Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Another Border Patrol Agent convicted...for detaining Mexican drug smuggler

Monday, October 31, 2011 |


By Diana Washington Valdez \ El Paso Times
El Paso native Jesus "Chito" E. Diaz Jr. lost his career with the U.S. Border Patrol and ended up with a felony conviction after an encounter three years ago with a Mexican teenage drug smuggler on the South Texas border.

On Oct. 20, U.S. District Judge Alia Moses Ludham sentenced Diaz to 24 months in prison for depriving a 15-year-old Mexican citizen of his constitutional rights under color of law. Diaz was accused of pulling off the handcuffs on the boy, an admitted drug smuggler, slamming him to the ground, and pressing the youth's back with his knee. Diaz pleaded not guilty in his trial in February to one count of excessive force and five counts of lying to internal affairs officers.

The National Border Patrol Council, which represents more than 17,000 Border Patrol agents, and the Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council, an advocacy group, contend that Diaz was unfairly targeted for prosecution and that his case's outcome sets a bad precedent for other agents who serve on the front lines.

"This case continues the tradition of bias against Border Patrol agents in the Western District of Texas," the National Border Patrol said in a statement Thursday. "Diaz's actions did not rise to the level of a crime ... While the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Texas has a job to do, one that includes prosecuting the criminals who commit crimes, it has shown a distinctly quick trigger in going after Border Patrol agents."

Diaz, 33, who is in custody, could not be reached for comment. His wife, Diana Diaz, a Border Patrol supervisor in Del Rio, Texas, said her husband should not be in prison. "I am speaking only as his wife when I say that 'Chito' does not belong in jail," she said. Diaz Jr. attended El Paso Community College and also has a brother who serves in the Border Patrol and other relatives in El Paso. He and his wife have six children.

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Professional Responsibility cleared Diaz of any wrongdoing in the 2008 incident. However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Attorney's Office proceeded against Diaz.

Andy Ramirez, president of the LEOAC, said he believes the U.S. government went forward with the charges against Diaz to appease the Mexican government. The Mexican consulate in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, where the juvenile lived, submitted a complaint alleging that Diaz had mistreated the boy while in the agent's custody.

Rarmirez said GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota, and U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., have offered to help Diaz. Gov. Rick Perry, also a presidential nominee hopeful for the Republican Party, declined to get involved.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Hunter complained about the Diaz prosecution, and compared it to the 2006 case against former El Paso Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and José Alonso Compeán.

"It was the same office, under U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, that unapologetically led the prosecution against Agents Ramos and Compeán, going as far as providing the smuggler with full immunity and border-crossing documentation," Hunter's letter said. "In the case of Agent Diaz, the smuggler was also given immunity for reasons that are not at all clear.

Ramos and Compeán were sentenced to more than 10 years in prison each in connection with the shooting of a drug smuggler who was fleeing back to Mexico. After a national campaign of support for the two agents, then-President George W. Bush commuted their sentences and they were released.

Encounter
Diaz Jr. was starting his shift when Border Patrol agents were sent to check on a report of possible drug smuggling near the Rio Grande just outside of Eagle Pass, which is across the border from Piedras Negras.

Diaz and the other agents arrived at a pecan orchard known as the Rosetta Farm at about 2 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2008. Witnesses at Diaz's trial said the suspects were hiding among the high grass and a fallen tree in the area. Border Patrol agents and a canine unit eventually encountered the 15-year-old and an adult suspect.

According to court documents, the suspects crossed the Rio Grande illegally on a boat, and were supposed to transport backpacks filled with marijuana to the U.S. side of the border.

They did not have the backpacks on them when they were apprehended, but showed strap marks on their shoulders. Authorities identified the adult suspect as a Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, gang member with a rap sheet. Neither the adult nor the juvenile was charged with drug smuggling.

According to U.S. drug investigators, some MS-13 members are affiliated with the Sinaloa cartel, which is active in the Piedras Negras-Eagle Pass smuggling corridor. The cartel is led by Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman.

