Check out the story of Cory Voorhis! The ICE agent who is a victim of political revenge by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter for exposing his support of illegal immigration while DA in Denver, Colorado. Truly amazing story!
The Political Prosecution of Immigration Enforcement Agent Cory Voorhis
A federal grand jury is needed to get at the truth beneath the corruption and cover-up
Who is Cory Voorhis and why should you care?
Cory Voorhis is a former Border Patrol officer and 15-year veteran of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). He was charged in federal district court in Denver on Oct. 25, 2007 with three misdemeanor counts of "unauthorized access"' of a federal criminal database and now faces the possibility of three years in prison, heavy fines, loss of his job, and horrendous legal bills. He has also been notified he will be placed on leave-without-pay by ICE, which is an unprecedented action against a law enforcement officer who has only been accused, not convicted. Voorhis and his wife and two children now face Christmas and the New Year with mounting legal bills and no paycheck.
Cory Voorhis has a distinguished record as a Special Investigator for ICE. He was the lead investigator for the interagency task force that broke up the largest document fraud ring in United States history, a Guadalajara-based operation working in Colorado and 14 other states producing millions of drivers' licenses, green cards, and Social Security cards. Most of the customers were illegal aliens.
In September of 2006, Voorhis read Denver newspaper accounts of statements by Bill Ritter, then a candidate for Governor of Colorado and now the incumbent in that office, claiming to have been a strong prosecutor of illegal alien criminals when he was Denver's District Attorney from 1994 to 2004. Voorhis knew from his personal experience with the Denver police and courts that this was not the case, that hundreds of illegal alien criminals had been released and avoided deportation through dangerous plea bargaining agreements and other subterfuges. Such practices are consistent with Denver's "sanctuary city" status, inaugurated by Mayor Wellington Webb in the mid-1990s.
Seeking to have the truth of the matter discussed in the public domain, Voorhis offered information to Congressman Bob Beauprez, who was also a candidate for Governor, regarding the plea bargaining practices of the Denver DA office and the subsequent criminal activity by some of the persons who were released and not deported. Voorhis told the Beauprez staff where to look in public records for additional information and cases.
ICE agent Voorhis had legitimate professional reasons for accessing the federal and state crime databases on Denver criminal alien cases, and all of his actions in accessing the ICE database and the federal NCIC database were fully consistent with written ICE policies and guidelines. It was part of his job. Voorhis shared only such information with the staff of Congressman Beauprez that he could release to any public official, employer or citizen who asked for it. The criminal "rap sheets" and identities of illegal aliens are not protected by the Federal Privacy Act.
Nevertheless, when information became public about a specific illegal alien who had committed additonal crimes after being released through a plea bargain his office had engineered, gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter asked the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to open an investigation into ICE agent Voorhis. Ritter charged that Voorhis had committed a crime by accessing the NCIC database. Ritter made this charge one day after someone in the Denver District Attorney's office accessed the same federal database to identify agent Voorhis. No one disputed the accuracy of the information revealed about the criminal alien in question, but the allegations of wrongdoing by Voorhis was successful in shifting the public focus away from Ritter's record when he was Denver DA. The only illegal alien case discussed in the press was the one revealed by the Beauprez campaign, the case of Walter Noel Ramo, who had originally been charged with the sale of heroin but allowed to plead guilty to "agricultural trespass," a low level felony that does not generally result in deportation. Ramo, while living in California under an alias, was subsequently charged with a sex-related crime against a minor. After Ritter asked for a CBI investigation of Voorhis, the Denver media stopped investigating Ritter's record in this area and instead focused on Voorhis.
Cory Voorhis had nothing to gain personally or financially by revealing information about the problem of non-prosecution of criminal aliens in the Denver District Attorney's office, past and present. He had not been active in the Beauprez campaign and had never made a financial contribution to that campaign. His actions were motivated solely by the desire to raise the level of the public discussion of this important issue, an issue that was being swept under the rug by both the Ritter campaign and the office of the incumbent Denver District Attorney, Mitch Morrissey. One of Denver DA Morrissey's staff attorneys was in fact working in the Ritter campaign on a leave of absence, and that person, Stephanie Villafuerte, now serves as a senior aide to Governor Ritter. A Morrissey spokesman denies any wrongdoing on the part of the Morrissey staff, yet it is remarkable that the individuals involved in accessing the NCIC database in October of 2006 were never questioned by the CBI or FBI as part of the investigation.
Any reasonable person will conclude that there can be only one reason for the prosecution of this courageous law enforcement officer: political retaliation. The prosecution of Cory Voorhis is a case of selective prosecution for political purposes, while similar actions by other public employees are neither investigated nor prosecuted. Two other individuals accessed the same NCIC database on Walter Noel Ramo in the same time period, one in Harris County, Texas (Houston) and one in the Denver District Attorney (Morrissey's) office. Neither one has been investigated or charged with a crime. Only Cory Voorhis has been charged.
The only conclusion to be reached is that it was not the "unauthorized access" to the information on this criminal alien that upset candidate Ritter, it was making it public, and that is why Cory Voorhis was targeted for prosecution. The success of the Ritter campaign was more important to Bill Ritter than the public's right to know the facts about the crimes of a man he had allowed to escape a serious felony prosecution and likely deportation.
ICE agent Cory Voorhis is being prosecuted for actions that were not only not criminal in nature, but were a public service to the people of Colorado. Voorhis' actions not only did no harm to any public entity or contemporary criminal case or defendant, they contributed to an elevated public debate on the treatment of aliens charged with criminal activity. "No harm, no foul."
Like Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean, who are now serving prison terms for shooting a drug smuggler, Cory Voorhis is being prosecuted for doing his job. He was helping to educate a sitting US Congressman and his staff about the huge but invisible world of criminal aliens released from jail by the Denver District Attorney under laughable "agricultural trespass" plea deals. Such practices in Denver and other Colorado counties have allowed hundreds and probably thousands of illegal aliens to avoid serious felony convictions that can lead to deportation.
Colorado citizens and all Americans who value the work of dedicated ICE agents need to support the Cory Voorhis Legal Defense Fund. We cannot let this good man and dedicated public servant fight this battle alone. Cory Voorhis is a hero, not a criminal.
NOTE: Cory Voorhis's attorney is William Taylor, a former Assistant US Attorney, who is on staff with the Denver law firm of Holland and Hart. Voorhis' legal expenses to fight the charges will likely exceed $100,000.