Case of Imprisoned Border Agents Becomes "Curiouser & Curiouser"

Excerpt: WASHINGTON — Bipartisan congressional anger flared Tuesday over the imprisonment of two Border Patrol agents for wounding a fleeing Mexican drug smuggler and concealing evidence of the shooting. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., urged President Bush to commute the agents' sentences, saying the 11- and 12-year prison sentences handed to ex-agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were "harsh, disproportionate, excessive."

The two men wounded Osvaldo Aldrete Davila after a high-speed chase outside El Paso in February 2005.

Delahunt's House Foreign Affairs oversight subcommittee, which convened to investigate what role, if any, the Mexican government played in the prosecution, didn't offer a definitive answer — largely because the Justice and Homeland Security department officials refused to testify.

State Department witnesses described only tangential contact after Homeland Security opened an investigation within weeks of the shooting.

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