At the height of public outrage over Attorney General Eric Holder’s involvement in the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal, the grand jury indictment issued for the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was suddenly sealed. Now, thanks to an astonishing story from Jerry Seper from the Washington Times, we have an idea why it was so important to get that indictment out of the public eye.
According to Seper’s leaks from the sealed document, Agent Terry’s killers were actively hunting Border Patrol agents… and two of their AK-47s came courtesy of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms:
Five illegal immigrants armed with at least two AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole known as Mesquite Seep just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and one U.S. agent was killed, records show.
A now-sealed federal grand jury indictment in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry says the Mexican nationals were “patrolling” the rugged desert area of Peck Canyon at about 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 14 with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents.
At least two of the Mexicans carried their assault rifles “at the ready position,” one of several details about the attack showing that Mexican smugglers are becoming more aggressive on the U.S. side of the border.
According to the indictment, the Mexicans were “patrolling the area in single-file formation” a dozen miles northwest of the border town of Nogales and — in the darkness of the Arizona night — opened fire on four Border Patrol agents after the agents identified themselves in Spanish as police officers.
(Emphasis mine.) The indictment goes on to confirm that even though the Border Patrol agents saw the Mexicans were armed with rifles, they initially engaged with “less than lethal” beanbag rounds. The resulting hail of fast and furious bullets killed Marine veteran and Border Patrol agent Terry. As reported by ABC News back in March, the Border Patrol initially tried to deny that non-lethal weapons were used in the encounter:
“From the very beginning, at the funeral home when they spoke to us face to face, the Border Patrol said there were no bean bags shot. That’s what they told us,” Brian’s stepmother, Carolyn Terry, said in an interview. “They told us that when we were out in Tucson for his memorial. There were no bean bags shot. And what’s the first thing on these reports? The guys shot bean bags.”
I believe officials are still “declining to discuss” whose idea it was to put beanbag guns in the hands of those Border Patrol agents while border-jumping kill squads hunted them with AK-47s. Shawn Moran of the National Border Patrol Council, who has served as a Border Patrol agent, said “field agents have been ‘strong-armed’ by the agency’s leadership to use nonlethal weapons.” The agents were also packing sidearms, which is still a losing proposition against five assault rifles.
Moran also noted that the gun discipline of the Mexican kill team “probably meant they had some level of military training.” This is what the Border Patrol is up against:
More than 250 incursions by Mexican military personnel into the United States have been documented over the past several years.
The Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona that many of the intruders were “trained to escape, evade and counter-ambush” if detected. The agency cautioned agents to keep “a low profile,” to use “cover and concealment” in approaching the Mexican units, to employ “shadows and camouflage” to conceal themselves and to “stay as quiet as possible.”
Several of the incursions occurred in the same area where Terry was killed, including a 2005 incident in which two agents were shot and wounded by assailants dressed in black commando-type clothing in what law-enforcement authorities said was a planned ambush. More than 50 rounds were fired at the agents after they spotted the suspected gunmen.
When confronted with these details, “The U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego, which is prosecuting the case, would confirm only that it was sealed. Also sealed was the judge’s reason for sealing the case.” Everything’s all nice and sealed.
Perhaps Congress should ask Eric Holder if he knows that Border Patrol agents are being stalked by death squads with a taste for the kind of guns Fast and Furious pushed across the border. It’s probably all laid out in another memo Holder didn’t read.