Murdered Border Patrol Agent's Family Still Seeking Answers
TUCSON, Ariz. — The family of a U.S. Border Patrol agent murdered in Arizona has asked to be a party in the criminal case against a man accused of buying the guns found at the murder scene.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated a federal judge had ruled on the request.)
The family of agent Brian Terry has asked the judge to be made part of the case against Jaime Avila in Phoenix. The judge is considering the request.
Paul Charlton is the former U.S. Attorney for Arizona and was hired by the Terry family to investigate their son’s death.
“Our hope is the U.S. Attorney’s Office will eventually connect the dots and charge Mr. Avila in connection with Brian Terry’s death,” Charlton said.
Avila and 19 others are accused of forming a gun smuggling ring that purchased hundreds of weapons to be smuggled into Mexico. Among them were two AK-47s that were found at Terry’s murder scene in Nogales last December.
The guns were also part of an operation called "Fast and Furious" that was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). The agency is accused of observing the purchase of guns in the U.S. and then allowing the weapons to be taken into Mexico to arm drug cartels. It has blown up into a scandal with investigations and hearings in Washington, D.C.
“They do want answers to their questions," Charlton said. "Right now, they’ve been continually misled."
So far, only one man has been publicly charged with Terry’s murder. The agent was killed during a confrontation with bandits in a canyon outside of Nogales, Arizona last year.