Ramos-Compean convictions affirmed
The latest update; no relief for the Border Patrol agents.
Ramos-Compean convictions affirmed by court of appeals
"The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today " [2008 July 28] "affirmed the major counts against former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, reversing only a minor obstruction of justice count.
Ramos and Compean are serving 11- and 12-year prison sentences, respectively, after a jury convicted them of violating federal gun laws and covering up the shooting of a drug smuggler as he fled back to Mexico after driving across the border with 743 pounds of marijuana in February 2005. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton's office gave the smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, immunity to serve as the government's star witness and testify against the border agents.
The agents were convicted for assault, discharge of a weapon in the commission of a crime of violence, tampering with an official proceeding and deprivation of civil rights.
The court affirmed all convictions except for tampering with an official proceeding, which it vacated and remanded for resentencing.
The bulk of their sentences, however, stem from a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence imposed by Congress for anyone convicted of discharging a weapon in the commission of a crime. Only a reversal of that count could remove 10 years from their sentences.
The last remaining level of appeal for Ramos and Compean is the U.S. Supreme Court.
The families of the former agents were devastated upon hearing the decision, and Joe Loya, father-in-law to Ramos, told WND the families intend to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, told WND the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans made a 'bad decision' in siding with the word of a now-convicted drug smuggler rather than the two Border Patrol agents..."