The murder of Agent Brian Terry: one year later

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Unless you live in Santa Cruz County and have some knowledge of Peck Canyon, you probably wouldn't know it's one of the busiest and most dangerous drug trafficking routes along the US/Mexico border.

It's also where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed one year ago.

During the day Peck Canyon is beautiful, peaceful and quiet.  But once the sun goes down things are very different out here due to the illegal smuggling that take here place literally every night.

It was that kind of illegal activity Border Patrol Agent Terry was working against when his crew was ambushed in Peck Canyon, December 14, 2010.

Details of the event are still pretty limited to this day.

The number of bandits involved, who they were or who they worked for.

What we do know for sure is that a heated gun battle took place.

And Agent Terry was killed in the firefight.

"It's rough," said the agent's father Kent Terry from Detroit.  "It's been pure hell is what it's been."

Josephine Terry, Brian's mother says, "I can't explain it...he always looked out for me and I miss that."

"I think anytime somebody gets killed doing their duty, that's a sad situation," said Tumacacori resident Sam Camp.

Very sad indeed, but we can't say it was completely unexpected considering where it took place.

Peck Canyon is notorious for drug trafficking and human smuggling.  Again, that's why Agent Terry was there that night.

But what's made it even more dangerous are the bandits who prey upon smugglers, so-called "rip crews" who will rob, steal and rape.

"So we've had ten armed robberies so far, one aggravated assault...and then we have a separate incident of a sexual assault--and those are just some of the incidents we've become aware of."

That's just this year in Peck Canyon, with at least 94 victims according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada.

Most of the time we don't hear a lot about these crimes because the victims are illegal immigrants.

But with the death of Agent Brian Terry, more people have come to understand how dangerous Peck Canyon really is.

And while some say the United States has finally gained operational control of the border, this is one stretch that's just as wild and just as out of control as it's ever been.

"If we had more resources up there through the federal government," Sheriff Estrada says, "maybe that would curtail or reduce some of this activity, and maybe some of this violence and maybe some of this victimizing that's going on."

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