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Press Release

Local Law Enforcement Officers Honored for Commitment to Drug Abuse Prevention

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

Two law enforcement officers from Iowa are being honored this week by the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for their commitment to reducing drug abuse.  The recipients of the 2017 Enrique S. Camarena Award are Deputy Inspector William (Kevin) Marshall of the United States Postal Inspection Service and Officer Christopher Wuebker of the Decorah Police Department.      

 

The award is named after Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was an 11-year veteran agent of the DEA before being kidnapped, brutally tortured and then murdered in Mexico in 1985 while working undercover gathering information and evidence about drug lords.  This award is presented each year to local law enforcement officers who best exemplify the qualities and principles for which Agent Camarena gave his life—specifically, making their communities a safer place to live through outstanding drug prevention and enforcement efforts.

 

This year’s award recipients have gone above and beyond the call of duty in pursuit of a drug-free community:

 

  • United States Postal Inspector William (Kevin) Marshall has worked tirelessly to reduce drug abuse in the State of Iowa, and is a worthy recipient of this distinguished award.  In just the past year, Inspector Marshall has assisted in over 120 drug‑related operations with nearly 40 different law enforcement agencies, resulting in the seizure and removal of nearly 80 pounds of methamphetamine, 90 pounds of marijuana, 4 pounds of cocaine, and over 4 pounds of heroin.  In addition, Inspector Marshall was instrumental in developing a demonstrative exhibit labeled “What You Don’t See,” which teaches parents how to recognize signs of teenage drug abuse. Inspector Marshall is a mentor to young people, speaks about the dangers of drug abuse to students, and has continually demonstrated his passion for reducing drug abuse within the State of Iowa.

 

  • Decorah Police Officer Christopher Wuebker’s commitment to reducing drug abuse through both enforcement and prevention makes him a worthy recipient of the Enrique Camarena Award.  Through his service as a Decorah Police Officer and as a member of the Northeast Iowa Drug Task Force, Officer Wuebker played a critical role in over 100 drug-related prosecutions in northeast Iowa in the past few years.  Recognizing the danger and difficulties facing children in homes where drug abuse is present, Officer Wuebker goes out of his way to connect children with resources they need to improve their situation.  Officer Wuebker increases public awareness of drug abuse by speaking at schools and community organizations.  His extraordinary passion for reducing drug abuse has made a difference in the lives of many young people, and has contributed to a safer community.

 

Peter E. Deegan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, stated, “With opioid and prescription drug abuse at an all-time high, the work these officers do in drug abuse prevention is vital to the safety of our communities.  Each recipient richly deserves the honor of receiving the Enrique S. Camarena award.  Officer Wuebker demonstrated an admirable dedication not only to investigating and prosecuting drug crimes, but to educating the public of the risks of substance abuse.  Officer Wuebker has spoken to college students, high school students, and parents to increase their awareness of the dangers these substances pose to our community.”

 

Southern District United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum added, “Postal Inspector Marshall’s work prevented hundreds of pounds of drugs from reaching the streets, including keeping more than four pounds of extremely dangerous heroin and opioids from intended recipients.  Through tireless efforts, Inspector Marshall assisted in intercepting more than $3,000,000 worth of dangerous drugs in the last year alone.” 

 

Darin T. Thimmesch, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the DEA commented on this year’s award, stating, “The DEA is committed to working with our law enforcement partners at all levels to reduce the availability and abuse of illicit drugs in the communities we serve.  We are honored to be a part of this distinguished award presentation in memory of fallen DEA Special Agent Enrique S. Camarena.  Special Agent Camerena gave his life fighting against the powerful drug cartels in Mexico while trying to protect the country he served from evils of drug distribution and abuse.  This award exemplifies the outstanding investigative efforts of these law enforcement officers in disrupting the illegal activities of the drug trafficking organizations operating in and around the communities of northern Iowa, as well as preventing the further distribution of these highly addictive, deadly drugs.”

 

The Enrique S. Camarena Award is presented each year during Red Ribbon Week.  Red Ribbon Week, observed this year from October 23-31, is an alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention awareness campaign observed annually in the United States and was established in Agent Camarena’s memory. 

 

            Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA and @USAO_SDIA.

 

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Learn more about this release by calling Kevin E. VanderSchel at 515-473-9300, or by emailing him at Kevin.VanderSchel@usdoj.gov (link sends e-mail).

 

 

Updated November 1, 2017

Topic
Community Outreach