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Feb. 18, 2007

Republican Poe helped elevate border agents' case
Congressman from Humble says 2 ex-border agents got bad rap

By MICHELLE MITTELSTADT
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON Flip on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight show these days and chances are pretty good you'll see Texas Congressman Ted Poe lamenting the fate of two ex-Border Patrol agents imprisoned for shooting a Mexican drug trafficker.

For months, the Republican from Humble has relentlessly championed the agents' case on cable-TV shows and behind the scenes, helping foment public outrage directed at the White House and President Bush's appointees in the Justice and Homeland Security departments.

Poe, who spent 22 years as a hard-nosed criminal court judge in Houston and eight years before that as a Harris County prosecutor, seems an unlikely choice to be carrying the banner for two convicts.

It surprises some that I am seen to be on the side of the defendants