On 1 Year Anniversary, Family of Slain Border Agent Critical of ATF and Justice Dept.

Brian Terry
By Allan Lengel

On the one year anniversary of the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, the family issued a statement that included a sharp rebuke of ATF and the Justice Department.

“Brian’s death has been extremely difficult to accept. As most know, we had to learn from the news media that two assault rifles carried by the men that killed Brian and found at the murder scene were linked to Operation Fast and Furious, a failed gun trafficking operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Department of Justice,” said the statement that was issued on Wednesday, one day before the Dec. 15 anniversary of the death of Terry, who was killed while on patrol in southern Arizona.

“We find it incomprehensible that members of ATF and DOJ would embark on such an egregious operation and then try to conceal the link between this failed investigation and Brian’s murder. Much to our dismay, no one in ATF or DOJ has come forward to accept responsibility for Operation Fast and Furious.”

Terry’s name has often surfaced among critics of Operation Fast and Furious, an ATF program that encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to “straw purchasers”, all with hopes of tracing the guns to the cartels. ATF lost track of many of the guns, some which surfaced at crimes scenes on both sides of the border.

Two of the guns were found at the scene where Terry was murdered, though authorities have been unable to confirm through ballistics whether the guns were actually used in the shooting.

The family, in its statement also said: “December 15th will mark the one year anniversary of the murder of Brian A. Terry. On that day in 2010, our family lost an amazing son, brother, uncle, and friend. Our country lost an incredible young American who was fully committed to his job in keeping our Nation safe and its borders secure. Brian’s life was dedicated to public service as a U.S. Marine, police officer, U.S. Border Patrol agent and finally as a member of the Border Patrol’s elite tactical unit known as BORTAC.”

“Our priority continues to be the successful arrest and prosecution of all the individuals involved in Brian’s murder,” the family wrote.”However, we will continue to press for answers and accountability from our government. Those responsible for such a misguided and fundamentally flawed operation must be held fully responsible for their decisions which allowed so many weapons to flow to the criminal element on both sides of the border. We now believe that if it can be shown that laws were broken, then all those responsible for Fast and Furious should be held criminally liable.”

The family added: “We would like to acknowledge the work conducted by agents from the FBI Tucson Office in the homicide investigation and the continued work by federal prosecutors in the San Diego U.S. Attorney’s Office who are working to bring Brian’s killers to justice. We would also like to thank those members of ATF that recognized Operation Fast and Furious as fundamentally flawed and came forward with information that exposed this foolish operation to the American public. These individuals have continued to speak the truth at great professional risk.”


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