- - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

In many ways, California is a fine place to live, work or visit. I lived in California for a year when I was in the Navy many years ago and I recently visited the Golden State. Unfortunately, the current governor is so unlike a previous resident of the Governor’s Mansion in Sacramento, Ronald Reagan.

Just ask California law enforcement.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom came under fire at a news conference held earlier this month for not attending the funeral of El Dorado County Deputy Sheriff Brian Ishmael, who had been killed in the line of duty in an incident that involved two illegal aliens from Mexico.

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Deputy Ishmael and another officer arrived at a scene in response to a 911 call. The officers were told that someone was stealing marijuana plants from a garden. The officers ordered whoever was in the garden to come out, but gun shots came out of the garden and Deputy Ishmael and the other officer were hit. They returned fire, but Deputy Ishmael died soon after.

The press conference was held by McGregor Scott, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini and El Dorado District Attorney Vern Pierson. The law enforcement officials were united in their condemnation of the governor for his failure to honor the murdered deputy, and for his liberal sanctuary policies, which the officials say impeded the murder investigation. The occasion of the press conference was to announce the federal indictments of the four men involved in the incident that caused the deputy to be shot and killed. Three of the men also face state charges and two of the men face state murder charges.

The federal four-count indictment charged the four men with illegal marijuana cultivation and firearms offenses, including a charge of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. The statutory penalty for the marijuana counts is a five-year mandatory-minimum prison sentence up to 40 years in prison with fines up to $5 million. The discharge of a firearm during a drug crime is a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The alien in possession of a firearm count is a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The sheriff stated that he didn’t think one morning out of the governor’s busy schedule to respect the slain deputy and his family was too much to ask. Instead, the governor sent a representative with a letter to the family.

The law enforcement officials said they were unable to identify the alleged gunman for two days due to state law that prohibits federal immigration officials from questioning illegal aliens in county jail. Not even suspected cop killers. The U.S. attorney had to speak directly to the state’s attorney general to allow the FBI to speak to the illegal alien suspects.

“We shouldn’t have to go through these hurdles to try to figure out who two guys are from Mexico who just killed a deputy sheriff,” the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney said.

“Please call this what it is. Don’t soften it,” the sheriff added. “This tragedy was due to an illegal alien tending an illegal marijuana garden who murdered my deputy.”

The U.S. attorney noted that illegal alien was not a “politically correct” term, but he said that illegal aliens fit the legal definition of the charges in the indictment.

A California cop I spoke to you last week said he and his fellow officers were infuriated by the governor’s decision to not attend Deputy Ishmael’s funeral. 

“I suspect that Newsom didn’t go to the deputy’s funeral because illegal aliens were involved in his murder,” the officer said. “After all, this is the former mayor of San Francisco, a sanctuary city, and as governor, Newsom would rather pardon illegal alien criminals than see their sorry butts deported.”

The officer was referring to the recent pardons of three felons by the governor. The governor stated that the three felons made “bad decisions” as young adults and deporting them would be “an unjust collateral consequence.” The bad decisions included arson and felony robbery. The governor failed to mention the unjust consequences that befell the victims of the pardoned criminals.

Securing the border is essential to our security and it is the responsibility of all government officials to take measures to stop this illegal activity. Yet, one can feel a bit of sympathy for illegal aliens who undergo brutality and hardships while trying to sneak into the U.S.

But is quite another thing to support and defend illegal aliens who commit crimes here such as armed robbery, drug trafficking and the murder of a police officer.    

• Paul Davis covers crime, espionage and terrorism.

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