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Co-conspirator in 2021 deadly Tucson Amtrak shooting pleads guilty

U.S. Attorney calls it "an important step in securing justice"
A plaque remembering Agent Michael Garbo at the  DEA building in Tucson
Posted at 5:04 PM, Mar 16, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Devonte Okeith Mathis, 24, pled guilty Wednesday to charges for his involvement in a drug trafficking crime that resulted in the death of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Michael Garbo in October of 2021.

Mathis was charged on multiple counts, including:

  • Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Marijuana
  • Using and Carrying a Firearm During and In Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime
  • Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

The shooting took place at the Amtrak station in Downtown Tucson, where Mathis and his co-conspirator Darrion Taylor—who fired the shots—were aboard a train traveling from New Orleans to Los Angeles. DEA agents were aboard, working a drug enforcement operation.

Taylor was killed in the shooting.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Mathis said he was aware Taylor had two handguns in his possession, and said that knew it was likely Taylor would carry and use the weapons as they carried out plans related to drug trafficking.

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“Yesterday was an important step in securing justice on behalf of a federal law enforcement agent,” said United States Attorney Gary Restaino. “We await the sentencing in this matter. In the meantime, we celebrate Michael Garbo’s life of service, we mourn with his family and his colleagues at the Drug Enforcement Administration, and we remember his end of watch on October 4, 2021.”

Mathispreviously pled not guilty to all charges.

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Anne Simmons is the digital executive producer for KGUN 9. Anne got her start in television while still a student at the University of Arizona. Before joining KGUN, she managed multiple public access television stations in the Bay Area and has worked as a video producer in the non-profit sector. Share your story ideas and important issues with Anne by emailing anne.simmons@kgun9.com or by connecting on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.