Defendant Extradited to Face Charges in Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry Murder Case
SAN DIEGO, CA—Barraza, who is charged with the first degree murder of United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, was extradited to the United States from Mexico today, announced Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California.
Agent Terry was fatally shot on Dec. 14, 2010, when he and other Border Patrol agents encountered Soto-Barraza and others in a rural area north of Nogales, Arizona. Of six defendants charged so far, two have pleaded guilty and two are awaiting trial.
“This marks another step forward in our aggressive pursuit of those responsible for the murder of Agent Brian Terry, who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country,” said Attorney General Holder. “We will never stop seeking justice against those who do harm to our best and bravest.”
“This extradition is another major development in the pursuit of justice for Agent Terry and his family,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “As we continue to make significant progress in this case, we are constantly motivated by the memory of Agent Terry and his sacrifice for our country.”
Soto-Barraza is scheduled to be arraigned in federal district court in Tucson, Arizona, on August 1, 2014. The indictment charges Soto-Barraza and others with first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and assault on a federal officer. In addition to the murder of Agent Terry, the indictment alleges that the defendants assaulted Border Patrol Agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza, and Timothy Keller, who were with Agent Terry during the firefight.
On July 20, 2012, in order to seek the public’s assistance, Department of Justice officials announced a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest of four fugitives: Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, Lionel Portillo-Meza and Soto-Barraza. Portillo-Meza was captured in Mexico in September 2012 and extradited to the U.S. on June 17, 2014. Soto-Barraza was captured in Mexico in September 2013. Favela-Astorga and Osorio-Arellanes are fugitives.
A fifth defendant, Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in February 2014. A sixth defendant, Rito Osorio-Arellanes, who was in custody at the time of Agent Terry’s murder, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and was sentenced to eight years in prison in January 2013.
This case is being prosecuted in federal court in Tucson by attorneys from the Southern District of California, Special Attorneys Todd W. Robinson, David D. Leshner, and Fred Sheppard. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona is recused. This case is being investigated by the FBI. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance with the extradition.
The public is reminded that an indictment is a formal charging document and defendants are presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.