Justice Department (DOJ) officials indicted five individuals for the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry — who was murdered by drug traffickers armed through Operation Fast and Furious – and a $1 million reward for information leading to their arrest.
“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 today. “This investigation has previously resulted in one defendant being charged with Agent Terry’s murder and taken into custody, and today’s announcement reflects the department’s unrelenting commitment to finding and arresting the other individuals responsible for this horrific tragedy so that Agent Terry’s family, friends and fellow law enforcement agents receive the justice they deserve.”
Terry’s death sparked a national scandal when House investigators learned that U.S. law enforcement facilitated the arming of his shooters through the gun-walking scheme, Operation Fast and Furious. The Justice Department wrote a letter in February 2011 to Congress denying that law enforcement knowingly allowed guns to be trafficked into Mexico. That claim was retracted in December of that year.
Two weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives cited Holder for contempt of Congress due to his refusal to hand over documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious. Holder is the first sitting cabinet member cited for contempt.
One of the men charged with first-degree murder, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, was arrested the night of the December, 2010 shooting. Four others remain at large.
“In addition to the murder of Agent Terry, the indictment also alleges that the five defendants assaulted Border Patrol Agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza and Timothy Keller, who were with Agent Terry during the firefight,” DOJ said.