Suspect in 2010 shooting of Border Patrol agent extradited to Arizona

Jul 31, 2018, 4:15 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2018, 2:50 pm
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry (AP Photo)...
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry (AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — The suspected shooter in the 2010 killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent has been extradited from Mexico and will appear in court in Tucson this week, it was announced Monday.

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes has been in custody awaiting extradition since his arrest by Mexican authorities last year. He will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Tucson on Wednesday.

“The Department of Justice is pleased that the suspected killer of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has been successfully extradited to the United States and will now face justice for this terrible crime,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

“To anyone who would take the life of an American citizen, in particular an American law enforcement officer, this action sends a clear message: Working closely with our international partners, we will hunt you down, we will find you, and we will bring you to justice.”

Osorio-Arellanes was one of two men who remained fugitives in the 2010 killing of 40-year-old Terry, whose death exposed Fast and Furious.

Fast and Furious was a federal operation in which agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed criminals to buy guns with the intention of tracking them.

Terry was shot and killed on Dec. 14, 2010, when he and other Border Patrol agents attempted to arrest Osorio-Arellanes and four other members of a so-called rip crew — a gang that attempts to steal from drug and alien smugglers — near Nogales, Arizona.

The men refused to stop, prompting an agent to fire non-lethal bean bags toward them. They responded by firing from AK-47-type assault rifles.

Terry was struck in the back and died shortly after.

Ralph Terry, the uncle of Brian Terry, thanked the U.S. and Mexican governments for their work in an interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“We’re happy that he’s caught, we’re happy he’s going to stand trial and we’re confident that he will be convicted,” he said.

“We’re excited that that’s happening, but as I sit and think about this, I’m somewhat saddened also. It brings back memories from eight years that are not very pleasant for me or the Terry family, but we are happy that justice is being served.”

Osorio-Arellanes will face charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and assault on a federal officer.

A jury in Tucson in October 2015 found two men, Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza, guilty on murder and other charges.

Another man, Manual Osorio-Arellanes, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2014.

A fourth man, Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez, pleaded guilty to murder. He was not present during the shooting but is accused of assembling the rip crew.

Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga has not yet been tried.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection assisted in the case.

Editor’s note: Osorio-Arellanes pleaded not guilty during a Wednesday afternoon arraignment. His trial was set for Sept. 11. 

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mark Carlson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Suspect in 2010 shooting of Border Patrol agent extradited to Arizona