This morning, at a memorial in Tucson, our community expresses our collective gratitude for the life and service to this country of DEA Special Agent Mike Garbo, who was killed in the line of duty on Monday, October 4, at the Amtrak station on Toole Avenue.
Agent Garbo was loved and respected throughout PCAO, but by none of us more than Bureau Chief Chris Ward, who knew and worked with Agent Garbo the past five years. I’m turning over this week’s review to Chris so he can tell you more about him:
“Mike Garbo cared about the people who are victimized by drugs, and he also cared about the people who transported drugs, who were pressured and manipulated by cartel operatives to carry them. Mike never asked me to lock up people who transported drugs and throw away the key. He was interested in taking drugs off the streets. There was no one more knowledgeable about how drug trafficking worked. He was the best at what he did. His bravery was beyond question.
“DEA also greatly valued Mike because he was a Spanish speaker. He was not from Arizona, but he came to love Tucson for the same reasons that we all love Tucson. He made Tucson his home and had no desire to climb the DEA ladder by going to L.A. or D.C.
“Mike grew up in a small town and he had those rock-solid, small-town values. He treated everyone with respect, including people who he had to place under arrest. He didn’t curse. He was polite. He was a gentleman. He was extremely modest, self-deprecating, and soft-spoken. His ethics were beyond reproach. He knew search-and-seizure laws quite well. He knew where the lines were and he never crossed them. He didn’t try to show up or joust with defense attorneys. He treated the people who ended up in the criminal justice system with the same respect and deference with which he showed fellow agents and prosecutors.
“It was a great privilege to have known Mike. He was a person who cared. And he was a person who cared enough to take action. His action on our behalf cost him his life. Because of that alone, we will never forget him.”
Click the link in our bio to donate to a fund for Agent Garbo’s family.