News Release
April 18, 2008
Contact: Matthew Taylor
Public Information Officer

Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila Pleads Guilty to Drug Smuggling Charges

APR 18 -- (El Paso, TX)-United States Attorney Johnny Sutton announced today that in Federal court in El Paso, 27- year-old Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila pleaded guilty to federal drug smuggling charges. Aldrete gained notoriety for being the unarmed drug smuggler who was shot in the buttocks by former Border Patrol Agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos as he fled from them. The Agents then covered up the shooting and filed a false report of the encounter.

“I have repeatedly said that if we obtained sufficient competent and admissible evidence against Aldrete, we would prosecute him. I fulfilled that promise when the DEA arrested Aldrete on an indictment charging him with federal drug smuggling. Today, Aldrete pleaded guilty to that indictment. Just as Aldrete’s illegal conduct did not excuse the crimes committed by Compean and Ramos, likewise, their crimes did not excuse his. Compean and Ramos had their day in court and an El Paso jury convicted them after a two and half week long jury trial. Now, Aldrete has had his day in court and will soon be paying for his crimes,” stated United States Attorney Johnny Sutton.

Appearing before United States District Judge Kathleen Cardone this afternoon, the defendant pleaded guilty to all of the charges contained in the indictment against him, namely, two counts of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, one count of conspiracy to import a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

By pleading guilty, Aldrete-Davila admitted that beginning on or about June 1, 2005, through November 30, 2005, he conspired with others to import and to possess with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. Additionally, on September 24, 2005, and then again on October 22 and 23, 2005, Aldrete-Davila admitted to possessing with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. Aldrete-Davila remains in federal custody pending sentencing. Sentencing is scheduled for July 16, 2008.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted for the government by Assistant United States Attorney John Gibson.