At one point during the 2008 incident, Diaz took custody of the teenager, who had been handcuffed by another Border Patrol agent, and asked the boy "donde esta la mota?" ("Where is the pot?").

The boy testified that he was handcuffed from behind and Diaz lifted his arms with the cuffs, causing him pain, slammed him on the ground and pressed his knee against the boy's back. The encounter between Diaz and the boy lasted about 10 minutes, according to testimony.

Agents found the backpacks with marijuana near where they apprehended the suspects. The Border Patrol turned over the marijuana to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The boy was transported by vehicle to the Border Patrol station for processing, and did not mention the mistreatment until after he met the next day with Mexican consulate officials.

The teenager agreed to testify against Diaz, and received immunity against any charges related to the drugs, illegal entry or of initially lying to federal officials about the marijuana. He also received a U.S. visa.

The LEOAC's Ramirez said two of the Border Patrol trainee agents who testified against Diaz were fired later, one for sleeping on the job and the other for refusing to submit to a drug urinalysis test.

Ramirez also contends that Diaz received unfair treatment, especially compared with the U.S. Attorney's case against Alex Moses Jr. of Eagle Pass. Moses was a U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspector who received five years' probation after being convicted of smuggling 6 ounces of cocaine from Mexico in 2008.

Ramirez said Moses is a cousin of Federal Judge Alia Moses Ludham, who presided over the Diaz trial. She was the chief federal prosecutor for the U.S. Western District of Texas in Del Rio before Bush nominated her to the judgeship.

"The common denominator was Johnny Sutton, the U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Texas who ordered the prosecution of Ramos and Compeán, and who began the investigation against Diaz before he retired," Ramirez said.

Earlier this year, in another case pending in the Western District of Texas, a U.S. district judge dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in connection with the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy on the Rio Grande near the Paso del Norte Bridge.

The Border Patrol agent involved in the shooting, Jesus Mesa Jr., has not been charged with anything. His lawyer, Randolph Ortega, has said that Mesa was defending himself against rock throwing.

Relatives and friends of Diaz are circulating a petition for the former agent to receive a presidential pardon. The National Border Patrol Council indicated that it probably will assist with an appeal of Diaz's conviction.

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37 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Moral of the story, get your ass beat up by a border patrol agent and get a visa

Anonymous said...

For what little info provided in this article it seems he saw one too many episodes of 24 with Jack Bauer. Picking on a 15 yr old. Ponte con uno de tu tamno pinche puto. Why didn't he try that on the adult? I say he's another punk hiding behind the badge.

Anonymous said...

So a 15 year old who is smuggling drugs gets a visa and an angent get's tossed into prison. It seems that the damn wets are getting more rights everyday and the people who enforce the laws are getting into trouble for doing their job.

Anonymous said...

We must be the biggest idiots next to Mexico. We imprison aliens and then give them psychiatric treatment if they so much as try to hurt themselves. We put up a wall but at the same time contemplate creating a Trans-Texas-Corridor from Mexico to Canada for easier access to our communities. We nab aliens and then let them go on bond. We water-board innocent countless middle-east civilians yet will arrest a BP agent for putting his knee on a tattooed dumbass who works for a criminal organization. We hand over guns to the suckarios and then put gun-purchase restrictions on our law abiding citizens. We catch high level criminals and then contemplate to treat them to some 'humane' fresh air, with pretty flowers to smell and a bide' in their restroom.

Anonymous said...

Lol!!! Este guey es miklo alreves brown on the outside, white on the inside, pinche traidor se cree anglo el puto.

Anonymous said...

Now this conviction will set a chain reaction. The smugglers now know that they can complain about mistreatment to get the agents in trouble and they know that our justice system is behind them 100% so maybe we should let all the juvenile smugglers a free pass to come and deliver their dope by walking through the ports of entry so they won't get handcuffed or mistreated. I think that the goverment needed a sacrificial body to appease mexico for all the screw ups that have been on the news lately so; why not ruin one persons life and called it even!!!

