Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean got their sentences commuted today by President Bush and will be released on March 20th. This has been a sore spot with conservatives and border control activists for a couple years after they shot a drug smuggler and got exorbitant sentences after they tried to cover it up. Andy McCarthey, a former federal prosecuter, explains what they did and why they were guilty of a crime.
Compean and Ramos are bad guys. Once Aldrete-Davila was down from Ramos’s shot to the backside, they decided, for a second time, not to grab him so he could face justice for his crimes. As they well knew, an arrest at that point — after 15 shots at a fleeing, unarmed man who had tried to surrender — would have shone a spotlight on their performance. So instead, they exacerbated the already shameful display.
Instead of arresting the wounded smuggler, they put their guns away and left him behind. But not before trying to conceal the improper discharge of their firearms. Compean picked up and hid his shell-casings rather than leaving the scene intact for investigators. Both agents filed false reports, failing to record the firing of their weapons though they were well aware of regulations requiring that they do so. Because the “heroes” put covering their tracks ahead of doing their duty, Aldrete-Davila was eventually able to limp off to a waiting car and escape into Mexico.
If they had arrested the guy and reported their actions they would probably have gotten a slap on the wrist with some unpaid leave but they tried to cover it up and that was the mistake. Anyway I am glad Bush commuted their sentences to time served as their sentences of over ten years were far to harsh for what they did. The coverup will get you everytime.