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By The Associated Press

The following is achronology in the case of former Border Patrol agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos. Theirlengthy prison sentences for shooting a fleeing drug smuggler were commuted by President George W. Bush Monday.

February 2005: Compean and Ramos shoot Aldrete during a chase in which agents suspect they have come upon a drug transaction. Aldrete is shot in the rear as he flees to Mexico. Investigators said both agents covered up evidence linking them to the shooting.

March 2006: Compean and Ramos are convicted on several counts of assault, weapons offenses, obstruction of justice and a civil rights offense. Border Patrol officials say both agents will be fired.

October 2006: Compean is sentenced to 12 years in federal prison, Ramos to 11 years and one day.

February 2007: Ramos’ relatives and U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado say Ramos was beaten in prison after his case was described in an episode of “America’s Most Wanted.”

July 2007: The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing regarding the convictions. Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas says the shooting’s cover-up was inexcusable but that the president should review their “excessive” sentences. The U.S. House votes to block the Bureau of Prisons from holding Compean and Ramos.

November 2007: Aldrete is charged with smuggling marijuana in separate incidents several months after the shooting.

April 2008: Aldrete pleads guilty to two counts of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, and one count each of conspiracy to import a controlled substance and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

July 2008: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upholds most of the convictions, but the ruling forces resentencing hearings.

August 2008: Aldrete is sentenced to 9 years in federal prison on the drug smuggling charges.

November 2008: Compean and Ramos are formally resentenced to their original federal prison terms.

January 2009: Bush commutes the sentences, days after all but three of the 34 Texans in Congress sent Bush a signed letter asking for leniency.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Article Topic Follows: News

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