More indicted in slaying of border agent
Tim Steller Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Tuesday,
January 31, 2012 12:00 am
Federal prosecutors have won indictments against additional
defendants in the case against those accused of killing U.S. Border
Patrol Agent Brian Terry, newly released documents show.
All the names are blacked out in the new November 2011 indictment
except two: Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, who was wounded at the scene of
Terry's slaying and has been incarcerated since then, and Rito Osorio-
Arellanes. The records don't clarify what the relationship is between
the two, but a person identified as Rito Osorio-Arellanez was
arrested "near Rio Rico" on Dec. 12, 2010, just two days before Terry
was killed, a federal indictment says. He was indicted Jan. 5 on a
charge of re-entering the country after being deported, on Sept. 11,
In November, prosecutors in the Terry murder case asked that the re-
entry-after-deportation case be dismissed entirely because he had
been indicted in the Terry murder case.
That same month, U.S. District Judge David Bury declared that the
case is unusually complex, noting that prosecutors had provided
defense attorneys nine CDs and 1,300 pages of material related to the
case, including ballistics testing, fingerprint analysis and DNA
Bury asked prosecutors to prepare the newly released documents after
the Arizona Daily Star and five other Arizona news organizations
intervened in the case in December, asking that the entire case be
On Jan. 12, Bury ordered that prosecutors unseal and release certain
types of documents - indictments as well as orders and minute entries
issued by the court - but he declined to unseal the entire case file.
Bury said prosecutors asked that the case remain sealed until all
those indicted have been arrested.
Read more: http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/more-indicted-in-
Executive Branch - POLITICS
In new 'Fast and Furious' report, Democrats clear Justice appointees
By Mike Levine
Published January 31, 2012
Jan. 25, 2011: A cache of seized weapons used in the ATF gun-
running operation 'Fast and Furious' is displayed at a news
conference in Phoenix.
Democrats investigating the failed gun-running probe known as
"Operation Fast and Furious" are laying the blame at the feet of
officials in Arizona, saying in a new report that lawmakers from both
sides of the aisle have "obtained no evidence" implicating high-level
political appointees in Washington.
At the same time, the report reveals that two top Justice Department
officials, in previously undisclosed interviews, insisted they would
have taken action if they had the relevant details, and said it is
"absurd" and unfair to suggest they knew early-on about the tactics
of Fast and Furious.
Titled "Fatally Flawed: Five Years of Gunwalking in Arizona," much of
the report is a historical overview of "gunwalking operations" dating
back to 2006, and in a letter to Republicans accompanying the report,
the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said he told his staff "to
focus on the facts we have discovered rather than the heated and
sometimes inaccurate rhetoric."
"It is clear that ATF agents in Phoenix and prosecutors in the
Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office embarked on a deliberate strategy not
to arrest suspected straw purchasers while they attempted to make
larger cases against higher-level targets," the report reads.
"Although these officials claimed they had no probable cause to
arrest any straw purchasers at the time, allowing hundreds of
illegally purchased military-grade assault weapons to fall into the
hands of violent drug cartels over the course of five years created
an obvious and inexcusable threat to public safety on both sides of
The report adds that problems arose during investigations even under
the Bush administration, as hundreds of weapons were lost in Mexico,
but "rather than halting operations after flaws became evident, (ATF
agents in Arizona) launched several similarly reckless operations
over the course of several years, also with tragic results."
The report comes two days before Attorney General Eric Holder is set
to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee, and it also covers a series of recent interviews by
congressional investigators of two high-ranking Justice Department
Specifically, the report discloses that Holder's current chief of
staff, Gary Grindler, met with investigators two weeks before
Christmas and told them that, contrary to some allegations, he did
not learn substantive details of "Fast and Furious" during a March
2010 briefing with ATF officials.
