Trump pardons officer imprisoned for dog bite along with three former Border Patrol agents

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WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump recently made some high-profile pardons related to those who were convicted of crimes while involved in their law enforcement careers.

Some of those pardons included former Officer Stephanie Mohr, two Border Patrol agents convicted for shooting a drug smuggler, and another Border Patrol agent convicted for pushing down two illegal immigrants

Many may have heard about the case involving Officer Mohr, where she was involved in the tracking down of two burglary suspect Takoma Park, Maryland back in 1995. 

During the incident, one of the two suspects were being non-compliant with officers’ orders and Officer Mohr was instructed by her K9 training officer to release her dog. 

One of the suspect was bitten in the arm and received 10 stiches as a result of the injury and there was no complaints lodged at the time. Then, five years after the dog bite, a series of articles by The Washington Post alleged brutality in the Prince George’s County Police Department – and Officer Mohr somehow became the target of an FBI investigation for that dog bite. 

Just one day before the statute of limitations was set to expire for the dog bite, Officer Mohr was indicted and later found guilty for the K9 biting the suspect – and spent 10 years in a federal prison.

While she already served her time in prison, this presidential pardon will wipe away her criminal conviction. 

The same goes for the three Border Patrol agents who were convicted of crimes committed while enacting their duties. 

Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were sentenced to prison under charges of assault using a firearm during a crime of violence, and deprivation of civil rights due to a 2005 incident involving a drug smuggler. 

A statement by the White House, following their pardons, reads as follows: 

“Both men served as Border Patrol Agents and put themselves in harm’s way to help secure our southern border with Mexico.”

“On one such occasion in 2005, they stopped an illegal alien trafficking 700 pounds of marijuana. When the illegal alien—who was thought to be armed—resisted arrest, Mr. Ramos shot the suspect, who fled back across the border.”

“For this, Mr. Ramos and Mr. Compean were charged and convicted of assault, using a firearm during a crime of violence, and deprivation of civil rights.

“After they were sentenced to 11 and 12 years imprisonment, respectively, their case gained widespread attention.”

U.S. Representative Brian Babin also released a statement on the two Border Patrol agents’ recent pardons enacted by President Trump, saying the following: 

“President Trump made right the grave wrongs committed against Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.”

“As Border Patrol Agents they risked their lives to protect us and secure our southern border before they fell victim to political games.”

“I am thankful that this president stood for justice and finally secured their full pardons.”

As for the third Border Patrol agent pardoned, Gary Brugman, his criminal conviction stems from forcing an illegal immigrant to the ground – without injury –  among a group that outnumbered him and one other agent when one refused to sit squarely on the ground. 

A statement from the White House on that pardon reads as follows: 

“Mr. Brugman served this country for 8 years in the Coast Guard and then for 4 years as a U.S. Border Patrol agent.”

“While protecting our borders at Eagle Pass, Texas, Mr. Brugman intercepted nearly a dozen illegal immigrants, pursued them on foot, and apprehended them.”  

“Mr. Brugman was accused of knocking one of the illegal immigrants to the ground and was prosecuted on that basis for deprivation of rights.”

“He served 27 months in prison, where other inmates sought to harm him because of his law enforcement background.”

“After being released from prison, Mr. Brugman went on to obtain his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management.”

Needless to say, these pardons serve as a great step to increasing morale within law enforcement. 

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Back in November, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report on Officer Stephanie Mohr and why President Trump should consider her for a pardon. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD – Police officers and several politicians are calling for a presidential pardon in the case of Stephanie Mohr, who was a rookie officer with the Prince George’s County Police.

Officer Mohr was a brand-new recruit and with a brand-new K-9 partner when she and her police dog responded to a burglary call.

Two burglary suspects had been spotted on the roof of a printing company in Takoma Park, Maryland.

The two undocumented immigrants, one from Mexico, the other from El Salvador, climbed down from the roof of the building. Officer Mohr gave the suspects commands to drop to the ground, which one of them refused to do, and instead made a sudden and aggressive movement.

On instructions from her K-9 training officer, Stephanie Mohr released her dog, which bit the suspect in the arm, preventing his escape. The illegal immigrant’s injuries were minor, requiring only ten stitches, and no complaint was ever lodged.

Here’s where things get strange, and unfortunately for Stephanie Mohr, impacted her career.

A report by The Washington Times explained:

“In accordance with procedures then in place in Prince George’s County (as well as in the neighboring District of Columbia and most regional departments at the time), the unit’s dogs were trained to bite. Under revised rules, the department now trains them to merely bark at suspects, holding them at bay until police arrive.

“In the five years that followed the 1995 burglary incident, Stephanie Mohr blossomed as a police officer and as a canine handler.

Already the first female canine officer in Prince George’s County history, she and her four-legged ‘partner’ were the first in the county to undergo eight weeks of intense training to become certified in bomb detection.

“She rapidly advanced to the rank of corporal, earning two awards for meritorious service and 25 letters of commendation.

Her superiors lauded her assistance in bringing down burglary and homicide suspects, her eagerness to appear alongside her canine partner at local schools and county fairs, even her work providing personal security at President Clinton’s second inaugural gala.

“It was not until a series of articles by The Washington Post alleged brutality in the Prince George’s County Police Department that Cpl. Stephanie Mohr became a scapegoat. Her career — and her life — soon came crashing down around her.

“The FBI launched an extensive investigation into the department and its canine unit. In the course of interrogating a Takoma Park police officer on an unrelated matter, the 5-year-old bite by Stephanie Mohr’s dog became the focus of the federal government’s interest.”

On the day before the statute of limitations was to expire, Stephanie Mohr and her training officer were indicted for federal civil rights violations and conspiracy. At taxpayer expense, the two burglars were brought back for the trial, one from a federal prison where he was being incarcerated on narcotics charges, the other from El Salvador, where he had been deported.

After a first trial jury acquitted her of the conspiracy charge and deadlocked 11-1 for acquittal on the civil rights charge, the government nonetheless went forward with a second trial. This time, the prosecutor went for blood.

The court admitted highly prejudicial testimony that, during the five years since the incident, a handful of citizens had filed suit against the department for bites by Stephanie Mohr’s dog. A Capitol Heights woman was even permitted to testify that Stephanie Mohr had threatened to release her dog on her “black ass.”

The allegations of subsequent dog bites hit their mark with at least one juror.

The unnamed juror told The Washington Post:

“She had to be stopped. If we had let her go and she had hurt someone else, I know I would have felt guilty.”

That 29-year-old police officer, Stephanie Mohr, a single mother with a son under three at the time, was now a former officer, and was sentenced to ten years in prison – one for each of the stitches sewn into the illegal immigrant’s arm – the arm of a man arrested for burglary who refused to comply at the scene.

Stephanie Mohr did not become bitter, instead upon her release, she acquired a job as a county building inspector and has re-established a relationship with her now-19-year-old son.

The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund is now asking President Trump to grant Stephanie Mohr a pardon.

From The Law Enforcement Defense Fund:

“We strongly believe President Trump should pardon Stephanie Mohr.

“Mr. President, by any measure, this good police officer has paid whatever debt she owed society. She underwent two highly publicized federal trials before losing her career, her freedom and 10 years of her son’s childhood — all for a dog bite.”

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