Not much surprises conservatives when it comes to former US Attorney Johnny Sutton’s neck of the woods in the Western District of Texas. Sutton had a tendency to prosecute Customs and Border Patrol agents even when the facts of the case were flimsy.
Sutton did his country a favor and left the US Dept. of Justice to work in the private sector. Sutton did prosecute some worthy cases, but the politically driven prosecutions of officers on the front lines of one of our nation’s most dangerous jobs distorts any good he may have done.
Sutton began the prosecution of the US Government’s latest scapegoat case designed to pacify the country of Mexico. Sutton’s replacement took up the case after Sutton left. Agent Jesus E. Diaz, Jr., was convicted and sent to prison for what amounts to a non-crime.
The Washington Times summed up the case of Agent Diaz:
“A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to two years in prison for improperly lifting the arms of a 15-year-old drug smuggling suspect while handcuffed — in what the Justice Department called a deprivation of the teenager’s constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force.”
More than 150 lbs. of marijuana were found at the arrest site. During trial, defense attorneys pointed out the teen had no bruises or injuries in areas touched by the handcuffs. He did have marks correlating to the straps from the backpack he carried—one journalist said the teen carried a load weighing 75 lbs.
TWT also pointed out previous cases many conservatives viewed as politically driven:
“Sutton’s office previously prosecuted Border Patrol Agents Gary Brugman, Jose Compean, and Ignacio Ramos, FBI Special Agent in Charge Hardrick Crawford, Edwards County Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez, as well as Celerino ‘Cele’ Castillo a retired DEA Agent who blew the whistle on the Iran-Contra scandal.”
Probationary agents present at the scene of Diaz’s arrest didn’t say anything about the teen’s treatment until hours after it happened. Subsequently the Dept. of Homeland Security and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement cleared Diaz. USICE flip flopped later when the Internal Affairs Division made a different ruling. It is likely Sutton was only too happy to jump into the fray.
The judge in the case, Judge Alia Moses Ludlum (a George W. Bush appointee) denied Diaz bond. Someone in media will hopefully ask this ‘judge’ how she can sleep at night.
Agent Diaz and his wife have 4 children; the youngest was born in March, 2011.
The Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council is trying to raise awareness of Diaz’s plight by mounting a ‘Free Agent Diaz’ campaign. Diaz and his family will need help with legal bills.
LEOAC has alleged some witnesses in the case have confessed they perjured themselves. In court, the teen claimed he wasn’t injured but he did say his shoulders were “sore.”
LEOAC calls Diaz’s prosecution and others like it a ‘War on Law Enforcement.’
A request for comment on the case has been sent to the National Border Patrol Council.
For many conservatives, the US Government has turned on its own people, catering to Mexico in some cases involving torture, rape and killing of Americans. It is likely the prosecution of Agent Diaz was purely driven by politics. Mexico wanted a scalp and the Obama Administration’s Justice Dept. was only too eager to hand one over, especially with Attorney General Eric Holder under the spotlight because of the Fast and Furious scandal.