Anonymous said...

its sad that gov. rick perry didnt even want to stand up for an american citizen who defends our borders

Anonymous said...

@ 1:56 pm don't you have a rally to conduct Mr. Grand Dragon instead of hanging out with wets in BB?

Anonymous said...

Check out the color of ur skin puto !!! Uncle Sam ain't ever gonna have ur back ...

Anonymous said...

The US should stop trying to appease the Mexican government, and should protect its own. This lowlife 15 year old should be the one suffering the consequences, not the border agent that's doing his job. I'm mexican, I don't think I'm white, we have no need for these lowlifes.

Anonymous said...

If I were to cross the river into Mexico illegally, and their law enforcement caught me, what treatment should I expect? I bet they would beat the hell out of me. Now suppose they suspected I was smuggling something there. What treatment would I get? More than likely I would never be seen again.

Now, Johnny Sutton is the sorriest piece of shit that was ever a US Attorney. I wouldn't doubt that ever conviction this bastard was ever involved in gets overturned specifically for his involvement in the "House of Death." If you don't know about it, you need to search it. He was also the jackass that closed the Speaking Rock Casino in El Paso.

Jesus the Moose said...

@2:06

I hope you're in Mexico because I wouldn't want you here. If you're not going to assimilate and adopt this great country, get the f--- out of here.

@1:56

If you have enough culture not to call a black 'nigger' then don't refer to a Mexican as a 'wet'.

Texcoco said...

The teenager agreed to testify against Diaz, and received immunity against any charges related to the drugs, illegal entry or of initially lying to federal officials about the marijuana. He also received a U.S. visa.

O.K. if he is a minor, who will take care of him?

@ October 31, 2011 1:56 PM
So a 15 year old who is smuggling drugs gets a visa and an agent gets tossed into prison. It seems that the damn wets are getting more rights everyday and the people who enforce the laws are getting into trouble for doing their job.

I wish I was as lucky as this kid in getting my USCIS - Green Card, legally it takes between 11 to 13 years to get one.

About doing his job, his job was to protect and serve, not to take advantage of his power.

Anonymous said...

THIS IS GREAT BORDER PATROL AGENTS ARE NOT QUIALIFIED FOR THE JOB. BACK IN THE DAYS THEY WERE TRAINED AND NOT JUST ANY IDIOT COULD APPLY LIKE NOWADAYS YOU HAD TO HAVE MILLATARY BACK GROUND OR LAW ENFORCMENT NOW ANY JOE CAN APPLY AND GET THE JOB PASSING THIER TRAINING.SO IMAGINE HOW MANY SONS NEFEWS, OR OTHHER DRUG RELATED PEOPLE ARE IN THE US BORDER PATROL.

Anonymous said...

The border patrol has been ordered by Obama/Napolitano to turn back border crossers rather than arrest them. This actually makes the border look safer from a statistical standpoint because there are fewer detentions. The reality is when you turn someone back they just cross again within 24-48 hours. The administration gets the best of both worlds: the appearance of a secure border and more illegal aliens in the US.

This prosecution is meant as a warning signal to other border agents that it is safer to look the other way or turn illegals back rather than arrest them.

Anonymous said...

This Border Patrol Agent was wrongfully convicted. This is why the assholes that come over do not have any respect for US law enforcement. They know that all they have to do is cry like little bitches and then they can get whatever they want. And @ the idiot whos is talking about Miklo, how can you betray a country you were never part of? He was born and raised IN the US. Just shut up and stop embarrassing yourself and the rest of us mexican.

Anonymous said...

What a ridiculous country.

Anonymous said...

October 31, 2011 3:02 PM If I were to cross the river into Mexico illegally, and their law enforcement caught me, what treatment should I expect? I bet they would beat the hell out of me. Now suppose they suspected I was smuggling something there. What treatment would I get? More than likely I would never be seen again.

