Sentencing set for Fast and Furious suspect - New York News

Man sentenced to 30 years in border agent's death

Posted: Updated:
Manuel Osorio-Arellanes Manuel Osorio-Arellanes
Brian Terry Brian Terry

By ASTRID GALVAN
Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Kelly Terry-Willis did not hesitate to look into the eyes of the orange-jumpsuit-clad man involved in the shooting death of her big brother, telling him his "evil decision" took from her a loving confidant, dance partner and dedicated family man.

She turned to face Manuel Osorio-Arellanes numerous times as she spoke about her brother Brian Terry, who was killed during a December 2010 shootout near the U.S.-Mexico border. Osorio-Arellanes was sentenced Monday to 30 years on a federal murder charge in Terry's death, making him the first person involved in the killing to go to prison in the U.S.

The case brought to light the botched Fast and Furious operation in which federal agents trying to track guns allowed criminals to buy them for weapons smugglers. Instead, agents lost track of 1,400 of the 2,000 guns involved in the sting operation, including two weapons found at the scene of Terry's killing.

Addressing him by name, Terry-Willis told Osorio-Arellanes that he was a coward who had chosen the wrong path in life.

She described her brother as a loving and devoted family man and friend. "He was a man who loved God and life."

The two loved to have dance-offs, whether in public or private. "I would give anything to have one more dance-off with my brother," Terry-Willis said.

U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury asked Osorio-Arellanes if he wanted to speak, but he initially declined through his attorney, Clay Hernandez. Hernandez said the defendant was extremely nervous and felt he lacked the proper education to speak.

Nudged by the judge, Osorio-Arellanes finally apologized several times in Spanish and reiterated that he, too, was wounded in the shootout. He was shot three times and spent two weeks in the hospital.

Prosecutor Todd Robinson took issue with the notion that Osorio-Arellanes, from the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, was a victim.

"There is one victim and one victim only," he said. "That is Brian Terry."

Bury also was critical of Osorio-Arellanes as he gave him the 30-year sentence that prosecutors recommended.

"You illegally entered the United States with the sole intention of committing armed robbery," he said. "There is no doubt that your prey was human. Law enforcement got in your way, as is their duty, and as a result a good agent died."

Terry, 40, died a few weeks before he was to visit his family in Michigan, where he grew up.

Michelle Terry-Balogh, another sister, cried as she read a prepared statement.

"I want you to know who Brian Terry was. I want you to know what you took not only from my family but from everyone," she said. She described her brother as a hero.

The shootout erupted just north of the Arizona border city of Nogales as Osorio-Arellanes and four other men who are accused of sneaking into the country to rob marijuana smugglers approached Terry and three other agents who were targeting such rip-off crews.

Osorio-Arellanes was the only person arrested at the scene, while four other alleged rip-off crew members fled to Mexico. Two of the four are now in Mexican custody, while two others remain fugitives.

Osorio-Arellanes maintains he was not the shooter who killed Terry, and prosecutors agree that evidence supports his claim. Still, they say he is liable because he was a voluntary participant in the rip-off crew.

Federal authorities who conducted the Fast and Furious investigation have faced criticism for allowing suspected straw buyers for a smuggling ring to walk away from Arizona gun shops with weapons, rather than arresting them and seizing the guns.

Osorio-Arellanes' guilty plea in October 2012 marked the biggest conviction to date in a case that embarrassed the federal government and prompted a series of congressional investigations. Members of the gun-smuggling ring that was being monitored in Fast and Furious have pleaded guilty to federal charges.

At the sentencing hearing, Terry's mother tearfully recounted the pain she has endured since losing her son.

"He was a dedicated American," Josephine Terry said. "He would always say, `This is the best country in the world, Mom.'"

 


 

The family of Brian Terry issued the following statement on Feb. 10th:

"We are not celebrating. Today we recognized justice has been served and we believe the 30 year sentence imposed on this particular defendant is an appropriate sentence. The Terry family is appreciative of the Border Patrol, the FBI, and the team of prosecutors who were involved. We remain hopeful that all suspects in this murder will be brought to justice."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press modified.

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Andy Golub's NYC Bodypainting Day

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:43:52 GMT
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
    The saying art is autobiographical takes on a whole new meaning when your canvas is a fully nude human body, as it is for artist Andy Golub. Andy along with 30 other artists and 45 Technicolor models paraded around several Manhattan hotspots over the weekend for NYC Body Painting day. Believe or not, this is completely legal in New York City.
  • Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Protestors rally against NYPD's 'broken windows' policing

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:07:39 GMT
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
    Emotions about police brutality were still raw at a protest in Harlem Wednesday night. Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy.
  • Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Fatal skydiving accident on Long Island

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:13:49 GMT
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
    Police on Long Island say one person has died and another has been seriously injured in a skydiving accident. Riverhead police say it happened at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. Police say the injured person was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices