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Feds grab jailed border agent's prison commissary funds

Bob Unruh - WND

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Dec. 8, 2011

Support group reports Justice Department collecting fine from imprisoned officer


Jesus Diaz Jr.

The federal government has started reaching into the prison commissary fund belonging to a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was jailed for allegedly manhandling a smuggler he caught carrying 75 pounds of drugs into the United States.

Word of the Department of Justice actions to collect an immediate payment by Agent Jesus Diaz Jr. to address part of a $7,000 fine – even though he is in custody – came from Andy Ramirez, president of the Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council, which has become an advocate for the officer in issues outside the courtroom.

Among other concerns, it is contending that the officer's prosecution and conviction were politically motivated to appease a demanding Mexican government.

Click here to sign a petition sending a message to the federal government about Border Patrol Agent Jesus Diaz

"Agent Diaz was notified that his 'commissary account' would have funds deducted to begin repaying the fine imposed by the court," Ramirez reported today. "This took place within the past day at his federal prison facility, the name of which we are withholding for his safety."


He called the actions by the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder in ignoring calls from members of Congress to review the case, or at least suspend the fine until further investigations are completed, "outrageous."

Ramirez noted that Rep. Duncan Hunter wrote about the controversy, including "a request for a waiver of the fine imposed by the court." He said that request "has clearly been ignored."

"We concur with Mr. Hunter that this fine must be waived given the fact that this case is filled with inconsistencies in testimony, perjury, and knowing that Judge Moses filtered evidence and materials that could well have led to an acquittal verdict by the jury," he said.

"We call on the House Committee on the Judiciary and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate this case and others for a pattern of overreaching political prosecutions of law enforcement officers while protecting illegal alien narco-traffickers [that] has continued through three presidential administrations. Also, Congress must question why DOJ can blatantly ignore congressional inquiries and begin holding the other federal government branches accountable."

According to the website, Diaz was "maliciously prosecuted at the request of the Mexican consul in Eagle Pass, Texas."

The legal case against the officer was "solely motivated by politics and is yet another example of prosecutorial abuse and misconduct while protecting Mexico's narco-terror influences," organizers of the website said. They have been collecting donations to help with the fine as well as the needs of the agent's family.

According to the discovery documents, other agents, hours after the alleged incident, claimed to an off-duty Border Patrol officer that Diaz used "excessive force" on the drug smuggler. That's even though the suspect "was processed for voluntary return to Mexico by BPA Marco A. Ramirez, and subsequently returned to Mexico on the same date."

The officer was accused of handcuffing the suspect, then lifting him by his handcuffed arms. But government records show he reported no injuries, and was sent back to Mexico almost immediately.

Prosecutors in the concluded case went back into court as soon as WND started reporting on the controversies involved and obtained a court order that prevents the defense counsel or Diaz from releasing discovery documentation in the case.

However, the advocates council previously had received the information and it now has been posted online.

The order came from U.S. District Judge Alia Moses only a few days after WND reported documents revealing the unidentified teenage drug smuggler had compromised his credibility by lying on the scene about any knowledge of marijuana.

Among the documents revealed in the file is the complaint from the Mexican consul, which claimed that the suspect caught hauling 75 pounds of drugs into the U.S. "was arrested with excessive force" and that "minor complained about the incident once he arrived to the South Station."

However, the U.S. government's report said the drug trafficking suspect, who was given immunity by the federal government, "did not complain that he was injured, hurt, or in pain when the official twisted his arms and applied the 'heavy pressure.'"

Ramirez said, "The government's case is based on false testimony that is contradicted by the facts. Clearly, the U.S. attorney's office is concerned that WND will obtain other documents proving the prosecution of Diaz involved an abuse of government authority."

On Oct. 20,  Moses sentenced Diaz to 24 months in prison after he was found guilty in a federal criminal trial of denying the Mexican teenager of his constitutional rights by applying excessive force during the incident. He was accused eventually of violating the smuggler's rights by forcing him to the ground during his arrest, handcuffing him, then pulling on his arms to coerce him into complying with orders.

Border watchers will remember the extended battle fought by Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean after they were prosecuted, convicted and jailed, again at the request of the Mexican government, for shooting at and striking a drug smuggler who reportedly dropped a load in the U.S. and was fleeing back to Mexico.

Their punishments ultimately were commuted by President George W. Bush, although they did not receive pardons, leaving their convictions on their records.


Their original case stemmed from the Feb. 17, 2005, shooting of Oswaldo Aldrete-Davila. The two officers said they thought Aldrete-Davila was armed and made a threatening move.

WND was among the first to report Aldrete-Davila then committed a second drug offense, smuggling a second load of 750 pounds of marijuana across the border while he was under the protection of immunity from federal prosecutor Johnny Sutton's office and in possession of a border-pass card authorized by the Department of Homeland Security.

WND also reported when Aldrete-Davila admitted to federal drug smuggling charges, was convicted and sentenced to federal prison for a 57 months.

Aldrete-Davila was granted immunity for his drug smuggling by federal prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against the agents. He had crossed the Rio Grande and picked up a marijuana-loaded vehicle near El Paso. After a car chase in which he fled from the officers, he abandoned the vehicle and ran back across the border on foot. He was shot in the buttocks as he ran.