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Rip-crew recruiter indicted for role in Brian Terry killing

The recruiter for the rip crew that allegedly killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry during a 2010 firefight north of Nogales has been indicted in the case, and charged with first degree murder, authorities said.

Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez is the seventh man indicted for his alleged role in Terry's death. He was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury, and made a court appearance Thursday.

The indictment is part of an investigation into the death of Terry, who was killed when he and three other Border Patrol agents encountered five men operating as a "rip crew" — a group that allegedly robbed drug smugglers near Peck Canyon, north of Nogales.

The indictment accuses Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez of being a recruiter for the group, but not of being at the scene the night Terry was killed in rugged terrain near Rio Rico.

Burboa-Alvarez and the other men involved are charged with first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and attempted interference with commerce by robbery.

In addition to the murder of Terry, the indictment alleged that the other defendants assaulted Border Patrol Agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza, and Timothy Keller, who were with Terry during the firefight.

Burboa-Alvarez, nicknamed "El Pariente," was already in custody in Tucson for "immigration-related crimes," federal prosecutors said in a news release.

The crew members were identified in the indictment as Manuel Osorio Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, Lionel Portillo-Meza and Rito Osorio-Arellanes. 

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Manuel Osorio-Arellanes was wounded during the shootout and later arrested near the scene. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison in February, after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the case. Rito Osorio-Arellanes was arrested on immigration charges in 2010 and pled guilty.

Portillo-Meza  and Soto-Barraza were arrested in Mexico and both were extradited to the United States this summer.

In June, Lionel Portillo-Meza pled not guilty to the charges and was held without bond. Last week, Soto-Barraza also pled not guilty. Both men are scheduled to have a status conference Friday in federal court.

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga remain at large in Mexico. A $250,000 reward has been offered for the arrest of each.

All three men will be prosecuted in federal court in Tucson by attorneys from the Southern District of California.

The U.S. Attorney's Office of Arizona was recused because of fallout from the Fast and Furious gun smuggling investigation, which resulted in the resignation former U.S. attorney for Arizona, Dennis Burke.

Two of the weapons involved in the Fast and Furious investigation were found at the scene of Terry's death.

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Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry