Mexican federal police have detained a suspect in the killing of US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in connection with the botched US gun-smuggling probe called Operation Fast and Furious.
The announcement of Jesus Leonel Sanchez Meza’s arrest came on Friday, ending the hunt for one of the four remaining fugitives in the case, reports USA Today.
Meza is one man of five who have been charged with Terry’s killing in December 2010. While one suspect is already on trial, three now remain fugitives.
The suspect was arrested on Thursday and two guns at the scene were purchased by a member of a gun-smuggling ring monitored during Fast and Furious.
Many have criticized the US federal authorities for allowing informants to leave Phoenix-area gun shops with weapons. At least three earlier probes during President George W. Bush’s administration also employed the tactic, called gun-walking, which allowed lo-level buyers in gun-trafficking networks to leave with weapons.
Their reasoning was to track the guns to major weapons traffickers and drug cartels, allowing them to bring cases against kingpins who had eluded prosecution under the strategy that officials would arrest the low-level purchasers.
But during Operation Fast and Furious, many weapons weren’t tracked, winding up a crime scenes both in the US and Mexico, including the one where Terry was shot.
The Mexican Attorney General’s Office is planning to extradite Jesus Leonel Sanchez Meza to the United States, in order to answer for murder charges in Brian Terry’s murder.