Are you sure about that? Two U.S. citizens were arrested with 2 tons of marijuana and here you can look at their pictures.


http://borderland-beat.924382.n3.nabble.com/2-Americans-arrested-in-Sinaloa-with-more-than-2-tons-of-drugs-td3398805.html

Anonymous said...

How all of this can make sense in some peoples minds is crazy. How it can make sense in peoples minds who hold power, is just scary. What the fuck is happening to the United States.

Anonymous said...

Well boy's it's our fine U.S. Government at it again. Giving known CRIMINALS more rights than U.S. Citizens. Hell I'm up for shooting all these drug and human smugglers on the spot. Obama call the Mexican President an surrender the U.S. over to Mexico. Hell half our nation has sold our souls. Time to give up on compassion campaign and save our country. I say shoot all these drug and human smugglers on the spot regardless of age.

To the guy that was upset for the agent that was picking on the 15 year old drug runner.....wait until this 15 year old shows up at your front door with a gun.

Let's pull together and support the freedom of Jesus "Chito" E. Diaz Jr.

F Mexico forever!

DJD

Anonymous said...

Remember Fed Dist Judges are appointed for life on good behavior, SO what Fed district Judge took this plea, or sentenced this Agent?? Now what has this Sutton guy got against Agents,the Sutton Name has come up before. He needs a Transfere to the Western District of Alaska.

Anonymous said...

It sounds cruel but the best approach would be to just shoot all of the drug and human smuggling scumbags and toss 'em back into the Rio Grande for the fish to feed on. The level of bureaucratic stupidity in this country has sunk to an all time low!

Mexico will not rid itself of this scourge without our help but they are either too proud or too ignorant to accept any help.

Anonymous said...

We need to totally militarize the US border, stop this pansy crap and put the US Army or Marines on the border. You cross, you die or go to prison, period. You build a tunnel, we blow it up. You shoot across the border we blow you up with rockets or snipers.
Fuck this fucking pansy bull shit Fuck these mexican cartel criminal. They should be killed. We should invade Mexico and clean out the scum bags.

Layla said...

This is the very reason people are demanding that the government secure our borders. And when our Justice Dept. offers IMMUNITY against any charges relating to the drugs they were transporting, illegal entry into our country, and lying to federal officials about the marijuana--this is downright criminal.

The real clincher is that he received a U.S. VISA...all for testifying against one of OUR Border Patrol guards. Purportedly because someone at the Mexican Consulate raised a stink!

Have we forgotten the definition of illegal?? !!

Johnny Sutton pulled this same stunt with Ramos and Compean. The same judge gave probation to another agent caught smuggling cocaine. But Diaz get a felony charge and prison time. THE POWER OF PULL.

You can bet Rick Perry was fully aware of all this. And he claims to be tough on border security. That's a joke. Those who are there to protect us are punished!!

This just makes me ill.

Anonymous said...

FOR THE IDIOTS THAT WANT TO INVADE MEXICO AND GO TO WAR REMEMBER THEM HOW LONG ITS BEEN THEY HAVE WON A WAR. LONG TIME AGO IF YOU ASK ME OUR TROOPS ARE THE BEST BUT OUR GOVERMENT AND POLITICS ARE AS CORRUPT AS MEXICOS EXCEPT HEERE THEY MAKE BIG MONEY. BRING BACK OUR TROOPS THAT ARE FIGHTING A NEVER ENDING BATTLE THEY WILL NEVER WIN CUASE ITS NOT THEIR FIGHT. LAY BACK ON THE RACIAL COMMENTS THAT MOST OF YOU HAVE A MEXICAN LAST NAME.

Anonymous said...

Its the USA's fault that his getting a visa, who you think offered him the deal to rat on the US border patrolman in exchange for a visa. The Mexican government didn't make him that deal, it was the yankies that offered him the deal. What a coincidence that the patrol man was latin, cant have the white man get busted doing shit like that because that's racist so lets put this Hispanic as an example to get this Americans all fired up and start demanding to secure the border and built the fence they want so bad. Its working just look at all you getting so pissed off about it, that you don't even realize that their playing you into their plans with some bullshit trial.

