Mexican National Who Killed Brian Terry Has Been Sentenced to Life in Prison

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Posted: Jan 08, 2020 8:00 PM

One of the men convicted of murdering Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was sentenced to prison Wednesday. 

After being found guilty on nine charges, including first and second degree murder, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes will spend the rest of his life behind bars. He is a Mexican national. 

“Today brings us one step closer to justice for Agent Brian Terry’s murder,” Tucson Border Patrol Sector Chief Roy Villareal released in a statement. “The sentencing brings a painful time closer to an end and serves as a reminder of the grave dangers our agents face in their selfless commitment to the safety of their communities and country.”

Terry, who was an elite BORTAC agent working in Arizona, was shot and killed in December 2010 by members of a rip crew. Firearms left at the scene were trafficked to cartels in Mexico through the Obama Justice Department's Operation Fast and Furious.

“Brian Terry exemplified the very best of law enforcement: A selfless, determined agent who was committed to protecting the people of the United States,” U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said. “The United States has vigorously pursued justice for Agent Terry’s family and for the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol. A life sentence for Agent Terry’s murder cannot eliminate his family’s suffering. But it is our hope that this sentence brings some degree of comfort to Agent Terry’s family in knowing that the individuals responsible for his murder will be held accountable.”

Seven men were arrested in connection with Terry's death. Six of them have either pleaded guilty to being involved in Terry's murder or have been convicted by a jury. One suspect is still awaiting extradition to the United States from Mexico. Here are the details on their arrests, convictions and trials courtesy of DOJ: 

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, also known as Jesus Lionel Sanchez Meza and Lionel Portillo-Meza, is one of seven defendants charged in the District of Arizona with murder and other crimes arising from the murder of Agent Terry. Osorio-Arellanes was taken into custody in 2017 by Mexican authorities in Chihuahua, Mexico, based on a provisional arrest warrant issued at the request of the United States. He was transported to Mexico City for extradition proceedings and arrived in the United States on Aug. 1, 2018.

Defendants Ivan Soto-Barraza and Jesus Lionel Sanchez-Meza were arrested in Mexico and subsequently extradited to the United States in 2014. They were convicted by a jury of first degree murder and other offenses in December 2015 following a jury trial and were sentenced to life in prison.

Defendants Manuel Osorio-Arellanes and Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez pleaded guilty to first degree murder. Osorio-Arellanes was sentenced to 360 months in prison, and Burboa-Alvarez was sentenced to 324 months in prison.

Defendant Rito Osorio-Arellanes pleaded guilty to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and was sentenced to 96 months in prison.

Defendant Jesus Favela-Astorga was arrested by Mexican authorities in November 2017 pursuant to a provisional arrest request filed by the United States Government. He is pending extradition to the United States and will be tried for Agent Terry’s murder following his extradition.