Did Johnny Sutton prosecute Ramos/Compean under the right law?
Posted Mon, Jan 1, 2007 at 8:59 am
Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) has on record a letter written to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Oct.11, 2006, charging that Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean were charged under a statue that did not apply to the facts of the case. As previously reported by WND, the interview I conducted on Friday, Jan. 17, 2007 with the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, adds strong support to Rep. Jones's contention.That section is here:
Jones notes that Ramos and Compean were convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c). This statute was written to increase the penalties when a violent criminal, such as a drug trafficker or a rapist, carries or uses a weapon during the commission of the crime. Law enforcement officers, including Border Patrol agents, are issued weapons by the Border Patrol to carry in the normal pursuit of their duties...
Except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided by this subsection or by any other provision of law, any person who, during and in relation to any crime of violence or drug trafficking crime (including a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime that provides for an enhanced punishment if committed by the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon or device) for which the person may be prosecuted in a court of the United States, uses or carries a firearm, or who, in furtherance of any such crime, possesses a firearm, shall, in addition to the punishment provided for such crime of violence or drug trafficking crime... (iii) if the firearm is discharged, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years.Is what Ramos and Compean did a "crime of violence"? Corsi suggests that they should have been prosecuted instead under the INS Firearms Policy (PDF).