By Heidi Thiess
We are still closely watching the Border Patrol case, especially after last week's explosive news that the DHS had lied to Congressmen
who were looking into the case. Close on the heels of that shocking revelation, we noted that US Attorney Johnny Sutton, the prosecutor in this case, has lied openly and repeatedly about this case to the media
. In an effort to counter Sutton's lies, here is one of his favorite public statements
about Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean deconstructed:
"These guys did very serious crimes and once anybody who knows all the facts of this case — the fact that they shot at an unarmed guy 15 times, lied about it, covered it up, destroyed the evidence ... it's hard for me to imagine a prosecutor would look the other way," he said.
1. It has not been proven that the drug smuggler was unarmed. Sutton has been unable to prove it, yet he states it like it's a fact. Furthermore, two of the drug smuggler's own family members have made statements that he has been running drugs since he was 13 or 14 and has never
smuggled drugs without being armed.
2. Compean and Ramos DID NOT LIE about shooting the drug smuggler. They didn't know
that they had until almost a month later! And it's still not proven that Ramos is the one who shot the drug smuggler.
3. The DID NOT try to "cover it up". They verbally reported
to their superiors that they fired their weapons.
4. They DID NOT destroy evidence. Sutton has been harping on this because he claims that the site of the shooting was a "crime scene" and that the BP agents knowingly altered the scene of the crime by picking up their shell casings. That is FALSE. The agents, including the agents that were with them at the time of the shooting, did NOT designate the area a crime scene, since they did NOT know that the drug smuggler had been shot.
5. In fact, far from lying about the incident or "covering it up", Ramos and Compean followed procedures exactly
U.S. Border Patrol firearms policy specifically states that agents are prohibited from filing a report if a shooting incident takes place and that only an oral report to supervisors is required.
"Ensure that supervisory personnel or INS investigating officers are aware that employees involved in a shooting incident shall not be required or allowed to submit a written statement of the circumstances surrounding the incident," according to the firearms policy. "All written statements regarding the incident shall be prepared by the local INS investigating officers and shall be based upon an interview of the INS employee."
INS refers to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which oversaw the Border Patrol prior to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. The shooting policy has remained unchanged.
Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General documents obtained by the paper show that all nine agents on the scene at the time of the shooting - including two supervisors - knew shots had been fired.
Oscar Garcia, El Paso Border Patrol Union representative with Local 1929 and a firearms instructor, said that the Report of Apprehension or Seizure filed by Compean and Ramos on the day of the incident was accurate. Garcia stated that the agent's omission of the shooting in the drug seizure report followed firearms policy.
"Our own policy prohibits them from filing any report on the shooting incident," Garcia said. "The U.S. Attorney's assertion that they covered up the incident by not filing a report is ridiculous."
6. On Saturday, it was further revealed that two of the Border Patrol agents that had testified on behalf of the prosecution against
Ramos and Compean also lied in their testimony during the trial
Two Border Patrol agents who testified against two co-workers convicted of shooting a drug smuggler will be fired for changing their stories about events surrounding the shooting, according to documents obtained by the Daily Bulletin.
Sources inside the Border Patrol also say Oscar Juarez, a third agent who testified against Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, resigned from the agency last month shortly before he was to be fired.
All three agents gave sworn testimony against Ramos and Compean for the U.S. Attorney's Office, which successfully prosecuted the shooting case in March. The agents were given immunity in exchange for their testimony despite changing their accounts of the incident several
"When you give deals to witnesses like immunity, the government usually gets the testimony (it wants)," said Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, a former judge and prosecutor. "This case is a perfect example."
What else is Johnny Sutton up to, besides being a bald-faced liar and coercing others to lie? As we've already reported in our previous coverage, he's an over-zealous prosecutor of American law enforcement officers
who are doing their best to protect America and themselves
from coyotes, drug smugglers, and the other criminals turning our borders into a war zone. Ramos and Compean are not Sutton's only victims:
A Texas deputy sheriff who fired shots at a fleeing vehicle after the driver tried to run him down faces 10 years in prison for injuring one of the passengers, a Mexican national being smuggled illegally into the United States.
The U.S. attorney, who won lengthy prison terms last year for two U.S. Border Patrol agents in the shooting of a drug-smuggling suspect, also prosecuted Edwards County Deputy Sheriff Guillermo F. Hernandez, who is to be sentenced next month.
The deputy's boss, Sheriff Donald G. Letsinger, said his officer -- who had been on the job for a year -- "followed the letter of the law" in defending himself in the April 2005 incident and questioned why the government brought charges.
"This is a fine young man, and I just don't believe he committed the wrong of which he was accused," Sheriff Letsinger said. "I have never had anything hurt me so badly as this prosecution. We've got to make this right."
Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican, called the prosecution and conviction of Hernandez, known to his friends as "Gilmer," "another example of how the federal government is more concerned about people [who are] illegally invading America than it is about the men who protect America."
"Once again, our government is on the wrong side of the border war," Mr. Poe said.
The deputy's Dec. 1 conviction has enraged his hometown of Rocksprings, Texas, population 1,250, where "Free Gilmer" signs have been posted. The Baptist church is paying the deputy's mortgage and others have come up with costs for the family's truck, propane and water bills. Hernandez, 25, and his wife, Ashley, have a 4-month-old daughter.
"The town is outraged that this has happened to our deputy," said the Rev. Albert Green, pastor at the First Baptist Church. "Those people were in this country illegally, and they tried to run him down. They were the criminals, but the prosecutors made our deputy out to be the criminal."
