Former agent testifies at start of Fast and Furious trial

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fast-and-Furious Trial: Suspects charged in border agent’s slaying to face trial.

The charge stems from an Oct. 10, 2012 incident in which Swartz fired through the border fence into Nogales, Sonora and fatally wounded 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. The men were charged in the killing of Brian Terry during the Fast and Furious operation in which federal agents allowed criminals to buy guns with the intention of tracking them. Instead, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lost track of 1,400 of the 2,000 guns involved in the sting operation, including two weapons found at the scene of Terry’s killing. While the case will provide the first trial for suspects in Terry’s death, the judge has excluded any information about the failed operation during the case.

Sanchez-Meza and Soto-Barraza were members of a “rip-off” crew that planned on robbing marijuana smugglers in the Arizona desert when they encountered agents patrolling the area on Dec. 14, 2010. Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza, also known as Lionel Portillo-Meza, and Ivan Soto-Barraza will be the first to face trial. ”It’s gonna be an emotional time for us, but we’re just thankful that we have the opportunity to bring these two defendants to justice and we hope that the government is successful in getting convictions for these two individuals,” family spokesman Robert Heyer said.

The operation became a major distraction for the Obama administration as Republicans in Congress conducted a series of inquiries into how the Justice Department allowed such an operation to happen.

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