EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – President Trump has pardoned two former U.S. Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting an unarmed alleged “drug mule” trying to flee back into Mexico.
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were serving reduced sentences for their role in the 2005 shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila on Feb. 17, 2005 near El Paso.
The agents claimed that Aldrete brandished a gun at them while resisting arrest; the suspect later said he was unarmed and trying to surrender when Compean beat him with a shotgun, CNN reported.
The suspect tried to escape to Mexico when Ramos shot him. Ramos and Compean were convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon, lying about the incident and violating Aldrete’s Fourth Amendment rights. Ramos received an 11-year prison sentence and Compean a 12-year term for the charges. President George W. Bush later reduced the sentences, CNN reported.
Aldrete was arrested in 2007 on charges of smuggling 750 pounds of marijuana into the United States but was offered immunity in exchange for his testimony against the agents, CNN reported.
The White House on Wednesday released a statement saying Trump pardoned the former agents based on the support of 100 members of Congress. The statement highlighted how Ramos and Compean were active in their communities and in church.
“Both men served as Border Patrol agents and put themselves in harm’s way to help secure our southern border with Mexico,” the White House statement said. “They stopped an illegal alien trafficking 700 pounds of marijuana. When the illegal alien, who was thought to be armed, resisted arrest, Mr. Ramos shot the suspect, who fled back across the border.”
In all, Trump pardoned 15 individuals and commuted part or all of the sentences of another five.
Others who receive pardons include four Blackwater private contractors convicted in 2014 of 14 unauthorized killings in Baghdad; former congressman Duncan Hunter; and former campaign aide George Papadopoulus.
Hunter, a Republican, was scheduled to begin an 11-month sentence for conspiring to misuse campaign funds on Jan. 4 at the Federal Correctional Institution La Tuna, which is just outside El Paso.