Published January 14, 2015
This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," February 17, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GLENN BECK, HOST: America, today is a big day. I have been telling you the story of the border agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean now for more than two years. Their release from prison is something that I have been asking for and you have been asking for every step of the way.
Well, today, that day is finally here. Here is their story.
(voice over): It was four years ago today that the lives of Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos were turned upside-down. The border patrol agents were just doing their job, protecting our country on the border of Texas. They were trying to catch an illegal Mexican drug smuggler, carrying nearly 800 pounds of marijuana in his van.
When he tried to run away, Ramos and Compean shot him in the butt. He escaped and ran safely back over the border to Mexico, while Compean and Ramos were charged and convicted with assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 12 and 11 years in prison.
IGNACIO RAMOS, FORMER U.S. BORDER AGENT: I gave chase to the drug smuggler. I gave him one command to stop. And that's when he turned and pointed a gun at me. And that's when I fired.
BECK: On January 17th, 2007, both former agents walked into the U.S. Marshals Service office in El Paso, Texas to begin serving their time. Soon after, Ignacio Ramos is beaten in prison after the case is broadcast on "America's Most Wanted."
And the illegal Mexican drug smuggler? He goes and files a $5 million lawsuit against the Federal Government that his civil rights were violated.
In April last year, the dirt bag with a sore butt pleads guilty to drug possession. His sentence? Nine and a half years.
Meanwhile, the wives of Compean and Ramos are still desperately trying to have their husbands set free. Both living as single moms now, Patty Compean had a baby that her husband has never known. It was on this very program, back on our first broadcast, that Monica and Patty finally got the news that they had been waiting two years to hear.
BECK (on camera): And you find out today, from Virginia, one of our producers, calls you up. You didn't even know.
MONICA RAMOS, WIFE OF IGNACIO RAMOS: No.
BECK: Who took the phone call from Virginia?
PATTY COMPEAN, WIFE OF JOSE COMPEAN: I did.
BECK: You did?
P. COMPEAN: Yes.
BECK: And she just said, "Congratulations."
P. COMPEAN: And I'm like, "Thank you. For what? It's like, "You don't know?" "Know what?" "That the guys are coming home." "Oh, my God. What?"
BECK (voice over): In one of his last acts as president, George W. Bush commuted the sentences of Ramos and Compean. And a month later, they're finally home. Welcome home, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
FOX News exclusive now — steps away from the home of Ignacio Ramos on the day of his release from prison, four years to the day that this whole nightmare started.
Joining us now from El Paso is Monica Ramos, Ignacio's wife and his lawyer, David Botsford. Monica, how great was it today?
MONICA RAMOS, IGNACIO RAMOS' WIFE: Oh, it was wonderful. It has gone by pretty fast. We can only hope the next 33 days go just as fast.
BECK: Nacho is actually in the house. We found out he was supposed to be joining us tonight and we found out at the last minute that he can't come on, because — why exactly?
DAVID BOTSFORD, IGNACIO RAMOS' LAWYER: Glenn, let me explain that. In essence, the Bureau of Prisons has restricted him from any contact with the press during the next 33-day period of time.
BECK: David, how is that possible? Why? Why is it our government continues to - they seem to be in a pattern now to where they say, "We're going to take away your freedom of speech rights," even — I mean, it has happened in three or four cases. How is that? We're not talking about jury tampering or anything else.
BOTSFORD: No, but they have the authority, at least until the sentence is discharged on March 20, 2009, to impose whatever conditions they want. And although they don't have to let him out to a halfway house or home confinement, they have at least agreed to do this 33 days early.
And so I wasn't going to push the envelope and make a stink out of that. So, in essence, Nacho is not going to have any contact with the press whatsoever. That's just the way it needs to be.
BECK: OK. Now, we are looking at these pictures that — this is you guys arriving at the airport. Monica, can you tell me, how are the kids dealing with this? How is Nacho dealing with this?
M. RAMOS: I mean, the kids are just extremely excited. They have had a couple minutes with father here. It was really overwhelming for them. I think seeing was believing for them. They finally hugged their dad and they know it's real.
So, you know, they're a little quiet. They don't know kind of what conversations to strike up with their dad right now. But in time, I think, you know, soon we will be beginning the healing process.
BECK: What were the first words that he said when he walked out of prison to you?
M. RAMOS: "I love you," and he just embraced me.
BECK: Do you see any sense of — I don't know — fear or relief? What do you see in his eyes when he walked out? I can't imagine. I have thought about it all morning, walking out of being in solitary confinement for as long as he was, and walking out and still knowing that they can come in and grab you here in the next, you know, few days. What do you see in his eyes?
M. RAMOS: I'm seeing a great deal of relief, and let me tell you why. You put it in solitary confinement. And he is not used to the noise level, being around people. And it was just great to see him as I observed him walking through the airport and sitting down and having his first meal.
It was just — he just looked around and — just very appreciative, just looking around and just absorbing his environment that he was in.
BECK: You told me last week — I was on the way home when we had a conversation on the phone. And you told me that you guys were going to Cracker Barrel for your first meal. Is that where you went?
M. RAMOS: He didn't get a chance to —
BECK: Oh, you've got to be kidding me.
M. RAMOS: But he did go to his favorite fast food restaurant.
BECK: Yes. You've got to get to Cracker Jack —
M. RAMOS: You know, it was at the airport.
BECK: You can buy the t-shirt there after dinner. OK, thanks, guys. More in just a second with Monica, and much more, coming up.
