Skip to main content

No Drugs in Home of Ex-Marine Killed By SWAT Team

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #686)
Consequences of Prohibition

No drugs were found in the home of a Tucson man shot and killed May 5 by a Pima County Sheriff's Office SWAT team, the Arizona Star reported Friday. Former Marine Jose Guerena, 26, was killed by SWAT team members after confronting them with a rifle in his hand as they broke into his home to serve a search warrant related to a complex drug investigation.

Jose Guerena survived two tours in Iraq, but not his encounter with a Pima County SWAT team.
Guerena's was one of four homes searched by SWAT teams in the investigation that day. Police said they found about $95,000 in cash, an unspecified amount of marijuana, and firearms during the raids, but nothing especially incriminating was found at Guerena's house.

Police said items seized at Guerena's house included a pistol, paperwork, tax returns, insurance papers, bank statements, and a bank card. They also found body armor in a hallway closet and US Border Patrol hat in the garage. Owning weapons, body armor, and Border Patrol hats is not illegal.

No arrests were made at any of the homes searched. Guerena had no criminal record.

Guerena's wife, Vanessa, and their four-year-old son were in the home when it was raided. Vanessa Guerena has said she saw armed men moving around her house and woke her husband, who was sleeping after working all night at his job in a mine. She and the child hid in a closet while Guerena went to confront the intruders.

Police originally said Guerena fired at officers before they returned fire. They had to revise that statement when it was revealed that the safety on Guerena's gun had not been switched off.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Shame on yourself? (not verified)

Now the 4 year old gets to grow up without a Father because the police were protecting him from his Father who didn't have any drugs. He outta grow up believing the police are good guys now right? Just like the rest of America, more and more people are going to start shooting back when the police bust in the door because it has been clear to everyone for awhile now that they shoot regardless of the situation, might as well fire back first and sad to say but maybe the laws will be reformed when the police start receiving more of the fatal shots rather than the innocent citizens and their kids and pets. They don't care if they murder an entire family even if they find nothing or raid the wrong house...these people are lower then the criminals they are supposedly going after. I never wanted to even have a gun in my house because I have kids but now you never know when the police might raid your house by mistake and start shooting at you and your family!!

Mon, 05/30/2011 - 9:22pm Permalink
John Handforth (not verified)

In reply to by Shame on yourself? (not verified)

   I live in southeastern Minnesota.  Two years ago, I had a grandson visiting from Texas.  I had called 911 because my wife had physically attacked me when I was sitting on the toilet.  She did it when her boyfriend was the one to respond (she knew the police schedules) and my grandson saw the great liar in action.

   By the time that she was done, she was just trying to protect her grandson, who was also visiting.  My grandson had already seen a Texas cop lie about his father.  He was 12 and waiting in an interrogation room to give a statement about a crime that he had witnessed.  A detective entered the wrong room and proceeded to rough him up, thinking that the 12 year old kid was a rapist. When the detective realized his mistake, he lied about the whole thing.  As far as my grandson is concerned, there are no honest cops.

I know some honest cops, but they don't live around here.

Thu, 06/02/2011 - 12:49pm Permalink
LEO's Are Amer… (not verified)

In reply to by John Handforth (not verified)