Grindler, who as acting deputy attorney general, was the department's
No. 2 at the time of his briefing in March 2010, said he is
"extraordinarily confident" the ATF officials who briefed him did not
tell him firearms were being allowed to go to Mexico.
"That is just an absurd concept," Grindler told congressional
investigators on Dec. 12, 2011, according to the new report. "If that
had been told to me, I would not only have written something, but
done something about it. ... I would have stopped it."
For much of the past year, the committee, led by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-
Calif., has been investigating how "Fast and Furious" came to be and
how two weapons tied to the program ended up at the murder scene of
Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010. The majority has
produced several reports from its investigation.
At issue are tactics used by investigators from the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to target major gun-runners
in Arizona. Launched in late 2009, "Fast and Furious" planned to
follow gun purchasers in hopes that suspects would lead them to the
heads of Mexican cartels. But ATF lost track of hundreds of high-
powered weapons, and many of those guns surfaced at crime scenes in
Mexico and the United States.
Previously released notes from the briefing show Grindler jotted down
the name "Operation Fast and Furious." In addition, he was told that
at least two suspects used cash to buy nearly 450 weapons costing
tens of thousands of dollars, and he noted many guns bought in the
United States were surfacing in Mexico.
Republicans have said that amount of information "should have raised
red flags," as Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, put it during a
November 2011 Senate hearing with Holder.
At the hearing, Grassley took issue with suggestions that Grindler
was never told of "unacceptable tactics."
"If by unacceptable tactics you mean watching straw buyers illegally
buy guns without seizing them before they get to Mexico, isn't that
exactly what he was told?" Grassley asked Holder, who said he didn't
know what Grindler was told.
Meanwhile, Issa has previously suggested officials within the Justice
Department's Criminal Division, such as Deputy Assistant Attorney
General Jason Weinstein, could have done more to stop "Fast and
In a letter to Holder in October, Issa noted that Weinstein and
others approved wiretap applications, which he said "contain rich
detail of the reckless operations tactics being employed by your
agents in Phoenix."
"Although (Criminal Division head Lanny) Breuer and his top deputies
were informed of the operational details and tactics of 'Fast and
Furious,' they did nothing to stop the program," Issa wrote.
But in his interview with congressional investigators, Weinstein
called that "not a fair criticism," saying his general practice was
to read an application's cover memo and only examine the underlying
information if the cover letter raised questions or issues, according
to the Democrats' new report.
"I first heard of possible gunwalking in 'Fast and Furious' when the
whistleblower allegations were made public in early 2011," Weinstein
told congressional investigators on Jan. 10, according to the report.
"Had I known about gunwalking in 'Fast and Furious' before the
allegations became public, I would have sounded the alarm about it."
As for Breuer, he testified at a Senate hearing in November 2011 that
he also first learned of the tactics "when the public disclosure was
made" by ATF agents early last year.
But days before the hearing, Breuer acknowledged he learned in April
2010 that ATF had launched a "gunwalking" investigation four years
earlier called "Operation Wide Receiver," and after learning about it
he directed Weinstein to bring their concerns to ATF leadership.
Breuer has since said he regrets not having said anything to Holder
or others within the department at the time.
During his recent interview with congressional investigators,
Weinstein said he "reacted pretty strongly to" learning about "Wide
"Had I seen anything at any time during the investigation of 'Fast
and Furious' that raised the same concerns, I would have reacted,"
Weinstein told investigators, according to the new report. "And I
would have reacted even more strongly because that would have meant
it was still going on and that 'Wide Receiver' was not in fact an
isolated incidence as I believed it to be."
Nevertheless, on Feb. 2, 2011, as Breuer was meeting with Mexican
officials, the Criminal Division head "suggested allowing straw
purchasers (to) cross into Mexico" so Mexican authorities can arrest
and prosecute them, according to notes from the meeting released
Friday night. But documents obtained by the House oversight panel
don't indicate that any such action was ever taken, according to the
Democrats' new report.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/31/in-new-report-