Wednesday, December 09, 2015

2 get life terms in border agent’s 2010 death

Two men were convicted Thursday of murder in the killing of a Border Patrol agent whose death brought to light the bungled federal gun-tracking operation known as Fast and Furious. The federal court jury in Tucson took only 3ƒ hours to find Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza guilty of all counts in the killing of Brian Terry, 40. They face life in prison and will be sentenced in December. The 2010 killing exposed the Fast and Furious operation in which agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed criminals to buy guns with the intention of tracking the weapons. But the agency lost most of the guns, including two that were found at the scene of Terry’s death. The operation set off a political firestorm, led to congressional investigations and became a major distraction for President Obama in his first term. The judge in the murder case restricted any mention of Fast and Furious. This was the first trial for any defendants in the case. Two suspects have already pleaded guilty, and two others remain fugitives. The victim’s sister, Michelle Terry-Balogh, broke down in tears as she read a statement outside court thanking the jury for its decision. She and other relatives live in Michigan and traveled to Tucson to attend the weeklong trial. “The verdict delivered by the jury today is testimony of the vicious and violent assault that took place upon Brian and his fellow Border Patrol agents,” Terry-Balogh said...more

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