Any comment from Eric Holder or Barry?
No comment from Brian Terry.
The man convicted of murder as the “triggerman” in the fatal 2010 shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in a case that exposed the ill-fated federal gun-running sting operation dubbed “Fast and Furious” was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison.
Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, a Mexican national, was found guilty in February of slaying Brian Terry, 40, during a gun battle between border agents and several members of a “rip crew” looking to rob drug smugglers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Prosecutors cast Osorio-Arellanes, the sixth of seven defendants convicted in connection with the killing in a remote area north of Nogales, Arizona, as the gang member who actually shot Terry to death. A gang member was wounded in the confrontation.
In a statement delivered in Spanish and translated for the court before sentence was pronounced by U.S. District Judge David Bury in Tucson, Arizona, Osorio-Arellanes said he believed he had been wrongfully prosecuted.
“With all due respect, I don’t agree with the trial. Prosecutors pointed to me as a murderer without any evidence, so the jury would say I was guilty. Everything is being done illegally.”Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes
The judge retorted, “I feel like I have to say to you what the law is in the United States, but you refuse to accept it,” adding that Osorio-Arellanes was guilty or murder regardless of whether he fired the fatal shot because he took part in the gunfight in which Terry was slain.
Osorio-Arellanes was convicted on a total of nine counts, including first-degree murder and attempted robbery.
Members of the rip crew had been armed with four AK-47 assault weapons, an AR-15 semiautomatic assault weapon and 180 rounds of ammunition, according to the Justice Department.
Two AK-47 rifles found at the scene were later traced back to the bungled gun-running investigation of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that embarrassed the administration of former President Barack Obama and strained relations with Mexico.
In that investigation, the ATF aimed to trace weapons purchased legally in the United States by “straw” buyers and then resold into the black market, but federal agents lost track of some weapons, many of which ended up in the hands of drug traffickers.