Alleged murderer of Border Patrol officer was deported from Mexico to the USA

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, who is charged with the first-degree murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, was extradited from Mexico to the United States today, announced Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman for the Southern District of California.  He will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Tucson, Arizona, Wednesday afternoon.  Osorio-Arellanes has been in custody awaiting extradition since his arrest by Mexican authorities on April 12, 2017.

Agent Terry was fatally shot on Dec. 14, 2010, when he and other U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered Osorio-Arellanes and four other members of a “rip crew” (a criminal gang that attempts to steal from drug and alien smugglers) operating in a rural area north of Nogales, Arizona.  Of the six defendants charged along with Osorio-Arellanes in the case, three have pleaded guilty, two were convicted following a jury trial, and one other defendant – Jesus Rosario Favela Astorga  – has not yet been tried.

“The Department of Justice is pleased that the suspected killer of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has been successfully extradited to the United States and will now face justice for this terrible crime,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “We are grateful for the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection as well as our law enforcement partners in Mexico. To anyone who would take the life of an American citizen, in particular an American law enforcement officer, this action sends a clear message: Working closely with our international partners, we will hunt you down, we will find you, and we will bring you to justice.”

“The arrest and extradition of Osorio-Arellanes reflects the steadfast commitment and tireless work of the United States and our law enforcement partners in Mexico, who shared the common goal of seeking justice for the murder of Agent Brian Terry,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman.  “When an agent makes the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country, we must hold all the individuals who played a part in this tragic outcome accountable for their actions.  This extradition moves that important goal forward.”

The indictment charges the defendants with 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.  In addition to the murder of Agent Terry, the indictment alleges that the defendants assaulted U.S. Border Patrol Agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza and Timothy Keller, who were with Agent Terry during the firefight with the “rip crew.”

This case is being prosecuted in federal court in Tucson by attorneys from the Southern District of California, Special Attorneys Todd W. Robinson and David D. Leshner.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona is recused.  The case is being investigated by the FBI.  The Government of Mexico assisted in the apprehension and extradition.  The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance with the extradition of defendant Osorio-Arellanes.

The public is reminded that an indictment is a formal charging document and defendants are presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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