Wall of Honor

Employees of DEA and its predecessor agencies killed in the line of duty.

Jorge R. DelRio

Jorge R. DelRio

Detective

February 25, 1964 - November 7, 2019

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 >

Brent L. Hanger

Brent L. Hanger

Detective

January 28, 1968 - August 6, 2015

On August 6, 2015, Washington State Patrol Detective and Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force Officer Brent L. Hanger was participating in a joint WSP and DEA marijuana eradication effort on public lands outside of Yakima, Washington. This operation was conducted as part of the Seattle, Washington Field Division’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication and Suppression Program. TFO Hanger was hiking with other members of the Reconnaissance and Arrest Team following a tip about a suspected large-scale outdoor grow operation when he suffered chest pains which required immediate medical attention. Attempts by on-scene medical personnel to revive TFO Hanger proved unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead on the scene. Read more >

James Terry Watson

James Terry Watson

Special Agent

December 9, 1970 - June 21, 2013

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Terry Watson was murdered on June 21, 2013, during a robbery attempt in Bogota, Colombia. Special Agent Watson was assigned to the DEA Cartagena, Colombia Resident Office at the time of the incident and was on official travel to Bogota as part of a maritime drug smuggling investigation. After leaving colleagues at a restaurant en route to his hotel, Special Agent Watson hailed a cab and, after entering the cab, was stabbed by members of a robbery crew. He fled the cab but collapsed a short distance away. Bystanders came to his aid but he was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. Read more >

Forrest N. Leamon

Forrest N. Leamon

Special Agent

November 21, 1971 - October 26, 2009

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Forrest N. Leamon was killed on October 26, 2009, when the U.S. military helicopter he was in crashed while returning from a joint counter-narcotics mission in western Afghanistan. Special Agent Leamon was a member of DEA’s foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team Echo, assigned to Afghanistan. He was 37 years of age at the time of his death. Read more >

Chad L. Michael

Chad L. Michael

Special Agent

February 22, 1979 - October 26, 2009

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Chad L. Michael was killed on October 26, 2009, when the U.S. military helicopter he was in crashed while returning from a joint counter-narcotics mission in western Afghanistan. Special Agent Michael was a member of DEA’s foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team Alpha, assigned to Afghanistan. He was 30 years of age at the time of his death. Read more >

Michael E. Weston

Michael E. Weston

Special Agent

December 29, 1971 - October 26, 2009

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Michael E. Weston was killed on October 26, 2009, when the U.S. military helicopter he was in crashed while returning from a joint counter-narcotics mission in western Afghanistan. Special Agent Weston was assigned to the Kabul, Afghanistan Country Office. He was 37 years of age at the time of his death. Read more >

Samuel S. Hicks

Samuel S. Hicks

Special Agent

November 27, 1974 - November 19, 2008

On November 19, 2008, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Samuel S. Hicks was tragically shot and killed during a joint DEA, FBI, and Pittsburgh Police Department operation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Read more >

Thomas J. Byrne

Thomas J. Byrne

Special Agent

January 5, 1968 - August 30, 2008

On August 28, 2008, while attending the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, Special Agent Thomas J. Byrne was severely beaten and mugged while walking to his hotel. After multiple surgeries, he succumbed to his injuries on August 30, 2008. Read more >

Jay Balchunas

Jay Balchunas

Narcotics Bureau Special Agent

January 18, 1970 - November 5, 2004

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 >

Donald C. Ware

Donald C. Ware

Special Agent

June 11, 1940 - October 12, 2004

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Donald C. Ware died on October 12, 2004, of complications during a surgery that was directly attributed to gunshot wounds he received on June 9, 1975, while working on an undercover operation in Mexico. Read more >