Friday, 13 May 2011

Union Official Accused of “Sabotage” in Border Agent Case

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At least one high-level union official is being accused of “sabotaging” jailed Border Patrol agent Jesus Diaz’s case by making controversial public statements even as the union has essentially abandoned its dues-paying former member, national correspondent Andy Ramirez of the Liberty News Network reported (video below).

In a new video report featuring another exclusive interview with the former agent‘s wife, Diana, Ramirez blasted the union’s behavior and appealed for concerned citizens to get involved. Diana is also asking for help.

The Diaz prosecution, which stemmed from an allegation that he pulled on the handcuffs of an illegal immigrant drug smuggler at the border during an arrest, has provoked strong condemnation from critics. The Mexican consulate reportedly filed the original complaint.

The president of the local Border Patrol union responded to Mrs. Diaz's previous interview with LNN by essentially accusing her of deception and dishonesty. He claimed, for example, that the family had not spent “a penny” of its own money to fight the case.

In her second exclusive interview with LNN, Diana Diaz, also a supervisor with the Border Patrol, contested the union’s allegations. Among other things, she pointed out several inaccuracies in the local union president’s reply, noting, for instance, that the Diaz family had indeed paid for a lawyer — $15,000, it turns out.

“I think the union is trying to take attention away from the issue,” Diana told Ramirez. “They haven’t stepped up to the plate.” A high-ranking official from the national union, meanwhile, was accused of “sabotaging” agent Diaz’s efforts.

Vice President Shawn Moran of the National Border Patrol Council union went on a nationally syndicated radio show and stated that Diana was basically falsely portraying her husband as “someone who has done nothing wrong.” Moran did acknowledge that he did not think pulling on handcuffs in an incident which resulted in no injuries was an excessive use of force.

However, Moran suggested he did not believe that was all there was to the story, though he did not seem to know many details of the case when questioned on air. Diaz allegedly “lying” to Internal Affairs investigators seemed to be a key point for him.

“Due to the circumstances of the case, we didn’t feel this was a good case to go forward with,” Moran, also a Border Patrol agent, told radio host Roger Hedgecock. “It doesn’t pass the smell test to me.”

When asked about the role of the Mexican government in the ordeal, Moran did say that “any prosecution that comes out of [U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton’s district] is definitely politically motivated.” But still, the union official did not stand up for his jailed former colleague, although he did say the potential sentence was excessive.  

Diana responded to Moran’s allegations about her husband supposedly lying by suggesting that Moran didn‘t really know what he was talking about. For example, the Border Patrol trainees involved in the case reportedly later contradicted their own testimony. And of course, Diana pointed out, the drug smuggler in question would have a different view of the events than the agent apprehending him.

“My husband’s story has not changed from day one,” Diana said. “All of those agents [whose testimony helped imprison Diaz] … their version of the events has changed every single time.” All of them did reportedly alter their original stories.

Ramirez said Moran’s statements during the radio interview amounted to throwing both Diana and her jailed husband “under the bus.” Moran had no business doing that, especially in light of some of his own statements during the program, Ramirez asserted.

Diana agreed and blasted the union, claiming it was trying to “sabotage” her advocacy on behalf of her husband. “If you’re not going to help me, then get out of the way so that I can do it by myself,” she added.

Former agent Jesus Diaz, now a convicted felon, is in solitary confinement in a six-by-twelve-foot cell for 23 hours per day. He could face between ten and 35 years in prison when the sentence is handed down.

PORAC, a union-linked outfit covered by LNN last week that was supposed to be representing Diaz, has not yet decided whether it will file an appeal or not. The union has essentially washed its hands of the case.

“They just left him out to dry,” Diana told LNN. “To this day, nobody from the union has contacted my husband — once they represented my husband with the chief, that was the last contact he ever had with the union.”

Diana also noted that it was “clear” the union did not plan to help out, asking concerned citizens to donate money to the cause through www.advocatescouncil.us. The organization, headed by Ramirez, is helping the Diaz family finance attorneys to appeal the verdict.

Watch the exclusive report below:

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Andy Ramirez is the founder and president of the Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council, as well as founder and president of Friends of the Border Patrol. Liberty News Network is an affiliated news group of The John Birch Society.