The sad cases of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Campean, ex-Border Patrol agents, came to a conclusion today with the last minute commutation of their sentences by President Bush on his last day in office. About two years ago, a federal jury had convicted the pair on five out of six criminal charges of assault, obstruction of justice, and civil rights violations after the three holdout jurors finally capitulated and agreed to a guilty verdict. Ramos and Campean were their own worst enemies in this affair. They failed to follow procedures which required that the incident be promptly reported since shots were fired. They then compounded this error of judgment by destroying or obscuring some evidence of their activities and then lying about those activities and the circumstances involved. The inconsistencies in their subsequent statements and oral testimonies compromised the slim chance they might have had for acquittal. Had they adhered to procedures and been open and truthful in the aftermath, these agents might have escaped with an administrative reprimand or dismissal rather than prison time. After being sentenced to 10-11 years in federal prison, although the judge in the case had no leeway, the prosecutor agreed with the assessment that the sentence was way too harsh.
According to the details of the case, Campean attempted to use the butt of his shotgun on the miscreant drug runner, Macaria Aldrete-Davila, but fell down and fell into a ditch in the process as Aldrete-Davila fled back to Mexico as Campean fired 14 shots to no avail. Ramos, a marksman, showed up at that point and fired one shot at the fleeing drug runner, hitting him in the groin. Campean proceeded to gather up his spent cartridges and threw them into the ditch. They both thought that was the end of it since the suspected drug runner had escaped to Mexico. They inspected his vehicle and found a large quantity of marijuana as they expected they would. When their supervisor showed up, they glossed over the incident and disclosed none of the details. More or less by accident, the circumstances were disclosed to another agent and the ensuing investigation led to Ramos’ and Campean’s conviction. During his stay in federal prison Ramos, of the pair asked to be released into the general prison population while Campean remained in solitary confinement in a 7 by 13 foot cell. Ramos was immediately set upon by five Hispanic inmates who shouted, “Maten a la Migra”, “Kill the Border Patrol”.
The media, especially Lou Dobbs, made a cause célèbre of the Ramos-Campean case often omitting some of the incriminating details. Congressmen and citizens picked up on it and let be known that, in spite of Dobb’s omissions, they believed the lengthy sentences to be a miscarriage of justice, not because Ramos-Campean were innocent, but because the sentence was not commensurate with the offense which depended mostly on the testimony of a drug runner who is now in jail. Bush, chintzy to the end only commuted the sentences of these men who have lost everything and who will be convicted felons for the rest of their lives unless a more benevolent president comes along who has a greater appreciation the men and women of the Border Patrol who put their lives on the line at the increasingly violent border.
Working for logical immigation reform based on a stable population, a recognition of the finite nature of our natural resources and the adverse impact of continued growth on our quality of life, standard of living, national interest, character, language, sovereignty and the rule of law. Pushing back and countering the disloyal elements in American society and the anti-American rhetoric of the leftwing illegal alien lobbies. In a debate, when your opponents turn to name calling, it's a good sign you've already won.