Mexico arrests suspected killer of US border guard

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes is accused of carrying out, with other suspects, the killing of US border patrol guard Brian Terry in December 2010 (AFP Photo/HANDOUT) (FBI/AFP/File)

Mexico City (AFP) - Mexican authorities arrested a man suspected of shooting dead a US border guard in 2010 and intend to extradite him to the United States, prosecutors said.

Mexican marines detained the man on Wednesday near the border of the northern Mexican states of Sinaloa and Chihuahua, the public prosecution service said in a statement.

The suspect, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, is accused of carrying out, with other suspects, the killing of US border patrol guard Brian Terry in December 2010.

Terry "was killed in a gunfight between US Border Patrol agents and members of a cartel 'rip crew' that regularly patrolled the desert along the US-Mexico border looking for drug dealers to rob," said John Kelly, President Donald Trump's secretary for Homeland Security.

Four members of that crew have been sentenced to jail in the US and the last remaining one is believed to still be at large, said Kelly, who thanked Mexican authorities for arresting Osorio-Arellanes.

"Under the Trump administration, we have renewed our cooperation with Mexico to better secure our border and address cross-border crime," Kelly said in a statement.

"This latest arrest illustrates the commitment of the administration to seek justice for the brave law enforcement personnel who risk their lives every day to protect the border," he added.

Evidence found while investigating the killing indirectly brought to light a controversial arms-trafficking operation involving US authorities.

They allowed guns to be trafficked across the border to Mexico in the hope of tracking them, but lost trace of some of the weapons after gangs got hold of them.