ramos, Compean review

Lawmaker: Terrorists treated better than Ramos, Compean

Texas deputy freed from prison

Jailed Texas deputy scheduled for release

Gil Hernandez ‘fears for his life’

Border Patrol agent vindicated

Sheriff sees pattern in border agents’ cases

Feds seeking 7 years for another Texas cop

Justice urged to release Ramos-Compean documents

Records prompt call for new Ramos-Compean trial

Congressman: Bush ‘doesn’t give a damn’

Cop called ‘double agent’ in Ramos-Compean case

Ramos, Compean release on bond nixed

Border agents’ case inspires song

Feinstein still probing Ramos-Compean case

Judicial Watch seeks records in Ramos-Compean case

Sheriff: Deputy prosecuted by Mexico’s demand

Senate hearings on Ramos-Compean postponed

Smuggler’s 2nd drug case confirmed by accomplice

Ramos attorney calls for mistrial

Smuggler’s 2nd delivery of marijuana confirmed

Congressman: Probe Mexico’s role in prosecutions

Mexico demanded U.S. prosecute sheriff, agents

Discrepancies in case against Border Patrol unresolved

Compean reports reading half of Bible already

How cozy was Border Patrol with smuggler?

Border Patrol agents fired for changing testimonies

Drug smuggler left cell phone in van

Border-agent investigator had tie to smuggler

Author of DHS border-agent report lied to Congress

Officials urged to resign for lie about border agents

Government admits lying about jailed border agents

Imprisoned border agent did report shooting

Imprisoned border agent beaten by fellow inmates

Prosecutor had evidence against drug smuggler

Poe seeks ‘public’ documents on border agents

Prosecutor accused of hiding smuggler’s 2nd drug bust

Homeland Security memos contradict U.S. attorney

Uproar over border agents to get White House review

Feds ‘knew smuggler’ in Border Patrol case

Ballistics data don’t support charge against border agents

Funds set up for Border Patrol agents

Congressman: Feds stonewalling on border agents

Border agent’s wife at State of the Union

Revolt builds as Republicans seek to toss border agents’ convictions

Border Patrol agent held in solitary confinement

Imprisoned agent’s wife: President is a hypocrite

Border agents’ prosecutor responds to critics

Border agents sent to prison

Border agents plead for ‘Christmas pardon’

White House clarifies ‘nonsensical’ comment’

12 congressmen demand pardon for border agents

Snow says question on agents’ prison time ‘nonsensical’

Border Patrol agents sentenced to prison

National Guard units to be armed, close to the border

Gang expert backs Tancredo charge

National Guard units to be armed, close to the border

No militarization of U.S.-Mex border

Not even killer flu to shut U.S. border

Chertoff downplays Mexican military incursions

‘Shoot illegals’ comment earns host FCC complaint

Another armed incursion on U.S.-Mexico border

Texas border standoff with Mexican military

Border Patrol warned: Brace for violence

Feds to border agents: Assassins targeting you

Armed standoff on Rio Grande

Border sheriff warns: We’re overwhelmed

Mexican drug commandos expand ops in 6 U.S. states

It’s war between cops in Mexico

The threat from Mexico

‘It’s a war’ along Mexican border

Mexican commandos seek control of border

Mexican commandos new threat on border

Border Patrol agents shot in Laredo

Mexicans shoot at Border Patrol

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.