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Court Upholds Sentence For Border Agents, Ramos And Compean

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A federal appeals court has refused to throw out lengthy prison sentences for a pair of jailed U.S. Border Patrol agents convicted two years ago of shooting an unarmed illegal immigrant and lying about it.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Monday upheld most of the convictions against former agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.

The appeals court vacated their convictions for tampering with an official proceedings, but the three-judge panel refused to reverse the convictions that resulted in their lengthy sentences.

Ramos and Compean were convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 11 and 12 years in prison, respectively. Both men claimed they shot at Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, an illegal immigrant and admitted drug smuggler, in self defense.

U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who prosecuted the case against Ramos and Compean,responded to Monday’s ruling in a written statement.

He said: “I am pleased with today’s ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit concerning the prosecutions of Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos.

“By affirming the convictions of the most serious charges against Mr. Compean and Mr. Ramos, the court has validated what this office has said all along – this prosecution was about the rule of law, plain and simple.”

Click here to readSutton’s full response.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-28-08 1449EDT

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