TUCSON — Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes was convicted by a jury Tuesday in federal court of first-degree murder, for the shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry, 40, which occurred in a remote canyon north of Nogales, Arizona the night of Dec. 14, 2010.
After a short deliberation, a jury also found Osorio-Arellanes guilty of eight other felony counts, for second-degree murder, conspiracy to affect interstate commerce by robbery, attempted robbery, assault on four agents and carrying a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.
The death of Terry, attributed to a rip crew preying on other illegal aliens in the area, led to the exposure of the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, in which the U.S. government aided straw buyers to send 2,000 high-powered firearms to Mexican cartels.
Two of the rifles found at the scene of the shootout between the BORTAC team, the Border Patrol’s elite tactical unit, and the illegal aliens, were traced to the Fast and Furious operation, administered by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
A whistleblower from ATF came forward to report that the government was purposely sending firearms to the cartel after the highly respected Terry, a former Marine and Michigan police officer, was killed.
One of the Fast and Furious firearms sent to Mexico was found at the home of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was convicted Tuesday on 10 criminal counts after a three month trial in federal court in New York. He is facing a mandatory life sentence.
Brian Terry and his teammates were at a disadvantage in the firefight in Peck Canyon, because they were under orders to shoot beanbag rounds, rather than live ammunition, if they confronted illegal aliens.
In 2012, the new Border Patrol station just north of Naco was named after Agent Terry. It is one of only two stations in the nation named after an agent.
Osorio-Arellanes was one of two men who remained fugitives until 2017 for Agent Terry’s murder.
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