DOJ Denies Border Shootout Claim

By Jacques Billeaud | February 8, 2011 | 3:31 PM EST

Phoenix (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department denies a claim that two guns sold in purchases sanctioned by federal firearms agents were later used in a shootout that left a Border Patrol agent dead near the Arizona-Mexico border.

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Ronald Weich says in a letter obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press that the claim is false. The letter was written to U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa.

Grassley has said he received information that appeared to partially corroborate the claim received by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about the guns.

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was waiting with other agents on Dec. 14 near the Arizona border city of Nogales when a shootout with bandits erupted. Terry died in the attack.