Indictment in Border Agent Murder Turns up the Heat on Holder

A 14-count federal indictment has been leveled against an illegal alien and "other unnamed fugitives" in the Dec. 14, 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Terry was shot in the back with an AK-47-type weapon. At the scene were found weapons which had allegedly been knowingly allowed across the border by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives as a part of the now-notorious operations "Gunrunner" and "Fast and Furious."

Rep. Darrel Issa, (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, issued a statement taking Attorney General Holder to task over the indictment and the program:

The announcement of an indictment against Manuel Osorio-Arellanes for the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is certainly good news, but leaves critical questions unanswered. The Justice Department still hasn’t said how and why guns purportedly being tracked and monitored by federal law enforcement officials as part of Operation Fast and Furious ended up in the hands of Agent Terry’s killers.

It angers me to think that this death might not have occurred had it not been for reckless decisions made by officials at the Department of Justice who authorized and supported an operation that knowingly put guns in the hands of criminals. For these officials to imagine that this operation would result in anything other than a tragic outcome was naive and negligent.  Sen. Charles Grassley and I continue to demand accountability as we investigate this matter.

According to, others have been charged in the death, but the Justice Department has sealed those names.

The timing of the indictment is interesting, coming as it does shortly after Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled by both Issa and Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Holder has claimed he had no knowledge of the operation, which allowed as many as 2,000 weapons, including .50 caliber sniper rifles, to be purchased by so-called "straw buyers" who bought the weapons legally with the intention of selling them illegally to gun trafficking rings and the Mexican drug cartels. The story was broken by CBS News earlier this year.

At least two American law enforcement deaths have been linked to weapons allowed across the border as part of the program. In addition to Terry, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata was also murdered with weapons sold under the ATF program.

Holder has repeatedly claimed the first time he or President Barack Obama heard about the program was on the news.