All I have to say about any cops reading this is, I am going to teach my son how to protect himself from criminals and I am gonna teach him how to protect himself from the police. When he asks why do I need protection from the police daddy? Do you think I am just gonna pretend there is no real reason? No and I won't have much trouble showing him plenty of examples of why he needs to protect himself from the police...5 seconds or less is all it takes to find video evidence all over the net on plenty of legitimate sites, usually from news coverage of why. All it takes is a second to turn on the news, nowadays the corruption is so bad I hear of a new story about bad cops at least once a week and thats just the local police!! The days of pretending the cops are the good guys and the crooks are the only bad guys are over and the next current generation of kids that are growing up will be ready to fight back against people like this. The police will no longer be able to just bust a door down and murder everyone in sight. The police are to us as our military is to Iraq, the police are our occupiers. Breaking in to our homes, murdering our families, stealing our stuff, planting incriminating evidence when they kill innocence. THIS ISN'T IRAQ IT'S AMERICA!! WE ARE FREE SO WHEN YOU BREAK OUR DOORS DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT EXPECT SOMEONE TO BE BEHIND THAT DOOR WAITING TO DEFEND THEIR FAMILY!! UNTIL THE DAY THIS WAR HAS COMPLETELY STOPPED WE WILL BE FIGHTING BACK!! ONE LAST QUESTION FOR THE AMERICAN LEO's HOW QUICK WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR WAR CRIMES TRIALS TO START? Cause I can tell you the more people you murder the quicker it's gonna come.

Thu, 06/02/2011 - 7:38pm Permalink
Ramsey (not verified)

In reply to by Shame on yourself? (not verified)

Dumbest post I have seen in a while. Police kick down doors everyday and dont shoot. When they storm the house of a suspected drug dealer and he is pointing a weapon at them what do you think is going to happen? I am sure that 95k in his house was just his savings, you idiot, do you really think he wasnt involved in drugs?

Thu, 06/09/2011 - 4:26pm Permalink
Bruno Tam (not verified)

In reply to by Ramsey (not verified)

You are an idiot ramsey . This is the dumbest post on this story guess you didn't bother to read the story . There was NO 95K IN HIS HOUSE . There were NO DRUGS FOUND IN HIS HOUSE . There were NO DRUG PARAPHINALIA IN HIS HOUSE . There was NO DRUG MONEY IN HIS HOUSE . 

These fearless drug warriors murdered a United States Marine Veteran of two combat deployments to Iraq . They shot him 74 times . His rifle did not have a round in the chamber and it was on safe .

 What would you do if your wife told you that she saw some one outside the bedroom window with a gun at 3am ? 

Invite him in for coffee and cake ?


Fri, 06/10/2011 - 1:13pm Permalink
keen (not verified)

In reply to by Bruno Tam (not verified)

cops had the smallest sort of legitimacy in this when i herd he had the border hat, thats sketchy, but 74 times? really? do you know how long it takes to shoot someone 74 times? if 7 sawt offiicers fired about 10 round each into the guy, starting at the same time on full auto fire, it would take about.... half a fucking second to realise that just because someone points a gun at you doesnt mean your getting shot or shot at! cops point guns at me weekly, i dont get shot. so why is it that anyone who points a gun at a cop (or have one near him) gets fucking lit up. they did not shoot that marine 74 times. they lit him up.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 4:13am Permalink
Freya32 (not verified)

In reply to by Ramsey (not verified)

Obviously you've never been to Iraq before, depending on your rank you can come home with around 20k-50k from just one tour, this marine served 2 tours there. I would do the same thing that he would've done if some random cops dressed in all black at night with guns stormed into my house, the first thing I would do is grab my AR-15 and tell my family to hide. Don't judge a book by it's cover.

Tue, 09/13/2011 - 7:49pm Permalink
Freya32 (not verified)

In reply to by Ramsey (not verified)

Obviously you've never been to Iraq before, depending on your rank you can come home with around 20k-50k from just one tour, this marine served 2 tours there. I would do the same thing that he would've done if some random cops dressed in all black at night with guns stormed into my house, the first thing I would do is grab my AR-15 and tell my family to hide. Don't judge a book by it's cover.

Tue, 09/13/2011 - 7:51pm Permalink
rtleggettsr58 (not verified)

In reply to by Theophilus (not verified)

How many more have to Die or be put in jail for this bull crap war on POT, something that is not any worse than drinking a beer, or smoking a Cig.

