WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant United States Attorney Jerry Kitchen, David Harmon of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Dennis B. Mabry of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Mike Perez of the Department of Homeland Security were recognized by Attorney General Eric Holder and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director H. Marshall Jarrett at the 28th annual Director’s Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. These individuals received the Director’s Award for their outstanding work in the prosecution of Orlando Garcia and others involved in the murder of Tennessee State Trooper Calvin Jenks in January 2007.
The Western District of Tennessee was one of 40 districts represented at the ceremony which was held in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building.
In his prepared remarks, Attorney General Holder told the awardees that they “represent the very best that this Department has to offer”and that their “work embodies our ongoing commitment – not merely to win cases, but to do justice; to protect our fellow citizens; to empower the most vulnerable among us; and to uphold the rule of law.”
“Each day the members of the U.S. Attorneys’ community go to work for the citizens of this counrty with one goal in mind – to do everything they can to protect the rights of all Americans,” said EOUSA Director Jarrett. “I am continually humbled by their resiliency, dedication, and unparalleled work ethic to accomplish this noble mission. Today’s awardees exemplify what it truly means to be a patriot and it is an honor to recognize them for their extraordinary service.”
On January 6, 2007, Tennessee State Trooper Calvin Jenks conducted a traffic stop of a silver Toyota Corolla with a Texas license plate. The vehicle was occupied by two males. During the traffic stop, which occurred on Highway 14 in Tipton County, Trooper Jenks was shot and killed by the passenger, Alejandro Gauna, who was a minor. Alejandro Gauna and Orlando Garcia then fled the scene. The investigation of Trooper Jenks’ murder revealed that Gauna and Garcia had traveled from Austin, Texas to the Western District of Tennessee with approximately three pounds of marijuana that they intended to sell in Tennessee.
Assistant United States Attorney Kitchen utilized Title 18, United States Code, Section 841 to secure a conviction against Garcia. Garcia received a sentence of life in federal prison for his role in the murder of Trooper Jenks. The investigative work conducted by law enforcement officers Harmon, Mabry, and Perez was instrumental in securing this sentence. Three co-defendants were also convicted.
United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III stated, “After Tennessee State Trooper Calvin Jenks was murdered in cold blood during a routine traffic stop, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Kitchen, along with TBI Special Agent David Harmon, DEA Task Force Officer Dennis B. Mabry, and Mike Perez of the Department of Homeland Security, took swift action to bring to justice the perpetrator of the crime. I applaud Assistant U.S. Attorney Kitchen and the talented investigative team for receiving the distinguished Director’s Award in recognition of their tireless efforts and service to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and their country.”
EOUSA provides oversight, general executive assistance, and direction to the 94 United States Attorneys’ offices around the country.
Harry S. Sommers, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.