The trial of the two men accused of murdering U.S. Border Patrol Brian Terry has been a long time coming. During the nearly five years since his murder, Terry’s family has been forced to endure unimaginable frustration, pain and other indignities from the federal government he swore an oath to serve and protect.
This week, the trial of Ivan Soto Barraza and Lionel Portillo-Meza, also known as Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza, began in Tucson, Arizona. They stand accused of being part of a “rip-crew” that engaged in a gun battle with a U.S. Border Patrol BORTAC team. That gun battle left Agent Brian Terry mortally wounded. As a nation, we would later learn that two of the guns found at the scene of the battle were tied to Operation Fast and Furious, a failed gun running program conducted by the federal government to try and track guns being sold and shipped to Mexican drug cartels.
Following is a statement made on behalf of Brian Terry’s family. The statement, obtained by Breitbart Texas on Thursday afternoon, was released by family member, Robert Heyer, Chairman of the Brian Terry Foundation:
Brian Terry had a special love for freedom and courage. Almost five years after his death, his family will sit in a Tucson courtroom this week facing two of the men accused of his murder and thus taking that freedom and courage that Brian so cherished from him. The events that unfolded in Peck Canyon on the night of December 14, 2010 abruptly ended the life of the young federal agent and exposed the reckless ATF gun trafficking investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious.
Since then, justice has been slow and in some respects non-existent for the Terry’s. Despite an exhaustive Congressional investigation and two separate Inspector General
investigations, those employees of ATF and the Department of Justice identified as being responsible for the many mistakes made in Operation Fast and Furious have yet to face appropriate discipline. No one has ever been terminated or even received days off without pay. One ATF executive, William Newell, who oversaw the ill-conceived operation inexplicably, received a written guarantee that he would not be fired by ATF despite the recommendation of ATF’s own Professional Review Board that he be terminated. This agreement was approved by current ATF Director Thomas Brandon who was brought to ATF Headquarters specifically to clean up the agency after Operation Fast and Furious.
The family of Brian Terry has endured many indignities over the years: a government that refused to reveal the fact that the men that killed Brian carried weapons provided to them by ATF; the Congressional testimony of ATF executives that they never “walked guns”; government officials willing to speak at Brian’s funeral but lacking the moral courage to tell the family about the botched gun walking program; a U.S. Attorney who denied the weapons found at Brian Terry’s murder scene were linked to Operation Fast and Furious; an Attorney General and his top deputies consistently denying any knowledge of “gun walking”; a President that eventually invoked Executive Privilege in the matter effectively stopping any additional investigation by Congress; and a current Attorney General who has refused to answer letters sent to her by the Terry family. Yes…justice has been slow.
To learn more about Agent Terry and the foundation established in his memory go to www.HonorBrianTerry.com
Brian’s father passed away recently; but his mother, Josephine, and sisters, Kelly and Michelle, will sit in the courtroom silently watching the proceedings and hoping that justice will eventually prevail for the young man that cherished freedom and courage.
The Brian Terry Foundation (www.HonorBrianTerry.com) was established to honor the memory of Brian Terry and create a living legacy in his name. The foundation raises funds for the families of fallen U.S. Border Patrol agents and establishes educational scholarships for men and women pursuing an education and career in law enforcement. The Foundation also raises awareness on border related security issues that affect the overall safety and welfare of U.S. Border Patrol Agents. The Brian Terry Foundation is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Jason Rose or Mike Scerbo with Rose+Moser+Allyn Public and Online Relations.
Bob Price serves as senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.