Mexican Authorities Arrest Alleged Killer of U.S. Border Agent

WASHINGTON (CN) – Mexican law enforcement officers on Wednesday arrested a man charged with participating in the murder of the U.S. border patrol agent whose death made the Fast and Furious gun walking scandal public, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Mexican officials arrested Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, who is one of seven people accused of participating in the murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010, based on an arrest warrant the United States requested, according to the Department of Justice.

“The Department of Justice is pleased that the suspected killer of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has been captured and will now face justice for this terrible crime,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

On Dec. 12, 20141, Terry and his unit were on patrol near the border between Arizona and Mexico when they came across a group of people who they suspected were scoping the desert in the hopes of robbing people as they tried to smuggle marijuana into the United States.

The gunfight that ensued between the group, which allegedly included Osorio-Arellanes and four others, and the border patrol officers left Terry dead, according to the guilty plea of Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, who admitted to being a part of the group that shot at the agents.

The guns Osorio-Arellanes and the others conspirators are alleged to have used in the crime were connected to the Fast and Furious gun walking program, in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed registered guns to fall into the hands of Mexican cartels with the intent of tracking them. But ATF did not recover most of the guns used in the program, which became public after Terry’s death.

The scandal became a primary focus of Republicans in Congress, culminating in unprecedented step of the House of Representatives voting to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

Osorio-Arellanes is the sixth person charged in Terry’s death to be taken into custody. The first two, Ivan Soto-Barraza and Jesus Lionel Sanchez-Meza were arrested in Mexico in 2014 and a jury convicted them of first-degree murder in 2015.

Two others have already pleaded guilty to first degree murder, while another pleaded guilty to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Jesus Favela-Astorga remains a fugitive, though the department says it is working with Mexican and U.S. authorities to track him down.

“To anyone who would take the life of an American citizen, in particular an American law enforcement officer, this action sends a clear message: working closely with our international partners, we will hunt you down, we will find you and we will bring you to justice,” Sessions said in the statement.

%d bloggers like this: