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Congressman Rohrabacher Petitions U.S. Attorney General To Investigate Unjust Conviction of U.S. Border Patrol Agents

Sep 21, 2006

Washington, Sep 21, 2006 - Today, Congressman Rohrabacher sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez demanding further investigation into the exceedingly harsh prosecution of two U.S. Border Patrol agents for the pursuit and subsequent shooting of a fleeing Mexican drug smuggler. Their conviction could lead to a 20-year prison sentence.

“This proceeding has garnered national attention calling into question the Administration’s commitment to secure our borders,” said Rohrabacher. “Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were simply doing their jobs to guard our homeland by attempting to apprehend an illegal drug smuggler who brought 743 pounds of marijuana across the border.”

During the nighttime incident, a physical altercation took place injuring Officer Compean. Shots were fired, wounding the suspect as he ran toward the border. Officers Ramos and Compean did not follow proper procedure when reporting the incident, leading to an out of proportion response by the U.S Attorney’s Office. Full immunity was granted to the drug smuggler in exchange for testimony against the agents. The criminal also received full medical treatment at taxpayer expense and is now suing the Border Patrol for $5 million for violating his civil rights.

“This case represents the worst kind of distorted and upside down values,” says Rohrabacher. “The drug smugglers are treated like innocent victims and the good guys protecting our borders are given the harshest possible punishment. Mistakes were made, but none egregious enough to warrant the severity of the penalty being sought.”

Due to significant concerns over the circumstances surrounding the prosecution of Agents Ramos and Compean, Congressman Rohrabacher has requested the postponement of sentencing until a more thorough investigation of the facts is conducted.