BECK: We are back with the exclusive interview with the family of a former U.S. border agent on the day he was released from prison. By the way, we are not with Patty and Jose Ramos (sic) today. You know, he is meeting a child he has not met yet. And the family is kind of taking a quiet day. As it turns out, we can't speak to either former border agent today, but they are allowed to speak on March 20th, right?
BOTSFORD: That's correct.
BECK: And we'll be able to talk to both of them on that day. And Monica, I don't know — I mean, we've talked for a long time, and there's more to this story. Can you tell any of the things that you have been waiting or are we waiting until March 20?
M. RAMOS: Actually, the only thing we're on right now or that we're waiting for is a decision from the Supreme Court. And my attorney could...
BECK: What is the decision we are looking for, David?
BOTSFORD: Well, we've asked the Supreme Court to review the convictions on the remaining counts that the Fifth Circuit had not set aside. Because it's our goal to vindicate these gentlemen entirely and get them back on the job with law enforcement, which is what their dream and goals and careers have been.
BECK: I don't — Monica, I don't understand that. I mean, how can you be sold down the river by your own government? I mean, I just had Karl Rove on and he didn't tie it to this at all. But I said, "You know, I think we're dirty on the border."
There is dirty stuff going on, and if I'm not mistaken, am I mischaracterizing this? He said, "Yes." He said, "You're right, there are problems down there." Why does he want to go back and be a part of — when you've spent almost two years in solitary confinement?
BOTSFORD: Well, he may not trust his government, but he loves his country, and he wants to serve, as he has done with honor and distinction in the past, Glenn. And that's what his career aspirations are, and hopefully we'll get them both back to that spot if that's what they so desire.
BECK: OK. Any plans to leave the house yourself, or you're staying along with the family as close to your husband as possible? He can't leave the house, now, right Monica? He's there until March 20?
M. RAMOS: Right.
BECK: Can't leave — does he have an ankle bracelet?
M. RAMOS: Yes, he has. It's already been placed on him.
BECK: Is there any concern — you know, we found out just a little while ago that there are protests now unrelated to this. There are demonstrations on all of the bridges in the Texas area, protesting military involvement on the other side of the border. There seems to be some uprisings going on there. What is the attitude towards your husband there in El Paso?
M. RAMOS: Well, actually, coming off the airplane, we saw a great deal of support. So I can only hope that that support will continue for him.
BECK: Is there any concern at all for their — for either safety, or the safety of your family?
M. RAMOS: I think we're taking every precautionary measure to ensure their safety, and we will continue to do so.
BECK: Good, OK. Coming up, a little bit more with Monica Ramos. And also, I believe that we are being joined by Ted Poe in just a moment. Stand by.
BECK: We're back with Monica Ramos, the wife of former border agent, Ignacio Ramos. By the way, is he watching television right now at home? Do you know?
M. RAMOS: Yes, he is. Yes, he is.
BECK: I cannot wait to shake your hand, Sir. I cannot wait to meet you face to face and shake your hand. Thank you for everything you have done for this country. And just wait, because life is going to get good.
Also, we have Texas Congressman Ted Poe. He is the first U.S. lawmaker to bring the case of the border agents to light in Congress. He spoke to Jose Compean on the phone today.
Congressman, first of all, good job. Everything that you have done on this case ...
REP. TED POE (R-TX): Thank you.
BECK: ... you have carried an awful lot of water. I know, I was on this case really early and I backed off until your office called because I said something is not right here. This is when I still naively trusted our government, and something wasn't right.
You called and said, "Glenn, I'll tell you what's not right. We're getting lied to." Can you explain just a little bit quickly about the initial lies that you, in Congress, were being told?
POE: That's right. We were told that these two border agents went out that day to shoot an illegal, which is an absolute lie. We were also told that they knew that the drug dealer was unarmed. That is a lie. They both believed him to be armed.
But most importantly, the U.S. Attorney's Office told us that there was no second case. The drug dealer didn't bring in drugs a second time. And when I got a copy of the DEA report, I figured out that that was a lie, too. So that's three of the main lies that they told us, and that's why I got involved.
I think both of these individuals were political prisoners and we wanted to get to the bottom of what the involvement of the Mexican government was in prosecuting these two guys.
BECK: You know, I want to know what the involvement was of the Mexican government. But I would like to know — I mean, Congressman, please, I want you to tell me I'm wrong. There's something dirty on our side of the border as well. I believe there are dirty officials on our side. There are dirty politicians on our side.
When we started looking into things, we got — the media shut up like nobody's business down there. And I think they're all afraid of the cartels and everything, which I can understand.
But then, there is also something strange going on from the public officials down in Texas. They completely shut up. In fact, they were trying to thwart us. They would do everything they could to discredit us from looking in to anything. Please tell me I'm wrong ...
POE: That's correct —
BECK: ... dirty officials on our side.
POE: It seems like there is a real problem on both sides of the border, including ours. And we haven't found out the answer to that yet, but this is the only case I have ever heard of where the U.S. Attorney's Office went on a nationwide Madison Avenue PR stunt, trying to justify the prosecution of this case. And it just seems like there is a rat in the room and we want to find it.
BECK: Yes, there is. All right. Congressman, thank you very much. Monica, God bless you and the family. And we'll talk again.
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