Twelve men and women have been tasked with deciding if two men are guilty of murdering U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry during a fierce firefight. After days of testimony and evidence, both prosecutors and defendants made their closing arguments and turned the case over to jurors who will decide if Ivan Soto Barraza and Jesus Leonel Sanchez Mesa are guilty.
The two men are accused of being part of a rip crew that on was moving around in the area known as Mesquite Seep looking for cartel drug smugglers in an attempt to steal their drugs. It was in that area that Terry and other members of the elite BORTAC team tried to arrest them but a shootout ensued resulting in the agent’s death.
“I’m very confident in our prosecutors,” Terry’s sister Michelle Terry-Balogh said to Breitbart Texas during an interview after jurors began their deliberation. “With all the evidence they submitted they have a strong case.”
Defense attorneys tried to argue that the two suspected gunmen were not in the area to steal drugs and fired in self-defense. However, evidence and testimony presented in the case show that five weapons, food and other items had been left behind so the suspects could get them prior to the shooting, Terry-Balogh said.
Two of the weapons used in Terry’s murder ended up being traced to the controversial failed operation called Fast and Furious.
However as reported by Breitbart Texas, prior to the trial, the Department of Justice moved to have any mention of the operation be left out of the trial. The sitting judge granted the motion.
Fast and Furious is the name used for an operation by the U.S. Department of Justice where agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive allowed close to 1,500 weapons to be purchased by cartel associates. The operation was supposed to allow the agents to track the weapons to top cartel bosses; however, the ATF ended up losing track of the firearms.
Terry-Balogh said she would have like to have the trial go into details of Fast and Furious; however she is at peace with the way the trial went.
“I want it to be an honest and good verdict,” she said. “I want them guilty but I want the verdict to be non-biased… I want them (jurors) to take their time and make and make sure they get it right.”