PHOENIX — The parents of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent killed with a gun sold in the government’s botched “Fast and Furious” gunrunning investigation believe a Justice Department Inspector General’s report into the case was mostly an effort to keep Attorney General Eric Holder from being blamed.
Agent Brian Terry’s father, Kent Terry, also said the former head of the ATF and a senior prosecutor who left the Justice Department after the report’s release were getting off easy.
“We want whoever’s responsible for this penalized, not slapped on the hand and given another pay raise,” step-mother Carolyn Terry said. “I want someone to go to jail for what they’ve done.
“They’ve got their lives. We don’t have our son any longer,” she said.
Kent and Carolyn Terry, of Jonesville, Mich., spoke with The Associated Press Thursday about the report that detailed who was responsible for allowing assault weapons to be smuggled into Mexico.
Brian Terry was killed in an exchange of gunfire in southern Arizona on Dec. 14, 2010. He and other agents had been looking for bandits in a desert area more than 10 miles north of Nogales. Two guns were found at the scene.
The report blamed failed strategies, errors in judgment and management failures. It also faulted midlevel and senior officials for not briefing Holder before early 2011.
Kent and Carolyn Terry both said they believed Holder knew about the case before the report said he did.
“I don’t believe it stopped and Holder didn’t know it,” Carolyn Terry said. “His name was on some of those papers which they won’t turn over. There’s more to it, with the president sealing that case. I think his name’s in it too, because they’re protecting somebody.”
The Terrys were in Arizona to attend this week’s dedication of a new Border Patrol station named for their son.
Robert Heyer, Brian’s cousin and chairman of the Brian Terry Foundation, said it was too early to criticize the inspector general’s report. He said his uncle didn’t have time to read the 471 page report and was speaking after an emotional week.
“You can imagine his frustration and his anger but we really have to take a look at this report and see what it says,” Heyer said. “Give us time to take a look, let us read this thing and then we’ll point out any inaccuracies or things that were left out.”