"I do not know a single person who doesn't feel Gilmer was prosecuted for doing his job," said Mr. Green, who is the deputy's pastor. "I do not know a finer, more well-behaved gentleman. He would not purposely or willfully hurt anyone."
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, appointed in October 2001 by President Bush, said Hernandez fired shots at the vehicle as it sped away "knowing it was occupied with the nine individuals," at least seven of whom were illegal aliens -- some of whom later were called to testify for the government.
Hernandez was convicted after a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Del Rio, Texas, 75 miles southwest of Rocksprings -- found guilty of violating "under the color of law" the civil rights of Maricela Rodriguez-Garcia, a Mexican national.
Furthermore, those same illegals LIED about Hernandez shooting at them after
they crashed their vehicle and fled on foot:
Sheriff Letsinger also said the Rangers and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents, using dogs and metal detectors, found four shell casings at the traffic stop site but none at the crash site -- discounting claims by two of the vehicle's occupants that Hernandez fired shots at them as they fled the vehicle.
Nevertheless, Sutton treated the testimony of illegals already proven to be liars as inviolable, while painting Hernandez as a "rogue cop" (sound familiar?) and has imprisoned Hernandez for doing his job. But it doesn't stop there. Sutton has a very dirty track record
. In 2004, in an effort to protect one of his star witnesses - a Mexican informant - he covered up the informant's participation in 15 tortures and murders at the "House of Death" in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
Apparently, no crime
is too vile for Sutton when it comes to protecting his informants. Just as he protected the notorious drug smuggler Aldrete-Davila and provided whim with taxpayer funded benefits such as a vehicle and a green card, so he has previously protected and paid off an informant that he KNOWS is a mass murderer. In fact, Sutton's office has gone to great lengths
to conceal the heinous crimes of their informant and have moved him frequently to keep him away from other American law enforcement agencies, such as the DEA. Furthermore, Sutton has been involved in making huge payments in "hush money" to this informant - over $50,000 - which was disguised as a payment to a different informant who was already dead
. Now Sutton has gone to his high-level contacts inside the Department of Justice (I've previously revealed his insider connections with Alberto Gonzales
and George Bush) in order to shut down a DEA officer who is brought serious charges against Sutton for his complicity in covering up torture and murder
Several sources within the Department of Homeland Security, the parent agency of ICE, confirmed that the informant Lalo was moved around frequently after DEA was forced to evacuate its agents from Juarez and the full extent of his – and the ICE agents’ and U.S. prosecutor’s – complicity in the murders became known to DEA.
“They (the ICE agents and U.S. prosecutor Juanita Fielden) couldn’t get rid of him (Lalo), so they tried to control him, and they moved him from place to place, to Albuquerque (N.M.) then to San Antonio (Texas), so no one could talk to him,” one source says.
Then, the first hints of the informant’s role in the murders in Juárez hit the media in the spring of 2004, and the cover-up went into full swing, according to sources. The problem is that the informant Lalo had leverage because of what he knew. He was demanding more money, sources indicate.
That’s what allegedly led one of Lalo’s ICE handlers, a high-level supervisor in El Paso, sometime between March and June of 2004, to put a payment through to him using a dead informant’s “source number,” which is a number assigned to all confidential sources in order to keep their identity concealed.
Although it is not clear how much money was given to Lalo through this means, sources indicate that it was discovered by someone at ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C. The sources add that because the payment required headquarters’ approval, the amount likely exceeded $50,000.
“The confidential informant (Lalo) said the government owed him money,” one source says. “They decided they better pay him or he would start talking.”
According to law enforcement sources, a high-level ICE supervisor in El Paso allegedly sent out the word to members of his staff that no one was to cooperate with any investigation into the informant’s role in the murders, or they would face discipline. Ironically, that supervisor has since been promoted, sources indicate.
To date, no one directly involved in overseeing the informant has been brought up on criminal charges, at least no such charges have been publicly announced. One field agent has been put on administrative leave, however. Law enforcers familiar with the case believe that Hispanic agent, unless he has documentation to prove otherwise, will likely be the only person set up to take the fall.
Any investigation into U.S. prosecutors in this matter, of course, would have to go through Sutton’s office – absent the appointment of a special prosecutor – or through the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which is under the charge of San Antonio native Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Given those realities, most law enforcers who spoke with Narco News believe that, absent intervention by Congress, nearly everyone involved will get a pass on the House of Death murders.
“If Sandy Gonzalez or I had done something like this, we’d be in prison,” says a former high-ranking DEA official who asked to remain anonymous. “When a U.S. attorney is incompetent, there are no sanctions. You have the Department of Justice that is supposed to control these U.S. Attorneys, but they don’t when it comes down to nut-cutting.”
As for Sandalio Gonzalez, he can’t believe justice is being sacrificed in this case, that some 15 murdered people are deemed expendable for the sake of salvaging careers and promoting political ambitions.
“If someone in Congress is not willing to take a stand on this, the nation as a whole loses some integrity in the process,” he stresses. “This isn’t about national security, spies or intelligence work, this is police work, right here. There are bodies out there.”
All the details of the above case are presented here
. There is no
crime to vile - not drug smuggling, not torture, and not mass murder - for U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton to overlook in order to further his career. How many lives does he get to destroy with impunity before he's held accountable? U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton is a despicable and incredibly corrupt individual. And because of his long-held and close ties with President George W. Bush, and U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and other high-ranking Texas politicians in D.C.
, Johnny Sutton gets a free pass for crimes that would put any other American into prison for the rest of their lives! Who
is paying Johnny Sutton for his crimes?
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