Man Sentenced Following Fatal Shooting of DEA Agent at Amtrak Station  

Devonte Okeith Mathis

By Steve Neavling

A man charged in connection with a shooting that claimed the life of a DEA agent at a Tucson Amtrak Station in October 2021 was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison, the Justice Department announced Friday. 

Devonte Okeith Mathis, 24, tried to smuggle drugs aboard an Amtrak train before a shootout occurred between his accomplice and a DEA agent. 

Mathis was also ordered Thursday to serve five years of supervised release. 

Mathis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and two charges related to using and possessing a firearm in relation to drug trafficking. 

Mathis was sitting in the back of the train with 24-year-old Darrion Taylor when DEA Agent Michael Garbo spotted Mathis trying to retrieve several bags. 

Taylor is accused of fatally shooting Garbo and wounding a city police officer before barricading himself in the bathroom. Taylor died at the scene. 

A Tucson police officer and another agent were injured in the shooting. 

“Supervisory Special Agent Michael Garbo dedicated himself to DEA’s mission and gave his life in service to his country,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a news release. “Today, we remember him as a hero, mentor, and friend and, each and every day, we honor his legacy by continuing our fight to keep Americans safe. His daughter Alexis and wife Vida are in our thoughts, as well as our DEA Special Agent and Task Force Officer who were injured during the tragic events of October 4, 2021. We want to thank the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona for their dedicated work on this case and pursuit of justice.”

U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino added, “Today we honor resilience. We commemorate the strength of a fallen hero’s family; the courage and recovery of a TPD officer and a DEA agent injured in the line of duty; the esprit de corps of our law enforcement partners at DEA and TPD; the dedication of the FBI in its investigation; and the renewed commitment by local, state, and federal law enforcement to uphold the rule of law and keep our communities safe. Most of all, we honor DEA Group Supervisor Michael G. Garbo for being an agent who made everyone around him better.”

Akil Davis, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office, said the shooting was a reminder that “law enforcement officers face dangerous situations to keep our communities safe.”

“Supervisory Special Agent Michael Garbo made the ultimate sacrifice to protect everyone on that train and prevent others from being harmed,” Davis said. “Today is for Michael Garbo, and his loved ones and colleagues. We hope this sentence will bring a degree of comfort and closure knowing that Mr. Mathis has been held accountable for his criminal conduct.”

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