A vote by the House of Representatives on Wednesday to free two former El Paso Border Patrol agents imprisoned for the shooting of a drug smuggler bolstered hope among relatives that they will be released soon.
The House vote, in effect, would block the Bureau of Prisons from spending any money to incarcerate Ignacio Ramos and Alonso Compean, who are serving, respectively, 11- and 12-year federal prison sentences.
"We're picking up more and more support from the Senate and the Congress in this case," said Joe Loya, father-in-law of Ramos. "More and more people are coming forward in Washington because they can see through (U.S. Attorney) Johnny Sutton."
Loya said Wednesday's House vote comes along with a flurry of activity in Washington surrounding the case. The Senate has yet to take up the measure.
Loya said that he received a letter this week from Washington indicating that the Senate Judiciary Committee planned to conduct an investigation to determine whether the Mexican Consulate had any influence in the prosecution of the former Border Patrol agents' case.
In a related story:
Drug smuggler had passes to enter U.S.
WASHINGTON — The Mexican drug smuggler involved in the controversial prosecution of two Border Patrol agents was granted six border crossing passes to enter the U.S. unescorted — including two after he was linked by federal law enforcement to a million-dollar marijuana payload.
Copies of the six crossing cards, which in some cases were good for months at a time, were released Wednesday by five House Republicans who have been harshly critical of federal prosecutors for using an admitted drug trafficker to prosecute Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
"The whole episode stinks, and now we are beginning to see evidence of just how rotten it really is," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said at a Capitol news conference Wednesday.''
The article states that U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who has been criticized for his conduct of this prosecution, including his giving passes to the drug smuggler Aldrete-Davila, is refusing or 'declining' to appear before a House committee which is investigating the Mexican government's role in the prosecution. Sutton and the DOJ are insisting that the Mexican government had no hand in the prosecution, although there is plenty of skepticism about their assertion.