Indictments in murder of Border Agent Brian Terry
An indictment charging five men involved in the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was unsealed today in Tucson, and a reward of up to $1 million from the FBI for information leading to the arrest of four fugitives was announced by Department of Justice officials.
According to the indictment, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza are charged with crimes including first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. A sixth defendant, Rito Osorio-Arellanes, is charged only with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery.
The 11-count indictment alleges that on December 14, 2010, five of the defendants (Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza) engaged in a firefight with Border Patrol agents. During the exchange of gunfire, Agent Terry was shot and killed. The indictment alleges that the defendants had illegally entered the United States from Mexico for the purpose of robbing drug traffickers of their contraband.
In addition to the murder of Agent Terry, the indictment also alleges that the five defendants assaulted Border Patrol Agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza and Timothy Keller who were with Agent Terry during the firefight.
“Agent Terry served his country honorably and made the ultimate sacrifice in trying to protect it from harm, and we will stop at nothing to bring those responsible for his murder to justice,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “This investigation has previously resulted in one defendant being charged with Agent Terry’s murder and taken into custody, and today’s announcement reflects the department’s unrelenting commitment to finding and arresting the other individuals responsible for this horrific tragedy so that Agent Terry’s family, friends and fellow law enforcement agents receive the justice they deserve.”
The death of Terry has been the center of the investigation into the ATF’s Fast and Furious program in which guns purchased in the United States were tracked into Mexico where they werre used by drug cartels. It is alleged that one of those guns was used to kill Terry.
The Terry family has filed a $25 million wrongful death suit against the ATF alleging that an AK-47 the agency allowed to be walked into Mexico was used to kill him.
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