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***PRESS RELEASE*** Drug Smuggler Sentenced To 9 1/2 Years

Aug 6, 2008

Washington, Aug 6, 2008 - For Immediate Release
Contact: Tara Setmayer 202-225-2415


Drug Smuggling “Victim” in Border Agent Case Sentenced
Aldrete-Davila Receives Less Time Than Border Agents

Washington, DC-August 6, 2008- Today, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila was sentenced in federal court in El Paso, Texas, to two consecutive 57 month terms for smuggling almost a ton of marijuana into the United States in September and October of 2005. At the time, Davila, an illegal alien, was under immunity for smuggling 743 lbs of drugs in exchange for his testimony against Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean , who were convicted of shooting and wounding him during a separate smuggling attempt on February 17, 2005. The former agents are currently serving 11 and 12 year prison terms.

Davila was given immunity, free border crossing cards and health care and in exchange for becoming the government’s star witness against Ramos and Compean. During the trial the prosecutors portrayed Davila as a one time offender who smuggled drugs to pay for his sick mother’s medicine and successfully lobbied the trial judge to seal information from the jury concerning an additional smuggling incident that occurred four months before the border agents’ trial began. Today’s sentencing includes that October 2005 incident, as well as, a September 2005 smuggling attempt.

Congressman Rohrabacher has issued the following statement on today’s sentencing of Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila:

“Today’s sentencing underscores the hypocrisy of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton’s portrayal of Davila as a one time offender whose claim of being unarmed should be believed over our border agents,” said Rohrabacher. “ You can’t blame a criminal for committing more crimes after being given a free pass, but you can blame Sutton’s ‘win at all costs’ arrogance and despicable judgment for totally destroying the lives of two heroic border agents for doing their jobs.

“The fact Sutton’s office knew Davila was a multiple offender prior to the Ramos and Compean trial and moved to keep that information from jury in order to punish the good guys for procedural mistakes, is an absolute disgrace. There is no question the fall out from Sutton’s prosecutorial overreach in the Ramos and Compean case has already caused immeasurable harm to the efforts and morale of the men and women of not only the Border Patrol, but all law enforcement.”

After months of convoluted denials by Sutton concerning Davila’s involvement in the October 2005 load, Rep. Rohrabacher’s office came into possession of the official DEA reports verifying the incident, ostensibly repudiating Sutton’s claims. Rohrabacher was also able to obtain copies of the six I-94 border crossing cards given to Davila in exchange for his cooperation in the Ramos and Compean case. The dates on those cards coincide with the smuggling incidents Davila has pleaded guilty to and consequently sentenced for today.