On January 17, former Border Patrol Agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos began serving prison sentences of 11 and 12 years respectively for an incident involving the non-fatal shooting of Mexican drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila.
Follow this link to the original source: "Free the Border Patrol Two"
Syndicated columnist Debra Saunders' January 18 column opened with these sentences: "Prison doors clanged shut last night, leaving two Border Patrol agents locked up among the very types of felons they once helped put away. The agents' families have been wiped out financially, their kids will grow up without a father watching over them, their freedom has been stripped from them...."
Despite appeals for clemency from the Border Patrol agents' families, 51 members of Congress and tens of thousands of citizens nationwide, President Bush refused to pardon the agents. However, just before Christmas, President Bush did pardon several drug dealers, continuing a pattern of freeing narcotics traffickers.
One of the incredible features of this case is the fact that it was initiated by the Department of Justice, which sent its people down to Mexico to find admitted veteran drug dealer Aldrete-Davila and offer him immunity and legal help if he would testify against the Border Patrol agents. To make matters worse, DOJ officials assisted Aldrete-Davila, who had been wounded in the buttocks (after attacking Ramos and Compean while smuggling 743 pounds into the U.S.), in launching a $5 million lawsuit against the Border Patrol. The drug dealer gets off scot-free, and gets rich besides — while exemplary Border Patrol agents go to jail.
This seems to be character with the Bush Administration's scandalous "catch and release" policy, which over the past six years has released thousands of illegal aliens — including murderers, rapists and other violent felons, without even requiring bail, simply on their word that they would show up in court at a later date. Of course, few ever did.
However, when Agents Ramos and Compean requested that they be allowed to remain out of prison (where they would be put in danger, possibly in units with illegal aliens they had arrested) their requests were denied.
On December 21, 2006, President Bush pardoned these drug offenders:
• Marie Georgette Ginette Briere — possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
• George Thomas Harley — aiding and abetting the distribution of cocaine.
• Patricia Ann Hultman — conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and other controlled substances.
• Eric William Olson —possession with intent to distribute, possession, and use of hashish.
Bush also commuted the sentence of Phillip Anthony Emmert, who was serving time for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
On September 28, 2005, President Bush pardoned these drug offenders:
• Adam Wade Graham — conspiracy to deliver LSD
• Larry Paul Lenius — conspiracy to distribute cocaine
• Larry Lee Lopez — conspiracy to import marijuana
• Mark Lewis Weber — selling Quaalude tablets, selling, using and possessing marijuana
He also pardoned Jesse Ray Harvey, a United Mine Workers union member convicted of blowing up mines in West Virginia.