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Wall of Honor
Every month DEA remembers those who made the ultimate sacrifice for drug law enforcement and the nation. Browse anniversaries below or search the complete list of fallen heroes.
Agent John W. Crozier of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics died from injuries received in an automobile accident. He was en route to Jacksonville, Florida, after attending federal court in Savannah, Georgia, when his official government vehicle collided with an unlit tractor-trailer that was obstructing the Atlantic Coastal Highway outside of Savannah. A load of cordwood on the trailer crashed through the top of the car, fracturing his skull. He was 36 years of age at the time of his death. Read more >
Police Officer Gene A. Clifton died on November 19, 1971, as a result of injuries received on October 1 during a joint operation with the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Officer Clifton was fatally wounded when a team of officers attempted to serve a search warrant and a suspect fired a handgun through a door, striking Clifton in the abdomen. He was 27 years of age at the time of his death. Read more >
Detective Gerald Sawyer of the Los Angeles, California, Police Department was killed on November 6, 1973, while working on a joint undercover investigation with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Detective Sawyer was killed by a cocaine trafficker during an attempted robbery of $144,000 intended for the undercover operation. He was 32 years of age at the time of his death. Read more >
After graduating from Tulane University, Special Agent Robert C. Lightfoot worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Vietnam and Thailand. He assisted the Thai Border Patrol Police before joining the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1974. Agent Lightfoot was fluent in Thai and worked in DEA's Chiang Mai Resident Office in northern Thailand. This experience assisted him greatly in his role as liaison between DEA's Bangkok office and the Royal Thai Government. Read more >
Stephen J. Strehl, a St. Louis, Missouri, police officer, was assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration task force when he was killed in a helicopter crash on November 19, 1993. He was conducting a surveillance mission of a suspected indoor marijuana grow site. He was 35 years of age at the time of his death. Read more >
Narcotics Bureau Special Agent
On October 29, 2004, Task Force Officer John “Jay” Balchunas was fatally wounded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He died from his injuries on November 5, 2004. Officer Balchunas was conducting surveillance as part of the Department of Justice/FBI Fall Threat Initiative prior to the national elections. Read more >
On November 4, 2019, Jorge R. DelRio, a Dayton, Ohio, police officer and a 19-year Drug Enforcement Administration task force officer, along with other members of the DEA Dayton Resident Office were executing a federal narcotics search warrant at a residence in Dayton. During the search, Task Force Officer DelRio was shot twice and eventually succumbed to his injuries on November 7, 2019. Read more >
Visit the New DEA Wall of Honor
The Wall of Honor is a central, yet serene, place of reflection located in the DEA Museum's lobby. Since 1995, the agency has prominently displayed portraits of the men and women of DEA and its predecessor agencies who lost their lives while on duty. DEA continues to honor their sacrifices with a redesigned space featuring newly commissioned portraits, a dignified brass display area, respectful 24-hour illumination, and an interactive kiosk that shares the stories of each hero.
Click here to view the complete Wall of Honor list.