On November 19, 2008, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Samuel S. Hicks was tragically shot and killed during a joint DEA, FBI and Pittsburgh Police Department operation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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.
Detective Stephen J. Strehl, a St. Louis, Missouri, Police Officer, was killed in a helicopter crash on November 19, 1993, while conducting a surveillance mission of a suspected indoor marijuana grow site. Strehl was assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration task force at the time of his death. He was 35 years of age.
After graduating from Tulane University, Special Agent Robert C. Lightfoot worked for the Agency for International Development in Vietnam and Thailand, and assisted the Thai Border Patrol Police before joining the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1974.
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 a $144,000 flashroll. He was 32 years of age at the time of his death.
Palo Alto, California Police Officer Gene A. Clifton died on November 19, 1971, as a result of injuries received on October 1 during a joint operation with DEAs predecessor agency, 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 him in the abdomen. He was 27 years of age at the time of his death.
Agent John W. Crozier 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, Georgia. A load of cord wood 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.