Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, the Mexican national convicted in the fatal shooting of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry during the fumbled Fast and Furious drug smuggling sting, was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison.
Osorio-Arellanes’ sentencing marks the first conviction in the December 2010 shooting near the Mexico-Arizona border, the Associated Press reports. U.S. District Court judge David C. Bury handed Osorio-Arellanes 360 months in prison despite the fact that evidence corroborated the defendant's claim that he was not the one who pulled the trigger on Terry.
"You illegally entered the United States with the sole intention of committing armed robbery," Bury said at the trial’s close, dismissing notions that Osorio-Arellanes himself was a victim. "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."
Osorio-Arellanes was part of a rip-off crew of five who were accused of illegally crossing the border to rob marijuana smugglers. Terry and three other agents targeting such gangs approached them, and violence erupted.
Osorio-Arellanes had been shot in the torso and was unable to escape. The four other crewmembers fled to Mexico. Two of them are in Mexican custody for a long list of crimes, including first- and second-degree murder. Two are still fugitives.
Several of Terry’s family members attended the trial.
"We are not celebrating," the Terry family said in a statement following the sentencing. "Today we recognized justice has been served and we believe the 30-year sentence imposed on this particular defendant is an appropriate sentence ... We remain hopeful that all suspects in this murder will be brought to justice."
Two guns from the botched Fast and Furious operation, in which ATF agents failed to keep track of 1,400 weapons purposefully disseminated in an attempt to land drug smugglers, were found at the scene of the crime.