â??Two Indiana brothersâ?? receive lengthy prison sentences for drug trafficking crimes

Hi Gang:

Once again my most recent commentary is the focus of my article today.

As I often do, I wrote a commentary that was predicated upon a news release that was posted by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).  

Certainly the successful prosecution for criminals who engage in narcotics trafficking is worthy of praise and it is understandable that ICE would want to publicize this success.  However, the problem that this then creates for the administration is that the administration appears determined to downplay the involvement of aliens in serious crimes in the United States to the point of denying that any violence is spilling over from the Mexican border into the United States.  Here we have a case where two brothers in Indiana were engaged in narcotics trafficking and were found to be in possession of firearms.

What a quandary this must create for the administration!

The apparent solution is to not discuss the immigration status of the defendants in this case!  This is not, by the way, an isolated incident where news releases fail to note the immigration status of criminal aliens- indeed, it appears that almost all news releases now posted by ICE, the Department of Justice and other federal law enforcement agencies minimize or utterly ignore the fact that criminals who are apprehended or are found guilty are aliens!

A good report is supposed to answer the basic questions of “Who, What, Where, When, How and Why?”  Yet for the most part, the issue of “Who?” never addresses immigration status of apparent aliens!

When I was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA in New York City in 1988 I decided to conduct and analysis of the arrest reports of those who were arrested by the DEA and the DEA Drug Task Force in New York and throughout the United States.  Back then, roughly 25 years ago, I was startled to find that in New York City some 60% of those arrested for drug trafficking and related crimes were identified as being foreign born while nationally 30% of the defendants were so identified!

No matter how hard the administration may try, they cannot sweep a fundamental fact under the bureaucratic rug- our failures to secure our borders enable criminals from the four corners of the world to enter the United States and set up shop in every state of this vast country!  Similarly, terrorists and those who support terrorism have been able to enter the United States posing a clear and present danger to our nation and our citizens!

Not only will ignoring the immigration component to this threat to our nation not go away, ignoring the immigration component only exacerbates the problem!

When I was an INS special agent, I conducted investigations into MS-13 and other such gangs and often found that gang members were illegal aliens who took menial jobs during the day and then participated in gang activities and crimes after work.  Often the victims of gang violence were the members of the ethnic communities in which these gangs flourished.  Often these gangs and drug trafficking organization seek to “recruit” young members of the ethnic immigrant communities in which they operate.  (It is also important to note that this practice is not limited to ethnic Hispanic gangs but to all transnational gangs of every ethnicity imaginable!)

Members of the Hispanic community should be offended and, indeed outraged, that journalists and politicians would make presumptions about them that would certainly seem to claim that they oppose our immigration laws that are intended to protect America and all Americans.  They should also be offended that  these journal believe that they would be foolish enough to vote for candidates who favor legislation that would not only make a mockery of the process by which these lawful immigrants acquired citizenship but would enable millions of illegal aliens to suddenly have an equal standing in the labor market to seek jobs.  

Labor is a commodity and under the principles of classic economics where the cost of labor is determined by supply vs demand, as more eligible workers enter the labor pool, the more wages are depressed.

Failures by our government to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws hammers nearly every challenge and threat confronting our nation today.  It is time for all Americans to have the courage to engage in honest discussions and the reject the false arguments and suppositions.  

Show me a politician who refuses to enforce the immigration laws or attempts to trivialize these laws, and I will show you a politician who needs to find out what it is like to stand on the unemployment line!

Benjamin Franklin, in discussing our then fledgeling nation, said that they had given us a republic if we could keep it!

What he was making clear was that this democratic republic required that its citizens take their citizenship seriously and keep the political leaders accountable.

It is time for the citizens of our nation to make certain that our nation’s leaders, on all levels, to come to terms with the fundamental fact that the purpose of our immigration laws is to protect our nation and our citizens from aliens whose presence has the potential to have a serious adverse impact.  Ignoring those laws exposes our nation and our citizens to a variety of serious threats and challenges ranging from national security and criminal justice and public safety to the economy, the environment, healthcare and education!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!


our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

For far too long our citizens demonstrated apathy which emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. 

It is therefore understandable that the politicians of both parties, are greatly concerned about the demonstrations currently sweeping our nation just as did the creation of the Tea Party.  Clearly  more and more of our fellow Americans are demonstrating that they are not as dumb as the politicians from both parties had expected us to be!

I am encouraged that more and more of us, We the People, are not willing to simply sit on the sidelines anymore!

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

I also believe that the original purpose of our nation’s immigration laws need to be be brought “front and center” to make certain that our nation does not permit the entry of aliens into our country whose presence in our country is problematic for the citizens of our nation and that if such aliens do succeed in entering our country that our nation have the resources, integrity and dedication to do everything possible to make it impossible for such aliens to function within our country so that even if they are not apprehended, they will find it pointless to remain in the United States.
As I have noted on a number of occasions, “No one would break into the amusement park if they could not get to go on the rides and no one remains in the amusement park at the end of the day when they turn shut down the rides and turn off the lights!” 

