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Second suspect faces charges in border agent Terry’s death, after extradition

A second suspect faces U.S. charges in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, after he was extradited on Tuesday from Mexico. 

The FBI escorted Jesus Leonel Sanchez Meza late Tuesday night on a flight from Mexico. Meza appeared in federal court Wednesday, where he entered a plea of not guilty and was ordered detained without bond. 

The indictment charges Meza and others with first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and assault on a federal officer.

Meza, who goes by several aliases, is one of five Mexican drug cartel gunmen who opened fire on Terry and three other Border Patrol agents in December 2010. 

The suspect belonged to a "rip crew" that had terrorized the area south of Tucson for about a year. The bandits were armed with two AK-47-style assault rifles purchased through the government's Operation Fast and Furious, a botched investigation that encouraged U.S. gun dealers to illegally sell some 2,000 weapons to the Sinaloa drug cartel. 

According to prosecutors, two suspects remain at large in Mexico: Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga and Heraclio "Laco" Osorio-Arellanes. 

Manuel Osorio Arellanes received a 30-year prison sentence earlier this year in connection with the murder. Another suspect, Ivan Soto Barraza, is in custody awaiting extradition. 

Meza faces nine charges in the U.S., including murder. Meza, who is considered a flight risk, will not be allowed to post bail but will be provided an attorney. 

Terry's death in 2010 prompted a congressional investigation which revealed high-level Washington approval of the illicit gun operation. The scandal led to the first-ever contempt finding against a U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder -- for refusing to turn over emails that, some lawmakers suspected, could reveal Executive Branch complicity in the operation. 

Under the terms of his extradition, Meza will not face the death penalty.

William La Jeunesse joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in March 1998 and currently serves as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.