- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
Five men indicted in death of border agent
Five men were named Monday in a federal grand jury indictment unsealed in Tucson, Ariz., in the December 2010 shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry, with the FBI announcing a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest of four of the men designated as fugitives.
The Terry death has been the catalyst for a heated debate between the Justice Department and Congress over Fast and Furious - a botched gun-running investigation in which two weapons purchased by “straw buyers” during the probe were found at the scene of the Terry shooting, just north of the Arizona-Mexico border.
According to the indictment, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza are charged with first- and second-degree murder, conspiracy, robbery, use and carrying of a firearm during a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. A sixth man, Rito Osorio-Arellanes, is charged with conspiracy.
The indictment, handed up by a federal grand jury on Nov. 7, 2011, alleges that on Dec. 14, 2010, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Favela-Astorga, Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Portillo-Meza engaged in a firefight with four Border Patrol agents and during that exchange, Terry was fatally shot.
According to the indictment, the men illegally entered the United States from Mexico to rob drug traffickers. In addition to the Terry killing, the indictment said the men assaulted Border Patrol Agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza and Timothy Keller, who were with Terry during the firefight.
The shooting occurred just north of Rio Rico, Ariz. Records show that five Mexican nationals - at least two of whom were armed with AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifles - fired at the agents in the rugged desert area of Peck Canyon about 11:15 p.m. with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” the agents.
More than 2,000 weapons were sold during Fast and Furious, 600 of which remain unaccounted for.
Records show that one of the agents, using thermal binoculars, determined that at least two of the Mexicans were carrying rifles. But according to an affidavit in the case by FBI Agent Scott Hunter, when the Mexicans did not drop their weapons as ordered, two agents used their shotguns to fire “less than lethal” beanbags at them.
At least one of the Mexicans opened fire and, according to the affidavit, Terry, a 40-year-old former Marine, was shot in the back. A Border Patrol shooting-incident report said Terry called out, “I’m hit,” and then fell to the ground, a bullet having pierced his aorta. “I can’t feel my legs,” Terry told one of the agents who cradled him. “I think I’m paralyzed.” He died at the scene.
After the initial shots, records show two agents returned fire, hitting Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, 33, in the abdomen and leg. The others fled.
Manuel Osorio-Arellanes initially was charged with illegal entry, but that charge was dropped when the indictment was handed up. In custody since his arrest the night of the shooting, he was convicted in Phoenix in 2006 of felony aggravated assault, was detained twice in 2010 as an illegal immigrant and had repeatedly been returned to Mexico.
In the Terry killing, two Romanian-built AK-47s found at the scene were identified as having been purchased in a Glendale, Ariz., gun shop as part of the Fast and Furious investigation.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Terry and the agents with him carried fully loaded sidearms, along with two additional magazines, and were not under orders to use nonlethal ammunition first.
“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 Mr. Holder.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jerry Seper is the investigative editor for The Washington Times.
- With bombs away, drug traffickers and illegal immigrants make their play
- Medical-device company exec admits to bilking shareholders of $400M
- Justice Dept: Florida's disabled children unnecessarily put in nursing facilities
- Man gets 11 years in Philadelphia mob crackdown
- Eric Holder asks for respect from protesters of George Zimmerman verdict
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- American missing in Iran was CIA operative who went rogue
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow