This book is dedicated to the memories of DEA Special Agents Forrest N. Lemon, Chad L. Michael, and Michael L. Weston, and to the seven U.S. service members who lost their lives on October 26, 2009, when their helicopter crashed in western Afghanistan after completion of a joint counter narcotics mission

Forrest N. Leamon November 21, 1971 – October 26, 2009

Forrest N. LeamonDrug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Forrest N. Leamon was killed on October 26, 2009, when the U.S. military helicopter he was in crashed while returning from a joint counternarcotics mission in Western Afghanistan. Special Agent Leamon was a member of DEA’s Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team (FAST) Echo, assigned to Afghanistan. He was 37 years old at the time of his death.

Special Agent Leamon grew up in Ukiah, California. He graduated in 1999 from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Studies. Special Agent Leamon served in the United States Navy as a Cryptologic Technician for nine years. He joined DEA in 2002 and was assigned to the Washington Field Division. In 2003 he was transferred to the El Paso Field Division and played a major role in several significant international enforcement operations against Mexico-based drug trafficking organizations. Special Agent Leamon volunteered to serve as a member of DEA’s newly-formed FAST Team, serving multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Special Agent Leamon was survived by his wife, Ana Lopez; their unborn son, Luke; his parents, Sue and Richard Leamon; and his sister, Heather.


Chad L. Michael February 22, 1979 – October 26, 2009

Chad L. MichaelDrug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Chad L. Michael was killed on October 26, 2009, when the U.S. military helicopter he was in crashed while returning from a joint counternarcotics mission in Western Afghanistan. Special Agent Michael was a member of DEA’s Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team (FAST) Alpha, assigned to Afghanistan. He was 30 years old at the time of his death.

Special Agent Michael grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania. He graduated in 2001 from St. Leo University in Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Special Agent Michael began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa, Florida. He joined DEA in 2004 and was assigned to the Miami Field Division, serving for six years in Enforcement Group Six. In September 2009, Special Agent Michael volunteered to serve as a member of DEA’s FAST Team.

Special Agent Michael was survived by his fiancé; Paola Berrio; his mother Debra; his stepfather, Leo Hartz; five brothers, Eric Michael, Russell Hartz, Edward Hartz, Leo Hartz, II, and Justin Hartz; and a sister, Cara Hartz


Michael E. Weston December 29, 1971 – October 26, 2009

Michael E. WestonDrug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Michael E. Weston was killed on October 26, 2009, when the U.S. military helicopter he was in crashed while returning from a joint counternarcotics mission in Western Afghanistan. Special Agent Weston was assigned to the Kabul Country Office in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was 37 years old at the time of his death.

Special Agent Weston grew up in Pennsylvania and California. He graduated with distinction from Stanford University in 1994 with degrees in Computer Science and Economics. He went on to graduate from the Harvard University School of Law with his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, in 1997.

Special Agent Weston served in the United States Navy and Marine Corps in a variety of capacities, including as a Special Assistant United States Attorney and a Squad Leader. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton and served in deployments to Iraq, Norway, the Panama Canal and various other locations, where he earned numerous awards. Special Agent Weston joined DEA in January 2004 and was assigned to the Washington Field Division, Richmond District Office where he worked until volunteering to join the Kabul Country Office in August 2009.

In addition to his wife, Cynthia Tidler, Special Agent Weston was survived by his mother, Judy Zarit; his father, Steven Weston; and his brother, Thomas.¹


Seven U.S. Army Special Operations Command Soldiers died Oct. 26, 2009 in western Afghanistan.

Two of the Soldiers were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Fort Bragg, N.C. They are:

Sgt. 1st Class David E. Metzger, 32, native of San Diego, Calif., was a Special Forces communications sergeant.

Staff Sgt. Keith R. Bishop, 28, native of Smithtown, N.Y., was a Special Forces weapons sergeant.

Metzger is survived by his sons David and Grant, who reside in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He is also survived by his parents David Metzger and Lisandra Holstein, as well as his grandmother Dolores of San Diego, Calif.

Bishop is survived by his wife Margaret of Flager Beach, Fla. and parents Robert and Suzan Bishop, of Carlisle Penn.

The remaining Soldiers were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) headquartered at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. They are:

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael P. Montgomery, 36, native of Redmond, Wash., was a pilot and electronic warfare officer.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Niall D. Lyons, 40, native of Spokane, Wash., was a pilot and tactical operations officer.

Staff Sgt. Shawn H. McNabb, 24, native of Terrell, Texas, was an emergency care sergeant.

Sgt. Josue E. Hernandez-Chavez, 23, native of Las Vegas, Nev., was a flight engineer.

Spc. Nickolas A. Mueller, 26, native of Little Chute, Wis., was a flight engineer.

Montgomery is survived by his wife and son, Anita and Riley Montgomery, of Savannah, Ga; and his mother, Mary Montgomery, of Redmond, Wash.

Lyons is survived by his son John of Dothan, Ala.; his parents, John and Nuala Lyons, of Spokane, Wash.; and his brother, Kevin Lyons, also of Spokane, Wash.

McNabb is survived by his parents, David and Ann McNabb, of Terrell, Texas.

Hernandez-Chavez is survived by his father, Pedro Hernandez; his mother, Eustolia Hernandez, of Las Vegas, Nev.; and his two sisters, Cristina and Mayra Hernandez, both of Las Vegas, Nev.

Mueller is survived by his parents, Larry and Sharon Mueller, of Little Chute, Wis.²

¹DEA Wall of Honor

²Press Release: USASOC Soldiers killed in Helicopter crash U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office, October 29, 2009.