By ASTRID GALVAN
PHOENIX (AP) — The man convicted of shooting a Border Patrol agent in a case that exposed a botched federal gun program known as “Fast and Furious” is scheduled to be sentenced in Tucson on Wednesday.
Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes is one of seven defendants who were charged in the 2010 slaying of Brian Terry. Osorio-Arellanes was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges last year after being extradited from Mexico in 2018.
Terry’s death exposed the “Fast and Furious” operation, in which U.S. federal agents allowed criminals to buy firearms with the intention of tracking them to criminal organizations. But the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lost track of most of the guns, including two found at scene of Terry’s death.
The Obama administration was heavily criticized for the operation. Former Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt by Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the sting.
Terry, 40, was part of a four-man team in an elite Border Patrol unit staking out the southern Arizona desert on a mission to find “rip-off” crew members who rob drug smugglers. They encountered a group and identified themselves as police.
The men refused to stop, prompting an agent to fire bean bags at them. They responded by firing AK-47-type assault rifles. Terry was struck in the back and died soon after.
Five of the seven men charged in Terry’s killing are serving prison sentences after pleading guilty or being convicted. Only one, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, has not been tried. He was arrested in October 2017.
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