Authorities make final arrest in killing of border agent

This undated photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry. Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

SAN DIEGO – One of seven people charged in the 2010 murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona was arrested in Mexico over the weekend and is expected to be extradited to the United States to face trial, authorities in San Diego announced Monday.

Jesus Rosario Favela Astorga is the final defendant to be arrested in the Dec. 14, 2010, shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Nogales, Arizona, said Alana W. Robinson, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California.

Prosecutors from the Southern District of California are handling the case in federal court in Tucson because the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona has been recused.

“The arrest of Favela Astorga resulted from the unwavering commitment of the United States and our law enforcement partners in Mexico to bring to justice those responsible for the murder of Agent Brian Terry, who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving his country,” Robinson said. “We are pleased that each of the seven defendants who have been charged with playing a part in the death of Agent Terry will be held accountable for their actions.”

Prosecutors said Terry was fatally shot when he and other Border Patrol agents encountered Favela Astorga and four other members of a “rip crew” operating in a rural area north of Nogales.

Of the seven defendants charged in the case, three have pleaded guilty, two were convicted at trial, and two defendants — Favela Astorga and Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes — are awaiting extradition to the United States.

An indictment charges the defendants 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 Terry, the indictment alleges that the defendants assaulted Border Patrol agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza and Timothy Keller, who were with Terry during the firefight with the “rip crew.”