Skip to comments.Transcripts of Trial - Border Agents Compean and Ramos
Posted on 02/13/2007 6:40:43 PM PST by calcowgirl
The complete (I think) transcript was filed with the Court on Friday and entered in the Court record yesterday. The DOJ is hosting the transcripts on their website in a series of 18 PDF Files. They range in size from 5 pages to over 300 pages, covering pretrial matters, sentencing, as well as testimony.
The transcripts are linked at the site above, as well as most of the press releases issued by the U.S. Attorney office on this matter.
I am setting up this thread (in chat) as a place for us junkies can comment on the testimony and to post any revelations anyone might find. Have at it!!!!
VOLUME I: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%201.pdf
VOLUME II: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%202.pdf
VOLUME III: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%203.pdf
VOLUME IV: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%204.pdf
VOLUME V: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%205.pdf
VOLUME VI: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%206.pdf
VOLUME VII: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%207.pdf
VOLUME VIII: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%208.pdf
VOLUME IX: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%209.pdf
VOLUME X: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%2010.pdf
VOLUME XI: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%2011.pdf
VOLUME XII: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%2012.pdf
VOLUME XIII: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%2013.pdf
VOLUME XIV: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%2014.pdf
VOLUME XV: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%2015.pdf
VOLUME XVI: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%2016.pdf
VOLUME XVII: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%2017.pdf
VOLUME XVIII: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txw/press_releases/Compean-Ramos/Volume%2018.pdf
So far, reading the transcripts I know I would have hung the jury.
Who or what is Nolan Blanchette?
Yeah. If you find them not guilty of attempted murder then how do you find them guilty of 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c).....??
Blanchette was mentioned in this article:
Also, in the prior Testimony of Andy Ramirez to the Committee on Judiciary in August 2006, pgs 45-46. On page 3 it says simply "SEALED HEARING OMITTED BY COURT ORDER." It looks like the defense got to question him, but only in a sealed hearing, not in open court.
One agent by the name of Blanchett who was subpoenaed by the defense was not allowed to testify. He would have testified that Rene Sanchez kept calling him about drug smuggling activities in Fabens and also when and where the busts were occurring. Agent
Blanchett made a report of this to the Border Patrol because he was suspicious of Sanchez and was reprimanded for doing so.
Homeland security agents went to Fabens to question Blanchett about his reporting the calls from Rene Sanchez. Agent Blanchett was asked questions without representation, and was requested to surrender his weapon. Blanchett requested representation, which he received from his Federal Law Enforcement Officers representative who then instructed Blanchett to leave during the questioning by DHS agents and Blanchett immediately walked out of the room.
Why, with only three days' investigation and no physical evidence did Sanchez find it reasonable to storm Compean's home and arrest him in the middle of the night and then interrogate him for the first time?
With all of the immunity agreements and proffer letters, one wonders what kind of defense they could have launched. They seem to be working with 2 hands behind their back and a sock in their mouth.
Am I the only person here who believes Rene Sanchez is a dirty BP Officer?
I haven't jumped there yet, but there is a distinct stench surrounding him. I need to read more.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you, sir, about the ex-Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, both serving time in jail for shooting a runaway Mexican drug dealer.
Would you pardon them?
BUSH: You know, I get asked about pardons on a lot of different cases. And there's a procedure in place. And what I told members of Congress who have written me or called was to just look at the case, look at the facts in the case.
And people need to understand why these folks were sent to trial and why a jury of their peers convicted them. And that's, of course, what a president does on any pardon request.
CAVUTO: So, what are you saying?
BUSH: I'm saying, I would look at all the facts. And — but there is a process in any case for a president to make a pardon decision. In other words, there is a series of steps that are followed, so that the pardon process is, you know, a rational process.
CAVUTO: Well, they're in jail now. They're not going anywhere.
BUSH: Right. That's right.
CAVUTO: ... as things stand now, they will stay in jail.
BUSH: As things stand now, they will serve their sentence, right.
CAVUTO: Unless you interfere.
BUSH: Right. But what I'm trying to tell you is, is that it is — there is a series of steps that are analyzed in order for the Justice Department to make a recommendation as to whether or not a president grants a pardon.
CAVUTO: And we're not at that yet?
BUSH: No, we're not at that stage yet.
He (Cavuto) also had an excellent fast interview with John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted", ripping the system for having Compean and Ramos in General Population, and that they should be out on bail! Will post when transcript is available.
