DATE: September 2, 2022
SUBJECT: Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Deputies Honored by DEA
CONTACT: Sheriff Dave Wedding
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding

On September 1, 2022, Resident Agent in Charge (RAC) Adam Zirkelbach of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Evansville Resident Office hosted an award presentation ceremony at the Evansville Resident Office.  The purpose of the ceremony was to present the Evansville Resident Office, as well as members of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office and the Evansville Police Department, with the DEA Administrator’s Award for Public Service as authorized by the Administrator of the DEA, Anne Milgrim.  The presentation was made by J. Michael Gannon, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Indianapolis District Office.

The award was in recognition for VCSO deputies and EPD officers that “courageously distinguished themselves” during the attempted arrest of a violent, armed drug trafficker in Evansville in November 2020.  The suspect fled from law enforcement in a vehicle and recklessly crashed into a VCSO patrol vehicle before crashing into a utility pole and engaging in a standoff with law enforcement.   Law enforcement was attempting to take the suspect into custody for several outstanding arrest warrants for charges resulting from a previous investigation for  firearms possession and drug trafficking.  The suspect then  disregarded numerous attempts by deputies and officers to de-escalate and peacefully resolve the situation.  The suspect instead opened fire on the deputies and officers from inside his wrecked vehicle, using a stolen handgun.  The involved deputies and officers returned fire and stopped the threat, thereby preventing injury or death to themselves and residents in the area.

There were four VCSO deputies involved in the investigation and named as recipients of the DEA Administrator’s Public Service Award. Two of the involved VCSO  deputies are assigned to the DEA Evansville Resident Office as Task Force Officers.  The two other VCSO deputies involved are assigned to the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force who were assisting the DEA with the investigation.

The involved officers and deputies were also presented with a DEA Certificate of Appreciation as directed by Robert Bell, the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Chicago Field Division, in recognition of them being awarded the DEA Administrator’s Public Service Award.