Jesus the Moose said...

I have to wonder how many times a US Attorney sold out one our brave agents at the behest of Mexican Consulate. So why don't the people from the consular service apologize for the criminal's conduct on our border? To me, it sounds like the cart is put in front of the horse.

Anonymous said...

When will all of you finally realize, the US Gov. is trying to destroy our society as it sits. Actions like this prove it, when good becomes bad, and bad is rewarded.

Anonymous said...

About time! This story gets on here. I've tried once or twice to get it published with not luck. It's truly a sad story. Here is Agent Diaz's Facebook "Free Border Agent Jesus Diaz" add the profile for updates!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Mexican American and a combat veteran. The USA gave me everything I needed and more. I love both countries and wish the best for all citizens. But dealing with drug traffickers is tough shit. My heart goes to the agent and his family. If it was me working for the government I would have killed that young, punk ass son of a bitch. He has rights, ok. But what about the rights all children have to live a good life away from drugs and crime. In fact I would have shot dead every mother fucker coming across our border with a load of dope. To all agents out there I say this: next time just kill them, they drug traffickers don't deserve anything but a bullet in the back of their fucking heads. God bless all our agents protecting our people and our country.

Jesus the Moose said...

@8:32

You pretty sum up my own feelings except for summary execution. The USA gave me everything including a safe place to grow up and then a safe place to raise my family. I too have had the pleasure of serving and my son wants to serve in his own way. Semper Fi.

PS., Love it or leave it

Anonymous said...

@ 5:10 PM. Most of us don't agree with summary executions, but I think sometimes is needed. Some of this cartel guys are just predators and don't care if innocent people dies. I thank you and your son for your service. My two sons are serving at this time, they are airborne infantry. Take care brother. 82nd Abn Div Vet. Airborne!!!!! SEMPER FI BROTHER!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Lol!!! Este guey es miklo alreves brown on the outside, white on the inside, pinche traidor se cree anglo el puto.
October 31, 2011 2:06 PM

No ese traidor, jente como el somos Americanos, We were born in the US, and we love the US. That is why he is doing that job.

Anonymous said...

At least a few people on here don't buy the slanted version of what happened that night. Everything that is being printed online by the wife is outright fabrications and exagerations. READ THE TRANSCRIPT!!! He tortured the kid. No immunity cause kid was not caught with dope. No visa, kid was escorted into court each day by armed immigration guys. All but 1 BP's there testified against Diaz. Also, no other Agency investigated it, again a twist of truth. All you gotta do is read the transcript. And what about the 5 counts of lying?

Anonymous said...

agents need to start carrying a throw down gun. A dead smuggler files no charges or gives no testimony. MAKE THEM FEAR TO CROSS

Anonymous said...

I am also a U.S combat veteran (Vietnam) and a Mexican -American. I say shoot all them bastards.
No time for civility.I know mexicans tranporting drugs to our major cities dont care if jr.hi kids in our country puke all over themselves and die in some back alley. Or push cocaine or addict our brothers and sisters. The second a mexican decides to transport,sell or in any way deal with drug crossing, He is a violater and an enemy of all that is good in this country!

Anonymous said...

The problems with mexicans is that they have no loyalty. They migrated from a country that lacks respect towards law enforecement, govt.policies Politics,their military and to each other.They come to this country still advocating all the richness of their country yet their own president has failed them. Their exodus is a result a corrupt history in Mexican policy. If
I were a Mexican living in Mexico, I'd organize pressure groups in every major city. Id force their govt to make Mexico a good place to live. I would not allow my govt to kick me out of my motherland .
Grow a pair.That is your country.Stay there and fight for what is yours!In its present economic downward turn, the U.S doesnt have time or the inclination to appease sniveling,scheming, malcontents. I am a Mexican-American however, We americans don't owe you a damn thing!And before I hear any 'Uncle Tom' comments...your aspirations are to become one of us. I've been to your cities many many times. I know your country well. Im not talking out of my ass!.

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