New information is coming out about the unsolved murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent as part of the “Operation Fast and Furious” case. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the Department of Justice is releasing documents that provide more crucial details into the December 2010 slaying.
“They’ve offered $1-million for (information) leading to who murdered Brian Terry,” Grassley says. “I’m satisfied that they unsealed the indictments because we’ve been calling for that for a while.” The indictment also makes public the names of several suspects in the killing.
According to the indictment, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza are charged with crimes including: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, assault on a federal officer, and use of a firearm during a crime of violence.
A sixth defendant, Rito Osorio-Arellanes, is charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery. Only two of the six suspects are in custody — Manuel Osorio-Arellanes and Rito Osorio-Arellanes. Grassley says it’s encouraging that the information is finally being made public and confounding that it’s only now being revealed, given the crime was committed some 20 months ago.
Grassley says, “The names are now known and that’s very important and why it took so long, I really don’t understand.” The congressional investigation of Operation Fast and Furious began with Grassley’s inquiry into allegations the government allowed the transfer of illegally-purchased weapons found at the scene of Agent Terry’s murder.
The Department of Justice denied the allegations for ten months before being forced to withdraw its denial in the face of contrary evidence. “When you can get any information out of the Justice Department, considering how stonewalled we have been in getting the information that we are constitutionally-entitled to, this is a step in the right direction,” Grassley says. “I still wonder why it took so long.”
Grassley, a Republican, says he hopes the new attention to the case will prompt someone with information to come forward and help the F.B.I. find those who are guilty and bring them to justice.