Patterico's Pontifications


Aldrete-Davila Accused in At Least Two More Smuggling Attempts

Filed under: Immigration,Law — DRJ @ 12:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, the drug smuggler whose testimony convicted Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean, has been connected to at least two more smuggling attempts after he was shot in the 2005 smuggling incident:

“Months after being shot by a pair of U.S. Border Patrol agents, an admitted Mexican drug smuggler was back in the United States driving loads of marijuana, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigator said today.

DEA Agent Robert Holguin testified at a bond hearing that Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, the smuggler shot during a failed smuggling attempt in 2005, has been connected to at least two more smuggling attempts. Aldrete is facing drug charges after his arrest at the border this month.”

The allegations against Aldrete-Davila are based on the statement of Cipriano Ortiz Hernandez and corroborated by an unidentified man:

“Holguin testified that an El Paso County man, Cipriano Ortiz Hernandez, first identified Aldrete as the driver of one of those loads in October 2005, after agents found 750 pounds of marijuana at his house. Ortiz has pleaded guilty to drug charges and is awaiting sentencing. Details of Ortiz’s plea agreement have been sealed.

Another man, who has not been identified, later told agents about the September 2005 incident, Holguin testified.”

Holguin also confirmed Aldrete-Davila was lured back into the US so he could be arrested:

“Aldrete was indicted last month on charges of conspiracy and possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute. He was arrested earlier this month at the border after being lured to the border by federal agents, Holguin said.

“It was a ruse,” Holguin said, adding that he didn’t know what agents promised Aldrete.”

Aldrete-Davila’s request for bond was apparently denied.


19 Responses to “Aldrete-Davila Accused in At Least Two More Smuggling Attempts”

  1. From the Houston article:

    Holguin said one of the later smuggling attempts, in September 2005, ended after Aldrete ditched a marijuana-laden van in a pecan orchard after running into Border Patrol agents. Aldrete apparently told a friend “everything went bad” and he was forced to run south into Mexico, Holguin said.

    I’m speechless.

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  2. What were they thinking when they allowed this crinimal to testfi againsts two border patrol agents who were only protecting america from that poison their making he should be sent to prison for life

    krazy kagu (5b69ac)

  3. I’m almost speechless that they denied bond.

    And why are Ramos and Compean still behind bars–only because Bush won’t push the right buttons.

    Tregg Wright (c1fefd)

  4. Compean and Ramos are behind bars because they used a service weapon to shoot a guy running away from them that they didn’t know or reasonably believe to be armed or have been involvedi in any criminal activity.

    And he was detained because there is a presumption of detention in this kind of case, and the burden is on the defendant to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he is not a flight risk or danger to the community.

    WLS (dfa1f1)

  5. 3

    It sounds to me like they delayed the bond hearing. I can’t imagine a bigger flight risk in history than Davila. I don’t even think the son of illegal immigrants, judge Mesa, would dare let Davila bail out.

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  6. I’m getting confused. Is it somehow a surprise to anybody that a drug smuggler has, well, committed crimes involving drug smuggling? Ramos and Compean were not convicted of having shot a good guy, but of illegally well, shooting a guy, and then trying to cover it up.

    I think there’s at least some decent argument that they should be treated relatively leniently for the shooting, but it’s hard for me to see that cops covering up their own bad behavior shouldn’t be punished pretty severely; that’s kind of a no-no, it seems to me.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  7. Joel Rosenberg,

    Here’s something to consider: At trial, Aldrete-Davila claimed he was shot the first time he tried to smuggle drugs.

    However, now there are charges and some evidence that Aldrete-Davila continued to engage in smuggling after he was shot, possibly even during the time period he came to the US to testify at the first Ramos-Compean trial setting. I guess it’s possible that, despite having gotten shot his “first time,” Aldrete-Davila decided this would be a great career. But that doesn’t seem likely.

    On the other hand, what if Aldrete-Davila lied about being a first-time drug smuggler? Maybe Aldrete-Davila had been smuggling for quite a while before he was shot. If so, then he may have lied about not having a gun or cell phone that the agents could have mistaken for a gun. In fact, if he’s a habitual smuggler, I think it’s likely Aldrete-Davila was carrying a gun and a cell phone that day.

