By Dave Workman
The suspected gunman who allegedly pulled the trigger on U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010, leading to the exposure of an Obama administration scandal called Operation Fast and Furious, has been arrested in Mexico, according to Fox News.
The story broke in mid-April under the byline of veteran reporter William Lajeunesse, one of a handful of journalists who doggedly pursued the story over the course of several years.
The suspect, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, an alleged drug cartel member who is suspected of firing the shot that killed Terry during an operation in southern Arizona, was taken into custody by Mexican authorities. U.S. authorities may try for extradition, since Terry’s murder occurred on U.S. soil. The gun he allegedly used was one of two recovered at the scene that were traced back to Fast and Furious, a mismanaged gun running stink mounted by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives during the Obama administration.
The operation allowed some 2,000 guns to be “walked” across the border and into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Guns connected to the operation have continued to turn up at crime scenes.
While the story was reported, and given national attention by then-CBS investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson’s interview of an ATF whistleblower who helped expose the scandal, the dominant mainstream media largely ignored it. Many in the firearms community believe the reason was so that the Obama administration would not be tarnished by a scandal that resulted in the death of an American law enforcement officer, and untold numbers of Mexican citizens.
The scandal was initially uncovered by two online writers, David Codrea, writing at the time for Examiner.com, and the late “citizen journalist” Mike Vanderboegh, who died in 2016. Both Codrea and Attkisson earned awards for their work on the story.
Fast and Furious became the subject of congressional hearings before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. During one of those sessions, an ATF agent dubbed the operation a “perfect storm of idiocy.”
Initially, Capitol Hill involvement started in the office of Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley and ultimately led to the House investigation under California Congressman Darrell Issa, then chair of the Oversight Committee. Issa and fellow Republicans on the committee pushed the Justice Department and then-Attorney General Eric Holder for thousands of documents. When Holder refused to turn over some of those documents, former President Barack Obama extended executive privilege, but that was eventually overturned by a federal court.
Holder became the first sitting attorney general to be held in contempt of Congress and he eventually stepped down, to be replaced by Loretta Lynch.
According to Fox News, Osorio-Arellanes was nabbed “by a joint U.S.-Mexico law enforcement task force that included the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals and the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC).”
At least one book was written about Fast and Furious, and images of Terry have been widely circulated on social media in the six-plus years since his death. A Border patrol station was named after him.