- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 18, 2009

EL PASO, Texas | Two U.S. Border Patrol agents whose sentences were commuted by President George W. Bush were allowed to go home Tuesday.

But they will remain under house arrest at their homes in El Paso and cannot talk with reporters until the commutation takes effect March 20.

Ignacio “Nacho” Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean were furloughed Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons from prisons in Arizona and Ohio, respectively, to be flown home to their families in El Paso, according to Mr. Ramos’ wife, Monica.

Mrs. Ramos met her husband at the prison in Phoenix, and the two boarded a plane for the one-hour flight home.

“He is still in shock and has no words to describe his feeling,” Mrs. Ramos told The Washington Times.

Earlier Tuesday, Mr. Ramos spoke to his three young sons by phone. Mrs. Ramos said the boys “are still trying to adjust to the fact and believe that their father is coming home.”

Patty Compean, Mr. Compean’s wife, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr. Ramos and Mr. Compean were sentenced to 11 and 12 years, respectively, for the 2005 shooting of a drug smuggler as he was fleeing a van loaded with marijuana.

Mr. Bush commuted the sentences on his last full day in office.

The smuggler, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, abandoned the van and escaped to Mexico on foot, despite being shot in the buttocks.

Aldrete-Davila returned to the U.S. to testify against the agents after being granted immunity from prosecution and full medical care.

Aldrete-Davila was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol on a separate drug charge in 2007 and sentenced to 9 1/2 years.

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