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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006


    21 Sep 2015

    A federal judge ruled that the failed Operation Fast and Furious program is not to be mentioned at all during the trial of two men accused of murdering U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

    The fact that the U.S. allowed Mexican cartels to purchase weapons and take them to Mexico has been ruled “irrelevant” by U.S. District Judge David Bury despite the fact that two of the weapons found at the scene of the 2010 shooting are reported to have come from Operation Fast and Furious.

    On December 14, 2010, Agent Terry was in a hard to reach area called Mesquite Seep near the Arizona border with Mexico. He and his BORTAC team encountered five gunmen, who were part of a rip crew, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed.

    Rip crew is a term used to describe a group of gunmen who track cartel smugglers in order to steal their drug loads at gunpoint. When Terry and his team tried to apprehend the gunmen a shootout ensued resulting in Agent Terry’s death.

    Fast and Furious is the name used for an operation by the U.S. Department of Justice where agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive allowed close to 1,500 weapons to be purchased by cartel associates. The operation was supposed to allow the agents to track the weapons to top cartel bosses; however, the ATF ended up losing track of the firearms.

    Various respected Mexican news outlets such as Proceso and El universal have in fact reported that Operation Fast and Furious, either by design, or by incompetence, allowed the powerful Sinaloa cartel to get their hands on more weapons.

    Ivan Soto Barraza and Jesus Leonel Sanchez Mesa, two suspected members of the rip crew that is charged with the murder of Agent Terry are set to go to trial later this month where they face multiple charges in connection with the murder and could receive the death penalty.

    In preparation for the trial, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a motion to limine where among other things they asked the judge to keep mentions of Fast and Furious out of the trial.

    “Two firearms used by members the “rip crew” were recovered at the scene of Agent Terry’s murder,” the motion revealed. “A records check has revealed that both of those firearms were purchased in connection with the ATF’s controversial investigation dubbed “Fast and Furious.” Informing the jurors in this case of the connection between the firearms and the “Fast and Furious” investigation will serve no legitimate purpose because that connection is irrelevant to the charges against the defendants.”

    Judge Bury granted the Government’s motion, but according to Michel Marizco from KVOA in Arizona, if the prosecution brings up the origin of the weapons, the defense can bring up the controversial operation.

    As reported by Breitbart Texas, the ringleader of the rip crew Rosario Rafael “El Pariente” Burboa Alvarez made a deal with the U.S. attorney’s Office where they dropped all the charges against him with the exception of one and he ended up receiving a 360 month prison sentence.

    Breitbart Texas learned members of Brian Terry’s family have flown to Arizona to observe the trial.
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  2. #2
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Suspects in border agent's slaying at center of botched gun-smuggling probe to face t

    Suspects in border agent's slaying at center of botched gun-smuggling probe to face trial

    Published September 23, 2015 Associated Press

    TUCSON, Ariz. – Two men charged with murder in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent that revealed the bungled gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious go on trial Wednesday.

    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.

    Two suspects have already pleaded guilty, and two others remain fugitives.

    Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza, also known as Lionel Portillo-Meza, and Ivan Soto-Barraza will be the first to face trial.

    Terry's family are expected to be present at the trial.

    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.

    A gunfight between the crew and the agents ensued. Authorities later discovered that two of the guns found at the scene of the murder had been part of Fast and Furious.

    The operation allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them once they made their way into Mexico.

    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.

    Former Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt after he refused to divulge documents for a congressional investigation into the matter.

    Since then, the Justice Department has focused on arresting and trying all suspects involved.

    Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, one of the men present but likely not the shooter, has been sentenced in the killing. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced in February 2014 to 30 years in prison.

    Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez, accused of assembling the armed crew that was supposed to steal marijuana from smugglers when they encountered Terry and other agents, struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors last month that will likely result in a 30-year prison sentence, with credit for time served. He will be sentenced in October. Two other suspects remain fugitives.

    Sanchez-Meza and Soto-Barraza face charges of first-degree and second-degree murder, assault on a federal officer, conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.
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