Five people have been charged with the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The Department of Justice is offering a $1 million reward for any information that leads to the arrest of four of them.
Agent Terry was shot on December 14, 2010 and passed away the following day. Guns found at the crime scene were linked to Operation Fast & Furious, which armed the already dangerous Mexican drug cartels.
Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, and Lionel Portillo-Meza have been charged with 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, assault on a federal officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
“The 11-count third superseding indictment, which was handed up by a federal grand jury in the District of Arizona on Nov. 7, 2011, alleges that on Dec. 14, 2010, five of the defendants engaged in a firefight with Border Patrol agents. During the exchange of gunfire, Agent Terry was shot and killed. The indictment alleges that the defendants had illegally entered the United States from Mexico for the purpose of robbing drug traffickers of their contraband. In addition to the murder of Agent Terry, the indictment also alleges that the five defendants assaulted Border Patrol Agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza and Timothy Keller, who were with Agent Terry during the firefight. “
Attorney General Eric Holder, who was voted in contempt of Congress last week because he wouldn’t hand over relevant Fast & Furious documents, said this is proof of the DOJ’s commitment to bring those who killed Agent Terry to justice. However, Agent Terry’s family still deserves to know who in the DOJ thought up Fast & Furious, who approved it, and how far up it went on the command chain.
Why now? Manuel Osorio-Arellanos was arrested the night of the murder. This indictment “was handed up by a federal grand jury in the District of Arizona on November 7, 2011.” Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) finds the timing to be suspicious as well.
“It’s clear the timing has to do with the House of Representatives holding Eric Holder in contempt for not turning over information,” said Chairman Issa. “The Terry family should have seen this attempt to go public and try to get the murderers of Brian Terry [before now]. For 18 months they have known and haven’t done everything they could do to capture these individuals. This is another example of using politics over good policy. Again, I applaud the fact that we are going public and we are trying to make it clear that these people are among the USA’s and Mexico’s most wanted. But at the same time, the timing is very dubious.”