Slain bor­der agent’s fam­ily files law­suit

Suit tar­gets fed­eral of­fi­cials as well as owner of gun store.

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - By­jacques Bil­leaud

PHOENIX — The fam­ily of a slain Bor­der Pa­trol agent has sued fed­eral of­fi­cials over the botched “Fast and Fu­ri­ous” gun op­er­a­tion, claim­ing they should have known it cre­ated a risk to law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties.

Agent Brian Terry was mor­tally wounded on Dec. 14, 2010, in a fire­fight north of the Ari­zon­aMex­ico bor­der be­tween U.S. agents and five men who had sneaked into the coun­try to rob mar­i­juana smug­glers.

The case was filed Thurs­day, one day short of the two-year an­niver­sary of Terry’s death and a dead­line for fil­ing a wrong­ful death claim in fed­eral court.

Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties who con­ducted “Fast and Fu­ri­ous” have faced tough crit­i­cism for al­low­ing sus­pected straw gun buy­ers for a smug­gling ring to walk away from gun shops in Ari­zona with weapons, rather than ar­rest them and seize the guns.

The law­suit made pub­licly avail­able on Fri­day was filed by Terry’s par­ents against six man­agers and in­ves­ti­ga­tors for the U.S. Bureau of Al­co­hol, To­bacco, Firearms and Ex­plo­sives.

The fam­ily also sued a fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor who had pre­vi­ously han­dled the case but is no longer on it, and the owner of the gun store where two ri­fles found in the af­ter­math of the fire­fight were bought.

The fam­ily al­leges the ATF of­fi­cials and fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor cre­ated a risk to law en­force­ment of­fi­cers such as Terry, and that the firearms agents should have known their ac­tions would lead to in­juries and deaths to civil­ians and po­lice of­fi­cers in Amer­ica and Mex­ico.

The fam­ily also al­leged that firearms agents and the pros­e­cu­tor sought to cover up the link be­tween Terry’s death and the botched “Fast and Fu­ri­ous” in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The law­suit said Lone Wolf Trad­ing Co., a Glen­dale gun store where the two guns found at the shootout scene were bought, should have known that cer­tain peo­ple who bought guns in the store were straw gun buy­ers for Mex­i­can drug car­tels.

Larry Gay­dos, a lawyer who rep­re­sents Lone Wolf owner An­dre Howard, didn’t im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests Fri­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.