U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, fatally shot in Dec. 2010.
Five people were charged Monday in the fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, whose 2010 murder helped prompt the disclosure of a botched federal gun-trafficking operation that allowed hundreds of firearms to fall into the hands of drug-cartel enforcers in Mexico and other criminals.
Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza were charged with murder, robbery, conspiracy and other crimes related to the Dec. 14, 2010, slaying of Agent Brian Terry during a firefight near the Arizona border with Mexico.
According to the indictment unsealed Monday, the suspects allegedly entered the United States illegally as part of a plan to rob drug traffickers but instead encountered Terry and other Border Patrol agents.
Two of the guns recovered at the scene of the murder were later traced to the flawed U.S. gun investigation, which sought to track weapons purchased by cartel associates in the United States to group leaders in Mexico.
The gun used to kill Terry has not been identified.
One of the suspects, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, has been in custody since the shooting. The other four remain at-large, and the FBI has offered a $1 million reward for their capture.
"Agent Terry served his country honorably and made the ultimate sacrifice in trying to protect it from harm, and we will stop at nothing to bring those responsible for his murder to justice," Attorney General Eric Holder said.
A congressional investigation into the agent's death led to a vote in the House of Representatives last month citing Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to disclose documents requested by the GOP-controlled investigating committee.
By Kevin Johnson