Wednesday, December 9, 2015

AZMEX F&F EXTRA2 9-12-15


Two given life sentences for 2010 killing of US border agent Brian Terry
Posted: Dec 09, 2015 7:46 AM MST
Updated: Dec 09, 2015 12:15 PM MST
By Som Lisaius

Brian Terry. (Source: U.S. Border Patrol)
About two dozen Border Patrol agents attended the sentencing in support of Brian Terry and his family. (Source: Tucson News Now)
Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza or Lionel Portillo-Meza. (Source: FBI)
Ivan Soto-Barraza. (Source: FBI)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now/AP) -

Two men convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of a Border Patrol agent whose death brought to light a bungled federal gun-tracking operation were sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday in Tucson.

Brian Terry was killed in a shootout in December 2010.

Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza faced a mandatory life sentence and 20 years for each of the other counts. They were convicted in October.

Counts 2, 4 and 5 were vacated without prejudice. Sanchez-Meza and Soto-Barraza were sentenced to 20 years for Counts 6, 7 and 8. They were sentenced to 10 years for Count 9.

About two dozen Border Patrol agents attended the sentencing in support of Terry and his family.

Terry's killing exposed the Fast and Furious operation in which federal agents allowed criminals to buy guns with the intention of tracking them. But the agency lost most of the guns, including two that were found at scene of Terry's death.

Authorities say Sanchez-Meza and Soto-Barraza were members of a rip-crew that planned on robbing drug smugglers. Instead, they encountered border agents and engaged in a shootout.

Five other men have been accused of being involved in the shooting.

Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Aug. 11, 2015. Burboa, who authorities said was responsible for organizing the "rip-off" crew, received a 27-year sentenced in October.

Manuel Osorio Arellanes pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in February 2014 and was sentenced to 30 years.

Rito Osorio-Arellanes, who was in custody at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery in February 2013. He was sentenced to eight years.

Authorities are still searching for Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga and Heraclio Osorio- Arellanes. Both are wanted on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and assault on a federal officer.


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