On September 23, former Border Patrol Agent William Castano broke down in tears on the witness stand as he described searching for a bullet wound in fellow agent Brian Terry the night Terry was murdered with guns from Operation Fast and Furious.
Terry was shot and killed on the night of December 14, 2010. The murder trial of Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza began this week. Two other individuals have already been sentenced for their involvement in the attack, while two remain at large.
According to the Associated Press, Castano told the court that he and Terry yelled “policia” after spotting the rip crew.
“They later fired beanbag rounds from shotguns at the smugglers, and a gunfight ensued.” Terry was shot in the back during the firefight and eventually lost consciousness, then his life.
Castano described being out in the dark of night, cutting Terry’s shirt open and using his hands and a flashlight to try to locate blood coming out of a bullet wound. He said other agents arrived to help carry Terry and Castano broke down as he described the struggle to carry the wounded, 215-pound agent up the hill.
Defense attorney Ramiro Flores seized on the use of the beanbags, claiming that three members of the rip crew ran away once the bags were deployed. He suggested the real task is to figure out who started the firefight. But prosecutor Todd Wallace Robinson countered by pointing out that every member of the rip crew was “carrying weapons.” He said, “And they were carrying them for one purpose and one purpose alone, and it was to rob smugglers.”
U.S. District Judge David C. Bury has ruled that information related to gun purchases and smuggling in Operation Fast and Furious will not be included during testimony in the Terry murder trial.