I saw that interview. I was very disappointed.
From what I could see, there was some things about his relationship with Osvaldo-Davila the Prosecution fought mightily to keep out of testimony.
I'm reading testimony of some of the lesser players.
Agent Juarez is looking like a major liar, to me.
It's interesting that I came to the exact opposite conclusion as you did about Ramos's testimony. I thought that Kanof appeared to be attempting to confuse the jury with ridiculous suggestions about how Border Patrol Agents work. She was critical of the pursuit and the fact that Ramos chose to engage Aldrete-Davila for safety reasons before going to Compean's aid. She even brought up "the children."
I haven't yet gotten into Compean's testimony, but I do not believe that conflicts in testimony about who was where and when are unreasonable given that this entire incident lasted mere minutes and the agents were focused on the perp instead of each other. In fact, it confirms to me that the agents didn't get together to make up a story to hide a bad shoot.
Great catch, cowgirl. We were promised the whole transcript.
I suspect Blanchett's testimony could have been very revealing.
Fantastic work! Thanks.
Thanks, IJ! Good work. I read some of that but your summary is terrific. I'm reading testimony of some of the minor characters. BTW, you might want to look at the immunity arrangement included on the first 15 or so pages of Vol 8. His immunity was not full testimonial immunity that would have made him tell the "whole truth" and, in fact, he ended up taking the 5th on a whole slew of subjects.
As to Ramos and TS, I just read that in Vol 10. The Prosecutor brought it up on direct of Agent Mendoza. Just a brief question as to whether the Agent knew that (in conjunction with questions about whether Ramos seemed nervous). I didn't know where he was going with it, but I figured I would run into it elsewhere.
You asked earlier on another thread about the "ditch" and whether it had water in it. I'm understanding the geography more as I read through the transcripts and try to follow it on the map, etc. The Prosecution favored the term "ditch", short for "irrigation ditch"--but most all of the agents in their testimony refer to it as a "canal." The DHS-OIG Report of Investigation even redacted the term "canal" for some reason.
In the final stages of the high-speed chase, Aldrete-Davila traveled southbound on Jess Harris Road and dead ended into the canal/ditch at Wingo Reserve Road. Here's a map (look for the eentsy teensy white "X" next to the "J" in Jess)
For "pragmatic" purposes, think of Jess Harris running north/south and Wingo RR running east/west. (this n/s and e/w is consistent with how the agents describe the direction of the roads)
As to the area where the shooting incident happened, from north to south, we have:
Wingo Reserve Road (road running parallel to canal on the north side)
Canal (aka ditch)
Levee Road (elevated, somewhat higher than Wingo RR)
Vega (a dusty area, sloping down from the levee to the River)
Rio Grande River/US-Mexico Border
You can see the "ditch" in this video, at about the 00:43 second spot and the slope to the vega at about 1:10.
It's looks to me that there is a good amount of water in the canal, but there is some discussion of it possibly being jumpable.
I'll keep my eyes open!
FWIW, the defendants and their attorneys referred to the "ditch." I don't know if that is because the prosecution had already "owned" that phrase, and so to give it a different name would seem obstreperous. Think "grassy knoll."
I'll be your huckleberry!
ROFL! Well, I'm finding some more names. This, from the defense (Antcliff):
Pages 129 to about 133 of Transcript VII, the transcript with the testimony of Aldrete-Davila, Kanof tells the Court that once the Government is through with him they will no longer babysit him to keep him around or pay his hotel expense--even if the defense wants to recall him.
I don't know if this is usual, but it stinks.
3 However, the Government was extremely rigorous in 4 their Giglio obligation with regard to Rene Sanchez and had not 5 only his local Willcox, Arizona, personnel file checked, but 6 his file at the Border Patrol headquarters in Washington, D.C., 7 and there was absolutely no Giglio. So I would also like to 8 provide a copy of that memo to the Court, just for future 9 preparation.
IMHO, these transcripts will be studied for years to come, and will form the basis of discussions in political and legal ethics, and government.
The question is did the prosecution operate in good faith, did they operate just up to the edge of impropriety and ethical standards...or did they step completely over it?
Hey, I'm a civil trial lawyer. "Giglio" means nothing to me. I'll keep that in mind as I read the transcript, though.