    DRJ (a6fcd2)

  8. Aldrete lied at the Ramos/Compean trial. Sutton knew he would lie. How is not suborning perjury?

    Ken Hahn (7742d5)

  9. DRJ — fair enough: perhaps, just perhaps, the jury could have concluded that Aldrete was as you lawyers say, falso in uno and all. (Or perhaps not; maybe you know a prosecutor who has, upon occasion, called somebody to the stand who has a record of criminal behavior and might just have fibbed about it in the past, but would think that somebody in that situation would be telling the truth about another crime.)

    Would or should, in your opinion, that conclusion have altered their other conclusion Ramos and Compean had tried to cover up the shooting?

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  10. Aldrete-Davila’s request for bond was apparently denied.

    Because without immunity, this time he might not show up in court…

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  11. DEA Agent Robert Holguin

    Has anyone down Texas way ever heard of this guy before?

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  12. Please tell me this isn’t the guy Sutton has brought in to clean up his mess:

    Robert HolguinRobert Holguin joined the ABC7 “Eyewitness News” Team in June of 2006.
    A graduate of New Mexico State University, Robert’s career has taken him from coast to coast. He started out as a reporter for the Associated Press in Seattle, where he covered everything from pro sports to pop culture. His work focused on the “grunge” movement in music, and he was the first reporter at the home of Kurt Cobain when the Nirvana frontman committed suicide in 1994. Robert also worked in Washington, DC, where he reported for USA Today before returning to the Southwest to write and direct a critically acclaimed independent film. In 1998, he was hired as an award-winning reporter and editor at the El Paso Times, where he wrote extensively about the Mexican drug trade and on the unsolved murders of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juarez.

    Robert made the move into television in 2000 when he was hired at KVIA-TV in El Paso, as a general assignment reporter. He was quickly named weekend anchor before eventually taking over as co-host of the ABC affiliate’s top-rated morning show.

    When not reporting the news, Robert and his wife are usually out enjoying LA’s incredible restaurants and theaters. He enjoys cycling and, yes, bowling, even if people snicker when he admits to owning a pair of bowling shoes.

    Hey, I’m sure it must be a different guy but it’s funny that this is the person who comes up when you google the name. I was just telling wls in the last thread that Sutton wouldn’t be able to find a Hollywod scripwriter to provide the twist to the case that would save Sutton’s butt and this guy was an independant film writer and director.

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  13. Would one of you please correct me if I am wrong that the disposition of the Aldrete-Davilla criminal case will have no bearing whatsoever on the Ramos-Compean appeal, in which oral arguments begin Monday in New Orleans?

    EHeavenlyGads (5ac5e3)

  14. #13,

    You’re right. But it can be used in a collateral “appeal” in which evidence not available at the time of the trial or not of record is brought in. What we are doing here is, in effect, a collateral attack on the two agents’ convictions and the court one will likely be very similar to this discussion.

    One caveat: The proceedings and judgments within a court’s jurisdiction are judicially noticeable. The Fifth Circuit can incorporate the new OAD case into the Ramos-Compean record. If I were Ramos’s or Compean’s appellate attorney I would bring such a motion. (My office was successful in getting a defendant a new trial on direct appeal because the appellate court took judicial notice that his trial judge was his former public defender.)

    nk (09a321)

  15. Thank you for your kindness in responding, nk. Much appreciated.

    EHeavenlyGads (5ac5e3)

  16. U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard P. Mesa signed a written order denying bond for Aldrete on Monday.

    New news. It sounds unusual to me, like it wasn’t in the judge’s hands. “signed a written” would be redundant if it wasn’t someone else’s writtin order. Or maybe I’m just looking for a shenanigan where there isn’t any on this point.

    j curtis (8bcca6)

  17. j curtis,

    There’s nothing unusual about this. The Western District of Texas is overwhelmed with cases and has relatively few judges so magistrates preside in bond hearings. The Magistrate in Aldrete-Davila’s case held a bond hearing on November 29 and today he issued his written ruling (denying bond). Here’s a link to the El Paso Times’ report.

    DRJ (09f144)

  18. Nothing there j curtis. This is a formality — its even a form document where a bunch of boxes are checked off, usually by the Magistrate’s Courtroom Deputy, and the Judge simply signs it.

    WLS (dfa1f1)

  19. It’s unusual that it doesn’t appear in the media as “the judge denied”, which is how we are accustomed to reading these things. It’s as if the media was instructed on how to report it with a certain nuance. But hey…I’ll give the son of an illegal alien, judge Mesa, the benefit of a doubt on this one.

    j curtis (8bcca6)

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