Laura Duffy, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, and her office are heading up the high-profile prosecution of five men charged with the slaying of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
While the indictment was filed in Tuscon, Ariz., and unsealed on Monday, the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office has been recused from the case, according to a Justice Department news release. The office oversaw the failed gun-walking operation Fast and Furious, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Two guns that were lost in the firearm tracing operation were found at the scene of Terry’s death along the Southern Arizona border in 2010.
At a press conference in Arizona earlier today, Duffy noted the “unprecedented atmospherics” surrounding the Terry investigation, according to a report in the Arizona Daily Star.
“I want the Terry family and the U.S. Border Patrol to know those atmospherics have not distracted this investigative team,” she said at the news conference.
In a historic move, Attorney General Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives over the disclosure of Fast and Furious documents. The vote was the culmination of a months-long tussle between the Justice Department and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which continues to investigate the department’s handling of the operation.
In a Justice Department news release, Duffy said her office remains steadfast in prosecuting the case.
“The indictment unsealed today reflects the progress our dedicated law enforcement team has made piecing together this complex murder case,” Duffy said. “But there is more work to be done and we will not rest until we bring justice to the family of Brian Terry.”
“The Terry family would like to thank U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy and her team of prosecutors along with the special agents of the FBI’s Tucson Office and the Mexico City Legal Attaché who have continued to pursue leads in the murder case that ultimately led to the additional indictments of the four fugitive defendants,” the statement said.