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Contempt citation prompts Attorney Gen. Eric "Fast & Furious" Holder to unseal indictment charging five in Brian Terry's death
by Chad D. Baus
In the wake of the BATFE's gun walking operation "Fast & Furious," which led to the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, and the subsequent cover-up by Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama, which has led to Holder being found in contempt of Congress less than two weeks ago, Holder has suddenly decided it would be a good idea to look like he actually cares about Agent Terry
It only makes sense, given the increasing appearance of the Obama administration and some Democrats as being completely insensitive to the deaths of Terry and hundreds of Mexican citizens. In the wake of Obama's Press Secretary having forgotten Terry's name, Nancy Pelosi botching his name on the House floor, and AG Holder having refused to meet with the Terry family, refused to apologize for Terry death, and saying that Fast and Furious did not directly lead to the death of Agent Brian Terry, and more than a year and a half after his death, the Justice Department has suddenly decided to give the appearance it is doing something.
The Justice Department on Monday unsealed an indictment charging five individuals allegedly involved in Border Patrol agent Brian Terry's death, and announced a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest of those suspects still at large.
For the first time, federal officials also revealed that Terry and an elite squad of federal agents initially fired bean bags -- not bullets -- at a heavily armed drug cartel crew in the mountains south of Tucson in December 2011. During the exchange, Terry was shot and killed.
The announcement comes amid an intensifying debate over the department's failed Fast and Furious anti-gunrunning operation. Weapons from that program were found at Terry's murder scene -- Republicans seeking documents pertaining to Fast and Furious last month escalated their probe by voting to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, praised the department Monday for its announcement but questioned the timing.
"I applaud what they're doing, but I condemn the timing. It's very clear that the timing has everything to do with the House of Representatives holding Eric Holder in contempt," Issa told Fox News.
Issa, who led the contempt push, said Justice could have been doing more to find the suspects all along -- he called the timing of the FBI reward money "another example of using politics over good policy."
In a statement, the Brian Terry Foundation applauded federal prosecutors for taking additional steps to bring suspects to justice, but continued to call on Holder to turn over Fast and Furious documents.
According to the article, the 11-count indictment, originally handed up by a grand jury in November 2011, implicates five defendants in the killing. A sixth suspect has also been charged in a related incident.
The two men in custody are Manuel Osario Arellanes -- who was wounded in the foot the night of the firefight -- and his brother Rito. Rito, who was arrested two nights before the Terry shooting, allegedly helped provide weapons to the criminal gang used in the shooting. All six men named in the indictment are either related or friends.
The other four are believed to be hiding out in Mexico, and the U.S. is now offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to their arrest. They are: Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga; Ivan Soto-Barraza; Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes; and Lionel Portillo-Meza.
According to the indictment, the five defendants are charged with crimes including first-degree murder, second-degree murder and assault on a federal officer. The indictment alleges that the five defendants also assaulted three other Border Patrol agents who were with Terry at the time.
The names of the four suspects were revealed Monday, and their pictures released, to the public.
According to the article, police in the U.S. and in Mexico are cooperating and under intense pressure to find them. The FBI is also reportedly actively searching for the outstanding fugitives.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.