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Suspected Shooter in 2010 US Border Agent Killing Arrested

  • VOA News

FILE - U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents stop a group of suspected illegal immigrants passing through a ranch near Edinburg, Texas, Nov. 15, 2016.

Authorities in Mexico have arrested the man suspected of killing a U.S. Border Patrol agent in a 2010 shooting that exposed a government program allowing the sale of guns to criminals.

A U.S. marshal in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona said Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes was arrested Wednesday. The FBI had offered a reward of up to $250,000 for the Mexico native.

He is accused of being part of a five-man crew that worked to rob drug dealers along the border.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Thursday he is thankful to Mexican authorities for arresting Osorio-Arellanes, who's accused of pulling the trigger of the gun that killed Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

"Terry was killed in a gunfight between U.S. Border Patrol agents and members of a cartel 'rip crew' that regularly patrolled the desert along the U.S.-Mexico border looking for drug dealers to rob," Kelly said. "Four members of the 'rip crew' have already been sentenced to jail time in the U.S. The last remaining member of the 'rip crew' is believed to still be at large."

Terry and three other agents were working to find that type of group in the southern Arizona desert when the clash broke out that left Terry dead.

Two guns later recovered at the scene were traced back to a program carried out by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to sell weapons to criminals and track them in order to find arms traffickers. Agents lost track of most of the weapons involved in the so-called “Fast and Furious” operation.

Kelly said the latest arrest illustrates the commitment of the administration to seek justice.

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