TUCSON, Ariz. -- The family of a Border Patrol agent murdered in Arizona reached an agreement with prosecutors late Tuesday to withdraw from the criminal case against the man accused of buying the weapons that may have killed the agent.
Agent Brian Terry’s family had requested to be designated crime victims in the case against Jaime Avila. The defendant is charged with buying the rifles that were found at the location where the agent was shot to death. Avila bought the weapons with the full knowledge of U.S. law enforcement in a gunwalking scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious, according to records.
The Terrys withdrew their request after prosecutors in the case agreed to work with them informally. The request would have opened the possibility of turning the smuggling case into one against the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
Records show the bureau and federal prosecutors allowed high powered weapons bought in the US. to be delivered to Mexican drug cartels. The intent was to build cases against high-ranking members of the criminal organizations.
Agent Terry was killed in December 2010 in a confrontation with bandits near Nogales, Ariz. Many of the proceedings against those charged with his slaying have been kept secret at the request of federal prosecutors.