|Residence||El Paso, Texas|
|Occupation||Former Border Patrol Agent|
Ignacio Ramos is a former United States Border Patrol Agent, that was convicted of shooting an unarmed illegal alien and drug smuggler on the United States–Mexico border. He was convicted of causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, and a civil rights violation. On January 19, 2009, his sentence was commuted by President Bush and he was released on February 17, 2009.
Border incident and prosecution
Ramos was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to 11 years and one day in prison for shooting a then unknown Mexican National in the buttocks, Osvaldo Aldrete Dávila, who was caught with over 800 lbs. of drugs, following his non-compliance near the Fabens settlement of unincorporated El Paso County, Texas, while Dávila ran away at about 1 PM on February 17, 2006. Fellow agent Jose Compean was sentenced to 12 years. According to U.S. attorney Johnny Sutton, after the shooting the officers disposed of their shell casings, made no further attempt to apprehend the suspect, lied to their supervisors, and filed a false investigative report. Aldrete Dávila had been found with nearly 800 pounds of marijuana in the back of his van. Following the incident, Aldrete Dávila was granted a temporary conditional visitor's visa in exchange for giving his testimony against Ramos and Compean. Ramos and his partner were incarcerated January 17, 2007.
Homeland Security and Justice Department involvement
Congressmen Ted Poe and John Culberson indicated that the Department of Homeland Security lied to them about the case when it indicated that it had evidence that the agents "plotted and conspired that day to go out and shoot" Mexicans. Richard Skinner, Inspector General of DHS, apologized to the congressmen for misleading them.
A petition for the pardon of the border agents received nearly 240,000 signatures. On January 18, 2007, President George W. Bush agreed to review the case, and Representative Duncan Hunter introduced a bill, titled the Ramos and Compean Act, that would pardon the two agents, though the United States Constitution does not grant Congress the authority to issue pardons.
On 6 February 2007 Representative Tom Tancredo and Ramos' relatives reported to the Associated Press that Ramos had been beaten by fellow inmates in prison. His wife Mrs. Monica Ramos told the AP that he had "let his guard down" and been stomped and kicked for several minutes.
On April 23, 2007 the border patrol union released a no-confidence resolution against Chief David V. Aguilar for his failure to back up Ramos during the case. The union had also made a rebuttal responding to United States Attorney Sutton's reasons why convicting the agents was justified.
On September 25, 2007 a legal appeal concerning the conviction of Ramos and Compean was filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. In December 2007, the case was heard before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Judge E. Grady Jolly stated, “It does seem to me that the government overreacted here,... If the agents had reported the shooting as required, "this prosecution never would have occurred, in all likelihood." U.S. officials also admitted that confessed drug dealer Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila lied under oath. For over the next 6-months nothing more was reported. Then, on July 28, 2008, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeals of both Ramos and Compean.
On 19 January 2009, President Bush commuted the sentences of both Ramos and Compean, effectively ending their prison term on March 20, 2009. The commutation was condemned by Mexico's Deputy Secretary for Foreign Relations Carlos Rico.
- Seper, Jerry (2006-08-23). "Lawmakers seek review of border agent case". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2006-12-14.
- Breaking News: Former El Paso Border Patrol Agents Released From Prison
- Gilot, Louis (2006-10-20). "Sentence handed to border agents; free until Jan. 17". El Paso Times. Retrieved 2006-12-14.
-  Statement of US Attorney Johnny Sutton Regarding the Prosecution of Border Patrol Agents Compean and Ramos
- Carter, Sara A. (2007-01-18). "Border Patrol agents start sentence". San Bernardino Sun (Los Angeles Newspaper Group). Retrieved 2007-01-19.
- CNN Transcript from 2/8/2006 accessed 2/19/2006
- The Case of Ramos and Compean
- Meritz, Darren (2007-01-14). "Vigil supports convicted ex-border agents". El Paso Times. Retrieved 2007-01-19.
- Carter, Sara A. (2007-01-19). "Bush will review border agents' court case". Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Los Angeles Newspaper Group). Retrieved 2007-01-19.
- Caldwell, Alicia (2007-02-06). "Ex-Border Agent Said Beaten in Prison". Associated Press (Breitbart.com). Retrieved 2007-02-06.
- http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,267920,00.html Border Patrol Union Votes No Confidence in Agency Chief
- Rebuttal to Sutton
- McKenna, Brendan (2008-04-23). "Clemency sought for agents who shot smuggler". Dallas Morning News.
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th District docket 06-51489
- Riechmann, Deb. "Bush commutes prison sentences of 2 former US border agents", Associated Press, January 19, 2009.
References to legal transcripts
- Transcript of the Sentencing: United States vs Ignacio Ramos
- Transcript of the Verdict: US vs Ignacio Ramos
- Link to access pretrial matters and trial transcripts: US vs Ignacio Ramos
- Joe Loya Interview on A Citizen's Voice (www.acitizensvoice.com)
- Department of Homeland Security - OIG trial report
- U.S. Attorney's Office - Western District Of Texas
- Ignacio Ramos at the Federal Bureau of Prisons
- FREE Border Patrol agent "Nacho" Ignacio Ramos
- Pardon Border Agents Ramos and Compean
- Monica Ramos Blog
- McCarthy, Andrew C. (2007-01-29). "The Border-Patrol Two Deserve Jail". National Review Online. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
- Sutton, Johnny (2007-01-17). "Myth vs. Reality - The Facts of Why The Government Prosecuted Agents Compean and Ramos" (PDF). Department of Justice. Archived from the original on 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
- National Border Patrol Council's rebuttal to Johnny Sutton's "Myth vs. Reality - The Facts of Why The Government Prosecuted Agents Compean and Ramos"
- Monica Ramos talks about prison attack