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Mexico detains suspect in 'Fast and Furious' killing

MEXICO CITY - Mexican police have detained a man accused of fatally shooting a U.S. Border Patrol agent almost two years ago in Arizona in a botched U.S. operation to track guns smuggled across the border, the government said Friday.


Federal police detained Jesus Leonel Sanchez Meza on Thursday in Sonora state, which borders Arizona, where agent Brian Terry was shot dead in December 2010, the Public Security Ministry said. The Mexican Attorney General's Office plans to extradite Sanchez Meza to the United States, the ministry said in a statement.

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Two guns found at the scene were traced to a botched U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) sting operation called "Fast and Furious" that allowed weapons to slip across the border. It was not clear, however, if those weapons fired the fatal shots. 

Four others have been accused in the shooting, the ministry said. One is on trial and three others remain fugitives, according to The Associated Press.

Republicans have criticized U.S. President Barack Obama's administration for allowing the Fast and Furious program, which led to some calls for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign.

In Fast and Furious federal agents allowed so-called "straw" buyers to purchase weapons at gun shops. The goal was to track the guns to major weapons traffickers and drug cartel leaders in order to arrest and prosecute them.

In June, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives found Holder, the nation's top law enforcement official, in contempt for withholding documents related to the failed gun-running probe.

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Early this year Terry's family filed a $25 million wrongful-death claim against the U.S. government, saying he was killed because federal investigators allowed guns to fall into the hands of violent criminals. 

The FBI has offered $250,000 for information leading to the capture of Terry's killer.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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