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Photo of Richard Heath, Jr.
Photo of Richard Heath, Jr.

Richard Heath Jr.

Special Agent-in-Charge

September 30, 1936 - April 01, 1973

Special Agent in Charge Richard Heath, Jr., of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs died on April 1, 1973, in Quito, Ecuador. He died from complications resulting from a gunshot wound he received during an undercover operation in Aruba, Netherlands Antilles on February 22, 1973. He was 36 years of age at the time of his death. During the undercover operation, a drug trafficker and his armed bodyguard tried to rob Special Agent Heath. He shot the trafficker but was wounded in his thigh by the bodyguard. Tragically, medical personnel at the Aruban hospital mistook him for one of the traffickers and did not provide the proper medical attention Special Agent Heath required. Special Agent Heath began his drug enforcement career in 1966 with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in Houston, Texas. In 1968 Special Agent Heath transferred to San Diego and in 1972 was assigned to Ecuador. Most of Special Agent Heath's career was spent working undercover drug operations. Special Agent Heath was survived by his wife, Virginia; one son, Richard III; one daughter, Suzanne; and his brother, Retired DEA Special Agent in Charge Edward A. Heath.
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