Devonte Okeith Mathis, 24, of Mesquite, Texas, was sentenced by United States District Judge Rosemary Márquez to 10 years in prison (60 months on Count 2, consecutive to 60 months on Count 1), followed by 60 months of supervised release. Mathis pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Using and Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.
On October 4, 2021, Mathis and his co-conspirator were traveling together aboard an Amtrak train in Tucson, Arizona, when his co-conspirator shot and killed Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Michael Garbo aboard the train. His co-conspirator also shot and injured a second DEA Special Agent and a DEA Task Force Officer. The co-conspirator died on the scene after a shootout with a Tucson Police Department Sergeant. In pleading guilty, Mathis admitted that he knew that his co-conspirator possessed two handguns. He also admitted that it was reasonably foreseeable that his co-conspirator would possess the firearms in furtherance of their drug trafficking conspiracy, and that he would carry and use the two handguns during and in relation to their drug trafficking conspiracy.
“Supervisory Special Agent Michael Garbo dedicated himself to DEA’s mission and gave his life in service to his country,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “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.”
“Today we honor resilience,” said United States Attorney Gary Restaino. “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.”
“Every day, 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,” said Akil Davis, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Phoenix Field Office. “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.”
“That day is seared in our collective memory as an agency and as a law enforcement community,” said Tucson Chief of Police Chad Kasmar. “We will never forget our fallen colleague, DEA Group Supervisor Mike Garbo, and we are thankful that more lives were not lost that day – due to the heroic actions of many of our TPD members. Two others were seriously injured, a DEA agent and a TPD officer. I remain extremely proud of TPD’s response and I hope that today’s decision brings closure and peace to the family of GS Garbo, and to all who were affected by this event.”