The Latest: Lynch applauds verdict in border agent shooting

AP News
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Posted: Oct 01, 2015 8:15 PM

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The latest developments in the murder trial of two men charged in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent whose death exposed the botched Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation (all times local):

5 p.m.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch says the conviction of two men charged in the murder of a Border Patrol agent was an important step toward securing justice.

Lynch said in a written statement that Thursday's guilty verdict "is the result of years of tireless effort from dozens of dedicated law enforcement officers, prosecutors and investigators committed to ensuring that the murder of their friend and colleague does not go unpunished."

A jury found Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza guilty of first- and second-degree murder after a weeklong trial.

They were part of a crew that planned on robbing drug smugglers when they encountered agent Brian Terry and three others on Dec. 14, 2010.

Terry died of a single gunshot wound after a firefight erupted. Two guns found at the scene were part of the Fast and Furious operation that allowed criminals to buy weapons that federal authorities intended to track.

Two more men have pleaded guilty, and two others are fugitives.

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11:55 a.m.

A jury has found two men guilty of murder in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent whose death exposed the botched federal operation known as Fast and Furious.

The jury found Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza guilty of all counts.

The jury began deliberations on Wednesday afternoon, a week after the trial began in federal court in Tucson.

Sanchez-Meza, also known as Lionel Portillo-Meza, and Soto-Barraza were part of a five-man crew that planned on robbing drug smugglers when they encountered Agent Brian Terry and three others on Dec. 14, 2010.

A gunfight ensued and Terry died of a single gunshot wound. Two guns found at the scene were part of the Fast and Furious operation that allowed criminals to buy weapons that federal authorities intended to track.

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11:30 a.m.

The jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of two men who are charged in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in 2010.

The verdict was to be read midday Thursday in federal court in Tucson. It comes after only a few hours of deliberations.

The two defendants are charged with murder in the death of Brian Terry, who was killed while patrolling the border and trying to catch crews that rob drug smugglers.

The death brought to light the Fast and Furious operation in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy weapons that federal authorities intended to track.