When I look at the totality of the whole incident, I see the fingerprints of an agenda. Starting with the use of the SWAT Teams to arrest these two officers (plus the same in arresting Dog Chapman) way overboard.
One does not use a SWAT Team to to serve warrants ... unless there is also a desire for blood. Bottom line is SWAT Teams are used to send a message, so to speak.
Then add in the fact that Mexico's government, a drug infested Mafioso operation at best, sticks their nose in?
Supposedly, this is about rule of law, but yet Bush (God forgive me for voting for him) is about to pardon 15 to 25 million law breakers?
YOU SAID..."But Sutton needed that bogus charge to "piggyback" 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c)."
This statute, as I read it, would imply that the crime of violence (primary charge), can stand on its own basis, independent of the action of using a gun while committing it.
This must be true, else the logical premise of the statute goes away.
Example..I could rape (primary charge) a woman, be caught, and prosecuted for rape. If I committed the crime on Federal property using a handgun, I could in addition to the penalty for rape (primary), be assessed an additional ten years for using a gun (aggravating)while commiting the violent crime (primary).
The statue language makes plain that the intent is to add the two penalties (primary + aggravating)together to get a composite sentence.
In this case, however, Im confused, because only one action took place..the act of firing a gun.
The Feds say it was assault...the agents say it was self defense.
Ramos, in particular, had no other contact with the perp, he simply came upon the scene, and thinking his partner was in danger, he fired at the perp.
Using the logic of the statute, he would be guilty of using a gun (aggravating) while using a gun (primary) in a crime of violence.
Am I making sense here?
I think it relates to what you are saying.
In other words...if the two agents had encountered the perp...had beat him severely, and, while incapacitated, they also shot him, they would be guilty of assault (primary), plus the shooting (aggravating).
They would have been convicted of Attempted Murder...as you say, and the statute would have been appropriate.
Me too. I am also an attorney.
Well, we do have a lot in common.
It appears so. This is how wrongful convictions happen. We have to trust govt. functionaries. Then, if somebody finds out that they hid exculpatory evidence, the defendants have a new chanced. But they have to find this out.
As the BCP officer stated he saw something in the dirtbag's hand, coupled with the fact the dirtbag fled the area so we don't know what was in his hand, then it's reasonable.
Add in the later discovery of the van full of weed and the officers' actions again meet the test.
The treating doctor also testified that the dirtbag was turned, consistent with pointing an object.
This case, along with the Deputy Hernandez case would have never been filed in my former jurisdiction ... unless there was a huge amount of pressure. Then it would have been handed off to a dud deputy DA.
Some other issues that I feel are relevant are the use of an active serving officer of the Army Medical Corp testifying in a civilian case.
He's not a witness that saw a robbery go down, he was specificly used. I suspect some kind of ground work is being laid there. Keep in mind that the treatment on the Army base was not an emergency, but via an appointment. Why?
Perhaps the Administration is trying to insult the wounded GI's in that facility. But that's just my (low) opinion of Bush showing through.
Federal agencies just don't 'swap' favors like this.
I'm certain doctors working in border towns are just as well equipped to treat gunshot wounds as anywhere else.
I recall during the build up to Gulf War I, we had a a detachment of Army and Navy doctors observing in our county ER. At times they were three deep, making it kinda hard for me to try and get dying declarations ;^)
Vol 12, p. 63-64 C. Sanchez - Cross by Ms. Stillinger 3 BY MS. STILLINGER: 4 Q. You told me, when we talked last week -- and I'm talking 5 about talking in court, when I was questioning you last week. 6 You told me that you just found out about the $5 million claim 7 that Mr. Aldrete-Davila filed. I think you said you found out 8 sometime around May or June. Is that right? 9 A. I believe it was May. 10 Q. Okay. Did you know that Rene Sanchez had advised 11 Mr. Aldrete-Davila about that? 12 A. No, ma'am, I did not. 13 Q. Okay. Did you know that Rene Sanchez had talked to 14 Aldrete-Davila about immunity? 15 A. No, ma'am, I did not. 16 Q. Okay. And did you know that he found him a lawyer? 17 A. No, ma'am, I did not. 18 Q. Did you just find that out for the first time when 19 Aldrete-Davila testified last week? 20 A. Yes, ma'am. (snip) 20 Q. Okay. Did you know that Rene Sanchez and Aldrete-Davila 21 had spent time together socially in Mexico between the time of 22 the shooting and today? 23 A. No, ma'am. 24 Q. Okay. Did you find that out in court for the first time 25 last week? 1 A. Yes, ma'am. 2 Q. Okay. Did you ever ask either one of them about that? 3 A. No, ma'am. 4 Q. Okay. I think you said that you were extra cautious about 5 the relationship between Rene Sanchez and Mr. Aldrete-Davila, 6 correct? 7 A. I believe said I kept it in the back of my mind. 8 Q. Okay. Were you ever given any information about Rene 9 Sanchez that caused you to be more cautious as this 10 investigation wore on? 11 A. No, ma'am. 12 Q. Okay. Do you recall getting a memo in July of this year -- 13 I'm sorry, of last year -- pertaining to Mr. Sanchez? 14 MS. KANOF: Objection, Your Honor. Approach the bench?
