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N4T Investigators: Federal prosecutors in Tucson to ask judge to - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Federal prosecutors in Tucson to ask judge to suppress gunwalk scandal from trial for border agent's murder

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Federal prosecutors appeared before a U.S. District Court judge today to explain why a jury should not be told details of the U.S. government's gunwalk scandal connected to the murder of a federal agent.

Two weapons were recovered at the murder scene in 2010 where U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed. Those guns were part of an illegal gun purchase by suspects in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives flawed gunwalk program, Operation Fast and Furious. ATF agents believed they could track where weapons bought illegally turned up in the hopes the guns would be used by high level figures in Mexico's drug cartels. Instead, ATF lost more than 1,400 guns. Two of those ended up at Terry's killing scene.

Seven men have been charged with his killing,  but only two are going to trial: Ivan Soto and Jesus Leonel Sanchez.

The U.S. is arguing before Judge David Bury that the jury should not need to know how those two rifles ended up there.

The Border Patrol Union in Tucson has pressed federal prosecutors not to keep those details out of the murder trial.
"It's disturbing for one," said union president Art del Cueto. "Obviously those weapons that were discovered at the crime scene had something to do with Fast and Furious. That's been already discovered."
Defense attorneys in the case agree with the union. Attorneys for both men facing trial are asking the court to keep those gunwalking operation details in the trial.

"It's disrespectful to the men and women that do the job every day. It's disrespectful to the family of agent Terry and it's definitely disrespectful to the entire American public that you choose to ignore certain things that are obvious for perhaps some sort of political agenda," del Cueto said.

The trial will begin in two weeks.

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