Prosecutors: DNA Ties 2 Men to Scene of Border Agent’s Death

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

DNA proves 2 men charged with killing border agent were at crime scene, prosecutors say.

Border Patrol agent were at the scene of the crime, prosecutors said Wednesday in the case that revealed the bungled federal gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious. The men were charged in the 2010 killing of Brian Terry during the sting operation in which federal agents allowed criminals to buy guns with the intention of tracking them. 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.

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.

Prosecutor Todd Wallace Robinson described the encounter between Terry and three other agents who had been camping in an Arizona canyon for two nights along the border. 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. The Border Patrol has come under heavy criticism in recent years over allegations that agents too often use deadly force against immigrants, often in response to migrants who throw rocks.

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