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Man gets 30 years in border agent's death

TUCSON, Ariz. — A federal judge sentenced a Mexican man to 30 years in prison Monday for the 2010 killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, a slaying that led to the unraveling of the failed federal gun-tracking operation known as Fast and Furious.

Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in October 2012 in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, apologized in court for the slaying. He was part of a group of bandits who engaged in a shootout with Terry and three other Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona, just south of Tucson.

Terry was a member of the U.S. Border Patrol's elite tactical unit that had been working the area for several nights, a few miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

While the desert bandits scattered toward Mexico, Osorio-Arellanes was shot in the torso and unable to run. Two of the weapons recovered from the shooting scene were traced to the Fast and Furious operation led by the Phoenix field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The operation allowed weapons to be illegally sold in the United States so they could later be tracked across the border to Mexican drug cartels. The intent was to arrest cartel leaders. Most of the firearms vanished, however.

The botched investigation led to an outcry and prompted several federal officials to step down.

Man gets 30 years in border agent's death 02/10/14 [Last modified: Monday, February 10, 2014 11:57pm]
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