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Tipsheet

Obama Justice Department Sends Border Agent to Prison for "Violating Rights" of Drug Smuggler

After a complaint from the Mexican government, a U.S. Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to two years in prison for "violating" the constitutional rights of a 15-year-old drug smuggling suspect by not "lifting his arms properly." The Obama Justice Department has accused the agent of using "unnecessary force," in handling the suspect while handcuffed. From the Washington Times:

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Agent Jesus E. Diaz Jr. was named in a November 2009 federal grand jury indictment with deprivation of rights under color of law during an October 2008 arrest near the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, in response to a report that illegal immigrants had crossed the river with bundles of drugs.

In a prosecution sought by the Mexican government and obtained after the suspected smuggler was given immunity to testify against the agent, Diaz was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Alia Moses Ludlum in San Antonio. The Mexican consulate in Eagle Pass had filed a formal written complaint just hours after the arrest, alleging that the teenager had been beaten.

Defense attorneys argued that there were no injuries or bruises on the suspected smuggler’s lower arms where the handcuffs had been placed nor any bruising resulting from an alleged knee on his back. Photos showed the only marks on his body came from the straps of the pack he carried containing the suspected drugs, they said.

The defense claimed that the smuggling suspect was handcuffed because he was uncooperative and resisted arrest, and that the agent had lifted his arms to force him to the ground - a near-universal police technique - while the other agents looked for the drugs.

The allegations against Diaz, 31, a seven-year veteran of the Border Patrol, initially were investigated by Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Professional Responsibility, which cleared the agent of any wrongdoing.

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Despite being cleared of any wrong doing by the I.C.E.  Office of Professional Responsibility and the DHS Inspector General, the Obama Justice Department went forward with prosecution against Diaz. Considering the Obama Justice Department is full of former ACLU lawyers, this situation is extremely disappointing but not surprising. After all, this is the same Justice Department that wanted to prosecute Navy SEALS for "punching terrorists in the stomach," prosecute CIA agents who conducted water boarding and the same department headed by Attorney General Eric Holder who thinks terrorists deserve the same rights as law abiding American citizens. The Obama Justice Department has made it clear they are more concerned with fulfilling the interests of foreign countries, in this case Mexico, than protecting American citizens. In addition, the Obama Justice Department has made it clear they have no respect for our Border Patrol agents in light of Operation Fast and Furious, the lethal operation that resulted in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Terry's family still hasn't received an apology from the Justice Department for their role in the operation.

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