DTF agents get awards

Tue, 04/29/2008 - 3:23pm
By: Ben Nelms

Few jobs carry the risk of being shot from point-blank range, but it is a possibility that those in law enforcement carry with them each day.

Fayette Sheriff’s Drug Task Force (DTF) undercover agents Angel Santos and Lionel Martinez were two of several metro area agents receiving an award for bravery under fire in a ceremony last week in Atlanta. The 2006 Bravery Award was presented by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

“I’m proud of these guys and all the agents. We’re blessed to have agents with a commitment to the community. They take their job very seriously,” said Fayette DTF Capt. Mike Pruitt.

Martinez and Santos were part of a DEA strike force involved in a bust and subsequent shoot-out with drug cell leader Luis Uribe-Morales at a residence in Gwinnett County.

Having previously seized 187 pounds of methamphetamine and 141 kilograms of cocaine from the organization, agents entered the Gwinnett County residence to execute a search warrant on Aug. 18, 2006.

Once inside, Uribe-Morales’ wife was found in a bedroom where she attempted to distract agents. Uribe-Morales had been hiding in the shower and in a closet and soon opened fire with a .45 caliber handgun, narrowly missing several agents from a little as five feet away.

Despite a hail of gunfire that ripped through walls in the home, agents opened fire and killed Uribe-Morales and took his wife and another man into custody.

Agents confiscated 35 kilograms of cocaine and $229,736 in cash. None of the agents was injured.

“It is with great pleasure that I am recommending these agents for the 2006 FLEOA Bravery Award,” said Atlanta DEA Special Agent in Charge Rodney G. Benson at the ceremony last week. “Their actions during this highly stressful and dangerous situation were exemplary. The discipline and restraint shown by all of the agents involved likely prevented others from sustaining serious injuries. Under fire from a dangerous, drug trafficking illegal alien, these agents relied on their training, teamwork and professionalism to ensure that they successfully completed their mission while ensuring that they all went home to their respective families without injury. Their conduct exemplified the highest standards of bravery as established by the FLEOA.”

It is one thing to go to work knowing that you will be going home when the day is over. It is another thing altogether not knowing if that work day will be your last, said Pruitt. This is the reality that undercover agents and their families deal with every day. It is that reality and the professional dependence on fellow agents that creates a reliance that few jobs can match.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to be associated with the whole group,” Pruitt said. “Agents deal with life and death every day. They’re a special group and we depend on each other.”

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Submitted by CI5835 on Mon, 05/05/2008 - 12:09am.

thank God you guys came out of that alive. Just an observation however....what was going on in Fayette Co. when you guys joined up with the DEA group on August 18? Is there not enough for you guys to do in Fayette Co.?? We could sure use you guys surveilling the Pavillion for larcenies or neighborhoods on the north end for home invasions if you need something to do.

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 10:02pm.

Good job, keep up the great work. Thanks for making Fayette County a safe place to live.

Submitted by Sick of Fascists on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 9:51pm.

are some of the bravest and most creative officers in law enforcement. They aren't messing with small time users, they are going after seriously scary traffickers and gang-bangers every day.

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