Johnny "House of Death" Sutton is coming to a TV near you

Federal prosecutor resigning, hopes to become new voice for conservatives

Johnny Sutton, the lead U.S. prosecutor for the Western District of Texas, will be stepping down from his U.S. Attorney post effective Sunday, at midnight, on April 19.

His resignation garnered a bit of press in Texas, but has gone largely unnoticed by the national media — which helped to hype Sutton’s career in the wake of the sentences meted out to two Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.

The duo was prosecuted by Sutton’s office and each sentenced to more than a decade in prison for attempting to cover up their roles in shooting a dope smuggler in the posterior in 2005. President Bush, just prior to leaving office this year, commuted the sentences of Ramos and Compean, though did not pardon them for the crime.

Sutton’s pending departure from the U.S. Attorney post based in San Antonio, Texas, provided an opportunity for the Texas media to revisit that case, and to once again give Sutton a soap box to defend his prosecution of the Border Patrol agents as being just, though resulting in sentences that he agrees were too harsh but beyond his control.

But that same media was silent about another case marked by the fingerprints of Sutton, one that cost the lives of at least a dozen people and which, to this day, remains mired in a cover-up that reaches to the top of the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

The murders were carried out in 2003 and early 2004 with the assistance of a U.S. government informant overseen by federal agents seeking to make a drug case for Sutton against a Juarez, Mexico-based narco-trafficker named Heriberto Santillan Tabares. That case, dubbed the House of Death, also nearly resulted in the assassination of a DEA agent and his family at the hands of the Santillan criminal cell as a result of decisions made by Sutton’s office that permitted their informant to continue his homicidal assignment. That callous indifference to life, arguably complicity in murder, seemed to work to Sutton’s advantage, allowing him to potentially lay claim to a big drug-case stat to feather his hat and advance his political fortunes.

But a lone DEA commander in El Paso, Texas, threatened to unravel Sutton’s glory when he wrote a memo — delivered to Sutton — decrying the needless murders in the House of Death case and the inexcusable actions of those who allowed the informant to aid and abet those crimes with the blessing of federal agents and prosecutors.

Sutton is no amateur when it comes to the ancient political art of sticking the knife in the back of a perceived enemy, however. And that DEA agent, Sandy Gonzalez, was deemed such a threat.

In order to assure the House of Death remained buried with its victims, Sutton used his connections within the Department of Justice and White House — he rose to power on the coattails of Bush after all — to retaliate against and silence Gonzalez (resulting in his early retirement from the DEA).

The informant, a former Mexican cop named Guillermo Ramirez Peyro, a potential witness against the government in the House of Death case, is now facing the threat of deportation back to Mexico, where even Justice Department attorneys concede he will likely be murdered by the narco-traffickers he betrayed; the only inquiry to date into the House of Death, known as the JAT report, has been deep-sixed by both DEA and ICE, the federal law enforcement agency that employed the informant; Santillan is now in prison in the wake of a sweetheart plea deal cut by Sutton, who dropped the murder charges against the narco-trafficker; and the mainstream media has been deflected (preoccupied by a buttocks shooting) from digging into the cover-up.

The bodies of the House of Death victims, discovered in the backyard of a house in Juarez in 2004, distorted in the grisly poses of the torture that delivered their deaths, are by now little more than bones in the ground that forms the border between Mexico and the U.S., forgotten sacrifices to the hypocrisy of the drug war.

So Sutton, who even staged a press conference earlier this week to broadcast his plans to step down from the U.S. Attorney post, will now step into the private sector in harmony with his compadre, Bush, (who describes Sutton as a “dear friend”) by aligning himself with the former president’s sentence commutation in the Ramos and Compean case — which serves a useful role as a media distraction for a far more heinous act of inhumanity.

“Serving as United States Attorney has been one of the greatest honors of my career and I will be forever grateful to President Bush for giving me the opportunity to fight for justice on behalf of the American people,” Sutton said in prepared remarks announcing his resignation as U.S. Attorney.
Thus, Sutton, with his political future intact thanks to the House of Death cover-up, and with the help of a servant media, is allowed to project an image as a tough-on-crime prosecutor who is willing to take the heat for a “just” prosecution of criminal law enforcers like Compean and Ramos. He is that rare conservative whose principled approach to justice is even respected by liberals.

Yes, this man has a future in politics.

The script has been set in motion, then, played perfectly by Sutton, who recently told the Austin American-Statesman that he has landed a job in the private sector, though he declined to disclose specific details. He also told the same newspaper that he plans to continue using the mainstream media to manipulate reality to his benefit — well, he colored it in more heroic terms designed to play to his base.

From an April 14 story in the Austin American-Statesman:

"The [Ramos and Compean] case was an amazing tidal wave of misinformation," said Sutton, who noted that his critics were mostly right-leaning. "I want to be a conservative voice of reason in the media."

Sutton then punctuates his plans to cultivate a future role as a TV pundit — a move necessary for building the name recognition so essential to a political play on a national level — by saying, according to the Statesman: “I don’t mind a good knife fight.”

Sutton certainly has proven that point — though I wouldn’t recommend turning your back on the man in such a fight.

Narco News did try yet again to get an interview with Sutton to discuss the House of Death case. The PR spokesman for his office promised to run it past Sutton, but no word yet, nor is it likely Sutton will agree to talk about the case.

After all, the mainstream media has given him a pass on his role in the carnage, so why would he willingly sow such a seed with Narco News?

But Sutton should keep in mind that even he cannot control destiny. The House of Death is not going away, even if it has failed, to date, to capture the national media spotlight.

It is like a worm in the wood, gnawing away day and night at the foundation of the phony drug war on which politicians like Sutton choose to build their careers. And one day, as sure as the wind blows across the border, it will all come crashing down on them. And all the corpses buried under that foundation will be, at long last, exposed to the light of day.

And then Sutton will realize that no one can win a knife fight with the dead.

Stay tuned …..

Read the entire House of Death Series Here.

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