By Mark Anderson –
American Border Patrol agents face a surprising enemy intent on punishing those who combat the heavily armed drug traffickers and immigrant smugglers operating on the border with Mexico: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department.
Take the case of Border Patrol agent Jesus “Chito” Diaz, recently sentenced to two years in prison for allegedly “lifting the handcuffs” worn by an illegal alien he arrested for smuggling drugs. No shots were fired.
On Oct. 16, 2008, according to the account at FreeAgentDiaz.com, several agents had rounded up illegal aliens after midnight in Eagle Pass, Texas. The smuggler handcuffed by Diaz had become uncooperative and would not answer questions. So, using a common control tactic, Diaz lifted the cuffs to force the smuggler to the ground, which didn’t cause injury.
Diaz, who has a wife and several children, joins the ranks of other federal agents who have been imprisoned in recent years, including Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, each of whom served time for pursuing a known drug smuggler near El Paso, Texas.
Two oversight agencies deemed Diaz innocent. However, the Mexican government filed a complaint against Diaz, and the Justice Department complied. While awaiting sentencing, Diaz wasn’t even granted bail.
On duty last December in south Arizona, Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was fatally shot by a suspected drug mobster whose weapon evidently came from the federal government’s Fast and Furious operation. This undercover scheme involved the transfer of high-powered firearms, clandestinely purchased in the U.S., to drug cartels. It was supposedly designed to track the cartels. But it only succeeded in arming them.
It was just announced that Attorney General Holder is expected to testify before Congress on Fast and Furious in December, amid evidence he knew about it all along, but he’ll get softer treatment than Border Patrol agents trying to actually fight the transnational crime the federal government is either not stopping, or is enhancing through such gunrunning.
Amazingly, five other Border Patrol agents and two local police officers also are under federal prosecution for trying to protect the border, including the Border Patrol’s Gary Brugman and David Sipe.
In Diaz’s case, Johnny Sutton, the infamous U.S. attorney involved in the Ramos-Compean trial, initially directed the prosecution before his Obama-appointed chief deputy took over. Sutton’s office charged Diaz with excessive force and with lying to the Border Patrol Office of Internal Affairs. Although witnesses changed their stories, and some even admitted lying to the grand jury, Diaz was found guilty. Yet the drug-smuggling illegal alien named in the lawsuit was given a visa so he could travel back and forth across the border.
“Chito” Diaz has been in solitary confinement. Weekly visits from his wife, a Border Patrol agent herself, have been limited to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, Mexican cartels and illegal aliens continue crossing the border; thus, real terrorism is at our doorstep, with minimal resistance, thanks to Eric Holder.
Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. He and his wife Angie provide photographs and video of the events they cover for AFP. Listen to Mark’s radio show at republicbroadcasting.org, weekdays at 8 p.m. central. Email him at at [email protected]