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Madam Speaker, today it is cold in Washington. It is snowing. They say it may snow some more. But there are two places in the United States that are colder than in this city, and they are in separate places. They are two prison cells, Federal penitentiaries, where two border agents, now, today have spent one calendar year in confinement for doing their job on the Texas-Mexico border.
Madam Speaker, it seems as though border agents Ramos and Compean have been punished for doing what we hired them to do. Because, you see, when they were patrolling the Texas-Mexico border, a drug smuggler came into the United States bringing almost a million dollars worth of drugs into this country. They had a confrontation with this drug dealer. They both believed him to have a weapon. Shots were fired, and he disappeared in Mexico, leaving his load of drugs in this country.
Unbeknownst to them, they shot the drug smuggler. A few months later, our Federal Government relentlessly went and found this drug dealer, brought him back to the United States and gave him immunity from his crimes to testify against the border agents for, get this, a civil rights violation against him, the drug smuggler. They were tried and they were convicted and sent to the Federal penitentiary for 11 and 12 years.
But what the jury in that trial did not know was that the U.S. Justice Department, the Attorney General's Office, hid evidence in that case from the jury, because Madam Speaker, they not only made a deal with this drug smuggler not to prosecute him for bringing in a million dollars worth of drugs; while he was waiting to testify at the trial, he brought in another load of drugs. And then our U.S. Attorney's Office had the audacity for months to deny that ever occurred.
But now the truth has come out. Now we know. Now the whole world knows that that evidence was hidden from the jury. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has heard this case on appeal. We are waiting to see if they reverse the case because the U.S. Attorney's Office hid evidence that the jury should have heard because, you see, the star witness, the witness that the U.S. Attorney's Office made a backroom deal with, brought in other drugs. The jury should have known that to judge the credibility of the witness. And this is not the first time the U.S. Attorney's Office has done this.
In the year 2000, another border agent by the name of David Sipes came in contact with a human smuggler. He had a fight with him in the Rio Grande River as the human smuggler was bringing in people. And then David Sipes was prosecuted for, yes, a civil rights violation for assaulting the human smuggler.
In that particular case, the U.S. Attorney's Office did the same thing. They hid evidence from the jury. They hid from the jury that this human smuggler was given $80,000 as a settlement, that he was allowed to cross back and forth between the United States and Mexico, that he was given a Texas driver's license, a U.S. Social Security card. And also in that case, yes, that human smuggler, while waiting to testify, brought in another load of illegals into this country.
But in that case, the U.S. Attorney's Office was caught. A new trial was ordered because they hid evidence, and that jury in that case found David Sipes, border agent, not guilty because the U.S. Attorney's Office was not seeking justice but convictions.
It makes us wonder what our U.S. Attorney's Office is