MEXICO CITY — Mexican authorities prepare the extradition of a man accused of killing a border patrol agent in Arizona seven years ago.
Back then, in December 2010, the death of agent Brian Terry gained notoriety, as it unveiled the failed U.S. gun-running operation called Fast and Furious.
Terry got shot during a gun confrontation in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, against people linked to Mexican drug cartels. That was in late 2010, but the man accused of pulling the trigger was taken into custody last Wednesday.
Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes was arrested in northwestern Mexico, in a ranch on the borderline between the states of Sinaloa and Chihuahua. The Mexican authorities have confirmed that he will be extradited to face charges in federal court in Arizona.
Other four men tied to the shootout are in prison in the U.S., but a sixth man involved in the case remains at large.
Tensions between the U.S. and Mexico arose after Operation Fast and Furious was revealed, during the Obama administration.
The program allowed Mexican cartels to buy in Arizona thousands of weapons that were supposed to lead to key people in criminal organizations. However, only a few hundreds of firearms were recovered, and none of them led to high-level cartel figures. Terry was killed with one of those firearms.
But after Osorio-Arellanes’s arrest, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly congratulated his Mexican counterparts.
“I am grateful for the dedication and collaborative efforts of the law enforcement community in both Mexico and the U.S. in bringing this arrest to fruition,” the statement says.
According to Kelly, the arrest illustrated the renewed the cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico to secure the border and address cross-border crime.