The final defendant charged with the killing of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, which sparked the Obama administration’s “Fast and Furious” scandal, has been extradited to the United States.
The Department of Justice announced in a press release that Mexican authorities extradited Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga to the U.S. on Jan. 31, and that he was arraigned in federal district court in Tucson, Arizona, on Monday. Favela-Astorga is one of seven defendants charged with the 2010 killing of Brian Terry, a Border Patrol agent protecting the U.S.-Mexico border when he was killed in a shootout with gunmen.
Terry — who served in the Marines before joining Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency of the U.S. Border Patrol — was a member of an elite, four-man unit that was patroling the Arizona desert in December 2010. Favela-Astorga was allegedly part of an armed gang that was looking to rob drug smugglers passing through the U.S. southern border at the time.
Terry’s unit spotted the gang in an area north of Nogales, Arizona. When the men refused to stop, his unit fired bean bags. In response, Favela-Astorga’s group fired AK-47-type assault rifles. Terry, who was 40 years old at the time, was struck in the back and ultimately died from his wounds.
The deadly shootout sparked a national scandal involving the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) “Fast and Furious” operation, which involved U.S. authorities selling guns to criminals with the aim of tracking them back to their base in Mexico.
It was later discovered that the U.S. government lost track of most of the guns that were sold. Two of the guns linked back to the “Fast and Furious” operation were located at the scene of Terry’s death.
Favela-Astorga is the seventh — and final — individual charged with Terry’s killing. The six other men have already been found guilty, with their sentences ranging from eight years to life in prison, according to the Justice Department’s statement.
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