Last Suspect in Murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry Finally in Court

The family of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry at the unveiling of his memorial statue in Arizona. (Family Photo)
File Photo: Family of Agent Brian Terry

The final suspect in the slaying of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry appeared in federal court this week. The man is allegedly the last member of the “rip-crew” involved in Agent Terry’s murder to be extradited from Mexico.

Federal prosecutors charged Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga with first-degree murder in connection to the December 14, 2010, murder of Border Patrol Agent Terry in southern Arizona. Agent Terry, a Border Patrol BORTAC team member, responded with fellow agents to an area where Mexican “rip-crews” would attack migrants and drug smugglers. When the agents encountered the crew, crossfire left Agent Terry mortally wounded.

Mexican law enforcement officials arrested Favela-Astorga in October 2017. Lawyers fought extradition until Mexico finally turned him over to U.S. authorities on January 31, the Tucson Sentinel reported.

Agent Terry’s sister, Michelle Terry-Balogh, told Breitbart Texas, “It took nine long painful years to finally get the last defendant Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorg extradited to U.S. soil . He is one of five who was involved in my brother’s murder.”

“No family should ever have to go through this,” Terry’s sister continued. “The Terry family is forever grateful to U.S. Attorneys David Listener, Todd Robinson, and their amazing team who worked countless hours fighting for the justice that Brian deserves.”

The Terry family believes the investigation into those responsible for Brian’s death is not over.

“We still have not forgotten who armed these illegal criminals,” Terry-Balogh explained. “That is the previous administration under President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. They still need to be held accountable for trafficking weapons to Mexico.”

Shortly before midnight on December 14, 2010, Agent Terry and his fellow BORTAC agents were dispatched to search for a Mexican “rip crew” in the mountainous terrain of the southern Arizona border. Rip crews are groups of bandits that prey on human and drug smuggling hikers near the border to rip off whatever valuables or drugs are being transported. Agent Terry’s team came upon a group shortly before midnight on the 14th and the group opened fire in the agents. Terry was struck by the gunfire and died shortly after midnight on December 15 from his wounds.

Investigators tied one of the weapons found at the scene of Terry’s murder to the Fast and Furious gun-running program conducted during the Obama administration. So far, no one in the federal government has been held accountable for their actions in the scheme.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Agent John Dodson told Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, “When Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed, I immediately noticed that my agency was attempting to cover up any link between the investigation and the strategy that we employed and the death of Agent Terry.”

Part of my mission with the ATF in Phoenix was to combat a legal firearms trafficking to the Mexican drug cartels,” Agent Dodson explained. “Somehow, in order to achieve that goal, the strategy that had been adopted was to facilitate and allow the illegal firearms trafficking to the Mexican drug cartels. We were essentially flooding the border region with firearms from the US civilian market, and then tracking and tallying the results as they were used in crimes on both sides of the border.” 

Agent Terry’s brother Kent Terry and his other sister Kelly Terry-Willis agree that the investigation now needs to look into the U.S. officials involved in placing guns in the hands of Mexican bandits.

Kent Terry told Breitbart Texas in December that Attorney General William Barr should conduct a “proper and thorough investigation” into the federal government’s role in the program that led to his brother’s death.

“The stress that my family has been through for these nine years is unimaginable,” Kent Terry said. “Our hope is that President Trump will do the right thing and have Barr take a close look at this reckless operation.”

Kelly Terry-Willis added, “We are not celebrating this sentence (of Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes to life in prison) because this should have never happened and will never bring my brother, Brian, back.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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