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Defendant gets 30 years in prison for killing U.S. border guard

  |   Feb. 10, 2014 at 6:34 PM
TUCSON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The only man convicted so far in the slaying of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was sentenced Monday to 30 years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge David Bury gave Manuel Osorio-Arellanes credit for the 38 months he has served since being arrested, the Nogales International reported. The 30-year term was the length prosecutors had sought.

To avoid the death penalty, Osorio-Arellanes had pleaded guilty to felony murder in October 2012 for his role in the Dec. 14, 2010, shooting death of Terry during a gun battle between border agents and suspected gang members near Nogales, Ariz.

Osorio-Arellanes was wounded in the shootout.

The Arizona Republic noted Osorio-Arellanes is the only defendant taken into U.S. custody. Two other suspects are in custody in Mexico and await extradition to the United States.

The Phoenix newspaper said Terry's mother and two sisters offered tearful testimony at the sentencing hearing. Osorio-Arellanes spoke briefly, the newspaper said.

The shootout led to a national controversy when it was learned two assault-type rifles found at the site were part of a gun-running investigation called Operation Fast and Furious conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was revealed the bureau's agents permitted weapons to be bought by straw buyers, purportedly so the guns could be traced to cartel leaders in Mexico.

Hundreds of guns were smuggled into Mexico untracked, winding up in the hands of violent criminals.

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