So are these the transcripts that Johnny Sutton was personally withholding on orders from the White House and its drug overlords?
VOLUME 12, Page 65-66 C. Sanchez - Cross by Ms. Stillinger Q. Okay. Do you recall getting a memo in July of this year -- 13 I'm sorry, of last year -- pertaining to Mr. Sanchez? 14 MS. KANOF: Objection, Your Honor. Approach the 15 bench? 16 THE COURT: All right. 17 (Bench conference:) 18 MS. KANOF: You haven't made a ruling, Judge, on the 19 admissibility of the Nolan Blanchette memo. That's what she's 20 going into, that Nolan Blanchette told his supervisors that 21 Rene Sanchez had information about horse trailers being used to 22 traffic. 23 MS. STILLINGER: I don't think you have made a ruling 24 because there hasn't been an objection before the Court yet. 25 THE COURT: I understand. You did provide me with 1 the -- the memo. I have reviewed it. 2 And where are you going with all of this? What's the 3 relevance? 4 MS. STILLINGER: He just said -- I think Rene 5 Sanchez's credibility is relevant. I think his evaluation -- 6 THE COURT: How are you impeaching his credibility 7 with that? 8 MS. STILLINGER: Well, Ms. Kanof had him testify a lot 9 about who he believed and who he didn't believe and the steps 10 he took in his investigation, based on what he believed and 11 what he didn't believe. This guy gets a memo in July, where 12 somebody is saying -- not terrible, but saying, I have concerns 13 about Rene Sanchez. And it's not terrible, but he seems 14 unusually well informed. 15 This witness does -- instead of investigating it, he 16 turns the memo over to Rene Sanchez, so Rene Sanchez can call 17 Blanchette and say, Why are you writing these things about me? 18 It's not normal behavior. 19 It's not normal behavior, I don't think, for an OIG 20 agent to turn over an investigatory memo within hours of having 21 received it, turn it over to the subject of the memo. And I 22 think that shows his bias in this investigation. 23 THE COURT: I guess my concern is, this guy has 24 already been indicted, has he not? 25 MS. STILLINGER: Right. ...
Thanks for posting these, by the way.
Looks like I will discover how long it takes to read the transcripts for a two-and-a-half week trial.
Ramos admitted that he fired a shot. I believe his testimony is in vol 13.
pg 45: He didn't hear anyone yell "hit him", even though Compean and Juarez did.
pg 62-63: Testifies about a "gun exchange," but then says that he can't distinguish between the sound of a .40 caliber pistol and other pistols...even though he is a firearms instructor.
p 64: States he did not see Compean picking up casings.
p 82: His reasoning for why he did not report the shooting is very, very hard to believe....he "had alot on his mind."
In one of these volumes, the judge admonishes the attorneys (particularly defense counsel) for focusing so heavily on the pursuit, noting that it was not key to any of the charges, and that the attorneys were losing the jury. When an attorney is saying "look over there," and failing to focus on the crux of the issue (her client is getting killed on cross), then juries tend to believe that something is not right.
In my years of practice, one axiom rings true: no matter how good or bad the evidence is, if the jury doesn't like your client, you are going to have a bad day. Ramos and Compean just do not come across well, for whatever reason. These things do happen...every witness I've ever had on the stand that has been well prepared has come up with some "fact" or "memory" that they didn't recall through years of questioning. Trials are stressful...so you just move on and try to fix the damage. Here, neither Ramos nor Compean seemed very well prepared, and their attorney did little on redirect to fix the damage done on cross. And the cross on Compean was a rather poor cross at that.
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