Man Convicted Of Border Agent's Murder To Be Sentenced

Published: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - 3:21pm
U.S. Border Patrol.
Brian Terry

A Mexican man convicted in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona will be sentenced today for his role in the crime.

Heraclio Osorio Arellanes is one of seven men who in 2010 were working to rob drug smugglers in the desert around Nogales, Arizona. The armed crew encountered a unit of elite Border Patrol agents instead. Agent Brian Terry was killed in the firefight. Osorio was found guilty of first- and second-degree murder. Five others were received sentences of 30 years to life in prison.

Two assault rifles found at the scene were traced to a federal gun-walking operation known as Fast and Furious. Agents had allowed several thousand guns to be sold to gangs in hopes they could be traced to high-level cartel figures. 

Then Congressman Ron Barber condemned the operation after the Office of Inspector General reported its findings on the scandal.

"It should never have been the policy of this government to allow these firearms to be smuggled knowingly into Mexico and the program shouldn’t have been approved and it must never happen again," Barber told a congressional committee.

The OIG investigation found that agents within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives failed to notify higher ups about their scheme and other Justice Department officials either failed to share information or ignored warning signs about the program.

Many of those guns were lost and recovered at crime scenes throughout Mexico and in the U.S.