With time running out for a presidential pardon, a border patrol agent imprisoned for shooting a Mexican drug trafficker has written a letter from his jail cell thanking supporters for keeping his hopes alive.
“Although our case received attention before we reported to prison, I truly believed people would forget all about us,” former border patrol agent Jose Compean wrote to WorldNetDaily. “Once we reported to prison, I was very happy to see how wrong I was.
“I have received thousands of letters from people all over the country. I have also received letters from other countries such as Italy and even a few from soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“All of these letters have given me a lot of hope. Knowing that people have been praying for us has also given me a lot of strength. Your prayers have really helped me get through some tough times, especially after the appeals court ruled against us. Reading my mail that night made me feel much better.”
Compean and fellow agent Ignacio Ramos were arrested following a shooting incident along the Mexican border in February 2005.
The two agents intercepted Mexican national Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, who entered the country illegally in a van carrying over 700 pounds of marijuana. Aldrete-Davila tried to flee back across the border, and was shot in the buttocks. The agents said they thought they saw a gun.
Federal prosecutors gave Aldrete-Davila blanket immunity in exchange for his testimony against them. Ramos and Compean were convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and violation of civil rights, and in October 2006 were sentenced to 11 years and 12 years in prison, respectively.
In November 2007, Aldrete-Davila was arrested in El Paso for trying to smuggle another 750 pounds of pot into the United States. In August, he was sentenced to serve nine and a half years in jail on federal drug smuggling charges.
In the waning days of the Bush administration, pressure has grown for the president to issue a pardon releasing the men from jail. Some 82 Congressmen have written to urge Bush to pardon or commute the officers’ sentences. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas has called them “political prisoners” who were just doing their job.
The White House has only stated that the clemency requests are “pending.”
In his letter, Compean urges supporters to contact President Bush about his case. He also writes about how the conviction has affected his family.
“These last two years have been very hard for my family and me. This has affected us in so many different ways. We have lost two years of our lives that we will never get back.
“One of the best memories I have is from my visit with Patty, my wife, and our kids last September. We were all sitting down, playing a board game. For the first time in a very long time, it felt like we were a family. It was great.”
His letter to WND credits his wife with holding their family together. “When I feel down or discouraged, I lean on my wife for support. She has done a great job at home with our kids. I am very proud of her, and I love her with all my heart.”
He adds: “Thank you again for everything you have done to help. Words are not enough to express how grateful my family and I are.”
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