Corruption Cover-Up in Case of Jailed BP Agents ?

The Border Patrol agent with family ties to the Mexican drug smuggler in the case of two jailed border agents may have been involved in back-channel communications with Mexican drug cartels, investigative reports obtained by WND suggest, prompting calls for a special prosecutor to look into the charges.

"We now know that DHS and prosecutor U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton found [smuggler Osbaldo] Aldrete-Davila because the mother-in-law of Border Patrol Agent Rene Sanchez talked with Aldrete-Davila's mother on the phone," Andy Ramirez, chairman of Friends of the Border Patrol, told WND. "How many other conversations in Mexico did Border Patrol Agent Rene Sanchez have and what was the purpose of those conversations?"

An investigative report filed by Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Christopher Sanchez July 18, 2005, stated that on July 11, 2005, the DHS Office of Inspector General in El Paso spoke to agent Rene Sanchez in the Willcox, Ariz., Border Patrol Station, concerning a telephone call Rene Sanchez made to Border Patrol Agent Nolan Blanchett in the Ysleta BP Station in Texas.

At the time of the phone call, Blanchett wasassigned temporarily to the Fabens Border Patrol Station, the scene of the Feb. 17, 2005, incident with Aldrete-Davila that led to the imprisonment of agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.

According to the July 18, 2005, DHS memorandum of activity:

(Rene) Sanchez stated that he called Blanchett one or two days after he spoke to DHS OIG on March 5, 2005. Sanchez said he asked Blanchett if he knew anything about a shooting that occurred on February 17, 2005 involving a van loaded with dope in which BP agents shot at the driver. Sanchez said Blanchett told him he knew nothing about the shooting.
A separate March 14, 2005, DHS memorandum of activity filed by Christopher Sanchez, documents that agent Rene Sanchez "queried the Border Patrol Tracking System and found that the Fabens Border Patrol Station seized a load of marijuana on February 17, 2005."

These reports drew the suspicion of Ramirez.

"Why is this Border Patrol agent Rene Sanchez over in Willcox, Arizona, so interested in searching out this drug bust information in Fabens, Texas?" Ramirez asked WND. "Sure, we know that Aldrete-Davila and Rene Sanchez grew up together in Mexico. But how much more to the story is there than that?"

WND has learned prosecutor Sutton's office took steps to prevent Blanchett from testifying in open court, claiming his testimony would compromise an ongoing investigation.

WND has also learned Blanchett had received phone calls from Rene Sanchez tipping him off that a sensor hit was about to take place on the border, giving advance warning that a drug-smuggling transport across the border was going to take place. Knowing in advance the when and where of a sensor hit on the border would allow a Border Patrol agent to be in position to interdict the drug shipment and arrest the smuggler.

"How do we know that Agent Rene Sanchez wasn't working with Aldrete-Davila's drug cartel?" Ramirez asked. "Calling Blanchett in advance and letting him know where to interdict a drug shipment might be a good way to eliminate the competition of Aldrete-Davila or whomever he is linked to."

At the Ramos-Compean trial, the defense was not allowed to call Blanchett to the stand for testimony.

"The connection is a little bit too convenient," Ramirez pointed out to WND. "Here we have this Border Patrol Agent Rene Sanchez over in Willcox, Arizona, and the only way DHS and Johnny Sutton's office find out that Aldrete-Davila was the drug smuggler is because Rene Sanchez tips them off. Then Aldrete-Davila gets immunity and medical care from the prosecutor. Just how closely was Rene Sanchez working with the drug smuggler and what did Rene Sanchez stand to gain when Aldrete-Davila got immunity?"

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