Pardon sought for imprisoned agents
10/20/2008 5:00:00 AM
A grassroots border security organization is encouraging citizens to continue to call the White House and demand that the president pardon two former Border Patrol agents who are serving long sentences for their actions in the non-lethal shooting of Mexican drug smuggler.
Grassfire.org says it recently received a letter from the wife of Jose Compean, who continues to be held in solitary confinement at a federal detention facility in Ohio. Ignacio Ramos, the other former agent, is being housed at similar facility in Phoenix, Arizona.
Grassfire spokesman Ron De Jong says Patty Compean is concerned that her husband may never get to know his children.
“He's missed first steps, a first dance — these kinds of things,” De Jong states. “These are the things we all take for granted every day, and her husband isn't getting to see any of it….So we're trying to keep these guys in the spotlight, even though the major media has obviously moved on.”
The two former agents were convicted of shooting a fleeing drug smuggler in 2005 as he fled back across the U.S.-Mexico border. Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, who had brought 743 pounds of marijuana across the border, was in the U.S. illegally. Ramos is now serving an 11-year sentence, Compean 12 years.
De Jong argues that the two men should never have been put in prison in the first place. “It goes back to a gross miscarriage of justice here,” he says. “It's something that every American should be concerned about, because it could happen to them….What happened to these guys could happen to any of us.”
De Jong says Grassfire is urging citizens to call the White House before President Bush leaves office and urge the president to take the necessary actions to secure the release of the two agents. At least one lawmaker — Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) — has gone on record saying it is shameful that Bush has allowed Compean and Ramos to continue to serve their prison terms while commuting the sentences of drug dealers and money launderers. (See earlier story)