If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler- 

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“Two Indiana brothers” receive lengthy prison sentences for drug trafficking crimes

Today’s commentary is predicated on a news release that was issued by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on February 28, 2012 to report on the successful outcome of the prosecution of two defendants who were convicted for crimes relating to narcotics trafficking and the possession of unlawful firearms.

First, let’s give credit where credit is due.  This case undoubtedly represents the successful conclusion of a multi-agency investigation that ultimately resulted in the arrest and conviction of two narcotics traffickers.  The level of success is enhanced by virtue of the fact that three kilograms of methamphetamine were also seized along with drug paraphernalia two loaded handguns and the apparent proceeds of drug trafficking.

The law enforcement officers who participated in this investigation should be commended.  Clearly this case illustrates how enforcement personnel from ICE, the DEA the Cook County Sheriff’s Office were able to achieve a successful conclusion to the investigation- thereby illustrating why, contrary to the usual assertions about community  policing being harmed by local law enforcement working with ICE, a collaborative approach to law enforcement can be extremely effective creating a synergy among the various law enforcement agencies to achieve success.

Now let’s consider that headline on the ICE news release that described the two defendants whose sentencing was reported on in the news release as simply being “2 Indiana brothers.”

Furthermore, the very first paragraph of the news release states the following:

“HAMMOND, Ind. – Two local brothers were sentenced last week and this week to lengthy prison sentences on drug trafficking and firearms charges. The sentences resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), DEA, and the Cook County Sheriff’s Department.”

In case you missed it, these two defendants were described as being “Two local brothers…”

If you don’t carefully read the entire news release, you will likely miss the point that at least one of these two “local brothers” is an illegal alien and incredibly, you will not find any reference to the immigration status of the other defendant in this case, whatsoever!

This is a disturbing way for ICE, the federal agency that has primary responsibility for enforcing our nation’s immigration laws, to report on the arrest of at least one illegal alien.

In the past I have questioned what the term “secure” means to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano when she brags that our borders being “secure.”

The news release relating to this case does not even make note of the fact that either of these convicted drug traffickers were aliens until the fourth paragraph, but even then, the way the information is presented is troubling.  Here is that paragraph:

“Special agents then proceeded to speak with Juan’s brother, Jaime Ramirez-Fuentes. Jaime RamirezFuentes indicated that he was illegally in the United States and had illegal firearms at his home. He gave verbal and written consent to search his home. Inside his residence, HSI special agents seized over three kilograms of methamphetamine, two loaded firearms (one of which was stolen), ammunition, $2,647.12 in cash, plastic wrapping materials, one digital scale and drug packaging materials, from his bedroom. One of the loaded firearms had a rock of methamphetamine lying on top of it when special agents seized it.”

What is troubling is that while Jaime Ramirez-Fuentes, one of the brothers who was arrested and successfully prosecuted, is said to have admitted to being an illegal alien but no mention was made as to his country of citizenship.  There is nothing in the news release about the citizenship or immigration status of his brother Juan Ramirez-Fuentes who was also convicted of similar crimes.  Even if Juan is a resident alien (has a Green Card) he would be subject to deportation now that he has been convicted for the crimes for which he was sentenced.

The news release also noted that two illegal firearms were seized along with a quantity of ammunition but there was no mention that either of the two brothers were charged with violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(5) a section of law which deems the possession of a firearm by an illegal alien to be a felony.

This charge might be superfluous in this case in that the guns (one of which was stolen) were linked to drug trafficking; but the point is that immigration-related issues are important to consider whenever a criminal prosecution is being pursued.

In order to make certain that these two convicted drug traffickers are ultimately deported (removed) from the United States, the ICE special agents need to lodge detainers with the U.S. Marshals Service to make certain that they are not released onto the streets after they serve their prison sentences- this is especially important because it was noted that a part of their sentences calls for a 5 year period of “supervised release.”

It is also disturbing that there is no mention as to how either of these defendants are believed to have entered the United States so that they could commit the crimes for which they were convicted.  Clearly the immigration-related issues were not just glossed over, they were nearly utterly ignored!

This administration has racked up an abysmal track record where the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws are concerned and while the failures to report on immigration-related issues in this case could simply be a matter of careless report writing, I am inclined to not believe that this is the case.

This represents an abrogation of the responsibilities vested in ICE to effectively enforce our nation’s immigration laws.

It is important to remember that the purpose of our nation’s immigration laws is to protect our nation from the presence of aliens who pose a threat to the safety and well-being of our nation and our citizens.

The process by which aliens are deported from the United States is designed and intended to remove aliens who evade the inspections process and/or commit violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act in a number of ways including committing various categories of crimes for which they are subsequently convicted.  Certainly drug trafficking crimes are high on the list of such crimes that render an alien deportable.

Clearly these two convicted drug traffickers pose a very serious threat to our nation and especially to the folks in the community where they live- yet the issue of their immigration status or the fact that at least one of these criminal aliens is now subject to removal (deportation) from the United States, was utterly ignored in the verbiage touting the sentencing of these criminals for their drug-related crimes.

The only way for this case to truly have a happy ending is to know that when their jail sentences are served, if they are subject to deportation, they will be deported.

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