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Updated Aug 7, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Another Fast and Furious suspect charged in killing of border agent

TUCSON, Arizona — A seventh suspect in the 2010 killing of a U.S. Border
Patrol agent has been charged in the slaying that is at the center of a scandal
over a botched U.S. gun-smuggling probe known as Operation Fast and Furious.

Federal prosecutors say 30-year-old Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez faces charges
of first-degree murder and other crimes. He is in custody for
immigration-related crimes.

Burboa-Alvarez is accused of assembling the armed crew that was supposed to
steal marijuana from smugglers when they encountered Border Patrol agent Brian
Terry and others on Dec. 14, 2010. He has pleaded not guilty.

A gun fight between the so-called “rip-off crew” and border agents ensued.
Terry was killed. Authorities later discovered that two of the guns found at the
scene of the murder had been part of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives operation in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy
guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them once they made
their way into Mexico. But the agency lost track of more than 1,400 of the 2,000
guns they allowed smugglers to buy.

The scandal resulted in the resignation of top officials. The country’s chief
law enforcement officer, Eric Holder, was held in contempt after he refused to
divulge documents for a congressional investigation.

Since then, authorities have focused on arresting and trying all suspects

The first of those was Manual Osorio-Arellanes, who was sentenced to 30 years
in federal prison in February after pleading guilty to first-degree murder.
Osorio-Arellanes was wounded in the shooting and maintains that he was not the
shooter. Prosecutors agree that he was likely not the one who shot Terry, but
say he should still be held accountable for his role in the agent’s death.

Two others who were at the scene of the slaying are facing charges in Arizona
after being extradited from Mexico.

Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza, also known as Lionel Portillo-Meza, was extradited
in June. Ivan Soto-Barraza, 34, was captured in Mexico last September and was
brought to the U.S. on July 31. Two others remain fugitives: Jesus Rosario
Favela-Astorga and Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes.

The suspects in custody are being prosecuted in federal court in Tucson by
prosecutors from San Diego.


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