A man accused of pulling the trigger in the 2010 shooting death of a Border Patrol agent south of Tucson was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges Tuesday.
Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes also was found guilty by a U.S. District Court jury after brief deliberations on counts of second-degree murder, conspiracy to affect interstate commerce by robbery, attempted robbery, assault on four Border Patrol agents and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.
He’s scheduled to be sentenced April 29.
Osorio-Arellanes was among seven people charged in the Dec. 14, 2010, slaying of 40-year-old Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry north of Nogales, Arizona. He was arrested by Mexican authorities in April 2017 and extradited to the U.S. last August to stand trial.
Terry’s killing publicly revealed the “Fast and Furious” operation, in which U.S. federal agents allowed criminals to buy firearms with the intention of tracking them to criminal organizations. But the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lost track of most of the guns, including two found at scene of Terry’s death.
The operation set off a political backlash against the Obama administration and prompted the agent’s family to sue.
Terry was part of a four-man team in an elite Border Patrol unit staking out the Southern Arizona desert on a mission to find “rip-off” crew members who rob drug smugglers. They encountered a group and identified themselves as police in trying to arrest them.
The men refused to stop, prompting an agent to fire bean bags at them. They responded by firing from AK-47-type assault rifles. Terry was struck in the back and died shortly afterward.
Five of the seven defendants charged in Terry’s killing are serving prison sentences after pleading guilty or being convicted in the case. One other man was arrested in October 2017 and still is awaiting trial.