GREAT NEWS! The man accused of murdering Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010 was extradited from Mexico to the U.S.
Suspect Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes allegedly used a gun from Operation Fast & Furious, a gun-running scheme established under former Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice. He will face charges of first degree murder and have an arraignment in Tucson, Arizona.
From the DOJ:
Agent Terry was fatally shot on Dec.ember 14, 2010, when he and other U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered Osorio-Arellanes and four other members of a “rip crew” (a criminal gang that attempts to steal from drug and alien smugglers) operating in a rural area north of Nogales, Arizona. Of the six defendants charged along with Osorio-Arellanes in the case, three have pleaded guilty, two were convicted following a jury trial, and one other defendant – Jesus Rosario Favela Astorga (arrested by Mexican authorities in October, 2017) – has not yet been tried. is pending extradition to the United States.
“The Department of Justice is pleased that the suspected killer of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has been successfully extradited to the United States and will now face justice for this terrible crime,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “We are grateful for the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection as well as our law enforcement partners in Mexico. To anyone who would take the life of an American citizen, in particular an American law enforcement officer, this action sends a clear message: Working closely with our international partners, we will hunt you down, we will find you, and we will bring you to justice.”
The indictment against Osorio-Arellanes includes: “first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and assault on a federal officer.”
This indictment also “alleges that the defendants assaulted U.S. Border Patrol Agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza and Timothy Keller, who were with Agent Terry during the firefight with the ‘rip crew.'”
Two prosecutors from the Southern District of California will try the case against him in Tucson.
“When an agent makes the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country, we must hold all the individuals who played a part in this tragic outcome accountable for their actions,” said Adam Breaverman, U.S. Attorney for California’s Southern District. “This extradition moves that important goal forward.”
Osorio-Arellanes went into Mexican custody on April 12, 2017, when the Mexican Navy arrested him.
Seven defendants, including Osorio-Arellanes, received charges in the murder of Terry. Three pleaded guilty while “a jury convicted two others.” The sixth has yet to face trial:
Out of the five-man rip crew, three are already serving time for Terry’s murder. Manuel Osorio-Arellanes plead guilty in 2014 and is serving a 30-year sentence. Two other men, Jesus Leonel Sanchez Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza, were convicted by a jury and are serving life-in-prison sentences.
Mexican authorities arrested the fifth member, Jesus Rosario Favela Astorga, on Oct. 14, 2017 in Chihuahua state. He’s awaiting extradition to the United States.
Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez also plead guilty to first-degree murder. He was not present at the shooting, but was accused of assembling the rip crew. He’s serving a 27-year sentence.
A seventh man, Rito Osorio-Arellanes, was also not at the shooting, but he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery. He’s serving an eight-year prison sentence.
Operation Fast & Furious and other gun-running schemes under Holder should have never happened. Not only did America lose Brian Terry, but we also lost ICE Agent Jaime Zapata in February 2011. In July 2017, Jose Manuel Garcia-Sota and Jesus Ivan Quezada-Pina were found guilty of Zapata’s murder.
Zapata’s family filed a lawsuit against the government. From The Washington Times:
Zapata’s parents and Mr. Avila [Zapata’s partner who was injured during the attack] have sued the federal government, ATF agents and ICE supervisors over the attack. In the pending lawsuit, they allege negligence by ICE supervisors who sent the men on a risky trip through a region that the U.S. Embassy in Mexico had warned people to avoid. They also blame ATF agents who supervised the Fast and Furious gun-running operation for developing “high-risk tactics [including allowing firearms dealers to sell to straw buyers] … that made these tragic consequences inevitable.”
Magdalena Villalobos, the lawyer representing Mr. Avila in the case, said Wednesday that she was reviewing the inspector general’s report for any new information that might support her client’s claims. Given the in-depth investigations already conducted by the legal team, she said, she wasn’t anticipating any bombshells but hoped the findings could provide momentum in the case.
Yes, this is great and wonderful news. However, I want people in our government held responsible for these gun-running schemes that led to the deaths of two brave men and numerous citizens in Mexico. Guns from Fast and Furious are still out there.DONATE
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