Note: Blood pressure warning. Have to wonder what the problem is
with some of these fed prosecutors. It is clear that DOJ has
serious problems. Do we have the same problems as the Mexican PRG?
U.S. border agent jailed for improper arrest of suspected drug smuggler
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By Jerry Seper-The Washington Times Tuesday, October 25, 2011
A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to two years in prison
for improperly lifting the arms of a 15-year-old drug smuggling
suspect while handcuffed — in what the Justice Department called a
deprivation of the teenager's constitutional right to be free from
the use of unreasonable force.
Agent Jesus E. Diaz Jr. was named in a November 2009 federal grand
jury indictment with deprivation of rights under color of law during
an October 2008 arrest near the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, in
response to a report that illegal immigrants had crossed the river
with bundles of drugs.
In a prosecution sought by the Mexican government and obtained after
the suspected smuggler was given immunity to testify against the
agent, Diaz was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Alia Moses
Ludlum in San Antonio. The Mexican consulate in Eagle Pass had filed
a formal written complaint just hours after the arrest, alleging that
the teenager had been beaten.
Defense attorneys argued that there were no injuries or bruises on
the suspected smuggler's lower arms where the handcuffs had been
placed nor any bruising resulting from an alleged knee on his back.
Photos showed the only marks on his body came from the straps of the
pack he carried containing the suspected drugs, they said.
Border Patrol agents found more than 150 pounds of marijuana at the
The defense claimed that the smuggling suspect was handcuffed because
he was uncooperative and resisted arrest, and that the agent had
lifted his arms to force him to the ground — a near-universal police
technique — while the other agents looked for the drugs.
The allegations against Diaz, 31, a seven-year veteran of the Border
Patrol, initially were investigated by Homeland Security's Office of
Inspector General and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's
Office of Professional Responsibility, which cleared the agent of any
But the Internal Affairs Division at U.S. Customs and Border
Protection ruled differently nearly a year later and, ultimately, the
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas brought
The Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council said the government's
case was "based on false testimony that is contradicted by the facts."
In a statement, the council said that because the arrest took place
at about 2 a.m., darkness would have made it impossible for the
government's witnesses to have seen whether any mistreatment took
place. It said Marcos Ramos, the Border Patrol agent who stood next
to Diaz, testified that he did not see any mistreatment of the
The council said other witnesses made contradictory claims and some
later admitted to having perjured themselves. Such admissions, the
council said, were ignored by the court and the government. It also
said that probationary agents who claimed to have witnessed the
assault raised no objections during the incident and failed to notify
an on-duty supervisor until hours later.
"Instead, they went off-duty to a local 'Whataburger' restaurant, got
their stories straight and reported it hours later to an off-duty
supervisor at his home," the council said. "Then the 'witnesses' went
back to the station and reported their allegations."
The council also noted that the teenager claimed no injuries in court
other than sore shoulders, which the council attributed to "the
weight of the drug load, approximately 75 pounds, he carried across
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas, which
brought the charges, is the same office that in February 2006 — under
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton — prosecuted Border Patrol Agents Ignacio
Ramos and Jose Compean after they shot a drug-smuggling suspect,
Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, in the buttocks as he tried to flee back into
Mexico after abandoning a van filled with 800 pounds of marijuana.
Aldrete-Davila also was given immunity in the case and testified
against the agents.
Agents Ramos and Compean were convicted and sentenced to 11 and 12
years in prison, respectively.
President George W. Bush commuted the sentences in 2009 after they
had served two years.
The same prosecutors also charged Edwards County Deputy Sheriff
Gilmer Hernandez in 2005 with violating the civil rights of a Mexican
criminal alien after he shot out the tires of a van filled with
illegals as it tried to run him over. One of the illegal immigrants
in the van was hit with bullet fragments.
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