27 October, 2006

Lead souvenir

Inside the Beltway

By John McCaslin
October 27, 2006

Lead souvenir

The National Border Patrol Council Local 2544 in Tucson, Ariz., which represents all the nonsupervisory U.S. Border Patrol agents in the illegal-alien-saturated region - the largest in the country - is not pleased with the recent conviction in Texas of fellow agents Ignacio Ramos and Juan Compean, one of whom shot a fleeing drug-smuggling suspect in the buttocks.

Just posted on the council?s Web site: "When smugglers try to run you over with a vehicle you're supposed to: A. Shoot at them; B. Chase them; C. Wave at them and say 'Bienvenidos a Los Estado Unidos'; D. Throw a pamphlet at them on how to apply for Amnesty; E. Offer them food, water, medical care, and counseling at taxpayer expense; F. Beg them not to report you to the [Office of Inspector General] and/or the U.S. attorney's office for using an expletive when you dive for cover; or G. Let them go."

"We realize you probably thought that this was a trick question, but of course the correct answers are C, D, E, F and G (failure to complete all 5 procedures could subject you to severe disciplinary action)."

In short, the agents stopped a van loaded with 743 pounds of marijuana that suspect Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila was driving. A scuffle ensued, during which Ramos says he spotted a gun on the suspect. Shots rang out. However, Mr. Aldrete-Davila escaped across the Mexican border - albeit, the agents learned later, taking with him a lead souvenir from his short visit.

The slug, it turns out, was compliments of Ramos, a 2005 nominee for Border Patrol Agent of the Year. He has now been sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge in El Paso to 11 years and one day in prison, while Compean was handed 12 years. Among other charges, the federal agents did not report the shooting when filing their incident reports.
More to follow.


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