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Feds oppose agent’s parents becoming part of case

In this Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 picture, Bill Newell, special agent in charge of ATF Phoenix, speaks behind a cache of seized weapons in Phoenix. The ATF is under fire over a Phoenix-based gun-trafficking investigation called "Fast and Furious," in which agents allowed hundreds of guns into the hands of straw purchasers in hopes of making a bigger case. Two of those weapons were found in December 2010 at the fatal shooting of an U.S. Border Patrol agent, igniting a scandal that has resulted in a congressional investigation and review by the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Prosecutors are opposing a request by the parents of a Border Patrol agent fatally shot near the Arizona-Mexico border to become a party in the case against a man accused of buying two rifles found at the shooting scene.

They argue the request by Agent Brian Terry’s parents shouldn’t be granted in the criminal case against Jaime Avila and 19 others accused of participating in a gun smuggling ring.

Prosecutors say Terry was a murder victim, but he wasn’t a victim of Avila’s firearms offenses as defined under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

Lawyers for Terry’s parents asked a judge to let them become part of the case so they can stay updated on developments.

Terry died in a Dec. 14 shootout with border bandits north of Nogales, Ariz.

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