How many more must be made to suffer or Die before The American People Stand Up And Put A Stop To All This Governments Waste of Peoples Lives And All Our Tax Dollars Wasted to cause it.  Too many people have died already, even Law Officers are dying and for what?  Just so this Government Can Have Total Power And Control.  What happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave?  They took it from us, That's what

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:32pm Permalink
noydb (not verified)

In reply to by rtleggettsr58 (not verified)

"What happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave?"


That's been changed to the land of the imprisoned and the home of the cowardly stormtroopers.

This crap will continue until someone famous dies from this trend of militarizing police departments.

Thu, 06/02/2011 - 3:59pm Permalink
Ramsey (not verified)

In reply to by Theophilus (not verified)

Innocent really? I guess the 95k was just his savings? He worked in a mine supposedly, wherer was the 95k cash from. Its pretty obvious unless you have your "anti-govt or anti-cop" blinders on!

Thu, 06/09/2011 - 4:28pm Permalink
Anonymouskeen (not verified)

In reply to by Ramsey (not verified)

miss teen usa needs to focus on usa's reading skills, read the story fagget, there was no money in this guys house. the only sketchy thing in there was the border patrol hat. why wouldnt a marine have guns and body armour. i  live no where near any real danger in canada and

one rule i live by: dont sneak into a fucking armed marines house while hes sleeping. ever. even if theres a fire.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 3:53am Permalink
nightflyer (not verified)

How many must die to keep the anti-drug profiteers happy? Can you believe our anti-liberty supreme court just decided to make this scenario more common by liberalizing search requirements! No one is safe in America anymore. We have become a police state.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 8:52am Permalink
S (not verified)

In reply to by nightflyer (not verified)

This was only for the state of Indiana and yes, I understand once a toe is in the door we get it. Such as Health Care it only took one state to have the Feds shove it down our throats. Obama care is thanks to Massachusetts!

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:19am Permalink
LEO's Are Amer… (not verified)

In reply to by S (not verified)

And a Republican who created that healthcare plan and now says Obamas healthcare sucks even though it's the same thing he created and now he wants to be president lol...why is America so full of dumba$$3$? Is it all of America or isit just all of the hick states around where I live that are full of them? Why do people keep voting back and forth for republicans and democrats? They both do the same things only when the other party is doing it it's bad and so on blah blah blah, I use to think politicians were like highschool kid' I actually think they are much worse.

Thu, 06/02/2011 - 7:43pm Permalink
Nicholas Sorta (not verified)

   This is horrifying. Horrifyingly similiar to the midnight raids conducted in secret by Hitler's S.S. (Yep! I'm comparing our countries finest to Nazis.) If I am wrong then teach me different, but I don't think I'm wrong.

  We live in a country where someone can volunteer to protect their countries interest overseas, but can be shot in their own home. Reprehensible behavior and no major media outlet gives a shit.

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:51am Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

In reply to by Nicholas Sorta (not verified)

groups are very pro-big federal government when it comes to shoving government down the throat of users of the "wrong" drugs.and herbs. Another is that supposed liberal newspapers like the NY Times and LA Times and supposed moderates like the Washington Post turn into stonewalling thugs when the subject is cannabis. They hate cannabis so much they won't even discuss the subject. They keep pretending that comparing the dangers of alcohol and cannabis isn't newsworthy, which is quite a pathetic claim. Go have another drink of your favorite drug, all you violence loving bigots.

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 11:31am Permalink
Sea3n (not verified)

In reply to by saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

I am the leader of a fairly large, local Tea Party group. My wife is a medical cannabis user. If you could meet the people in my group, I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who supports big government in any form. And, you'd be surprised at how quickly the attitudes toward medical marijuana are changing, especially in light of incidents like this where the authoritarian state abuses the power of life and death.

I suggest you get to know your local Tea Party group before you pass a sweeping judgment like that.

Fri, 06/03/2011 - 2:39pm Permalink
Rom Remus (not verified)

I have a son in the Marines and I grieve with the parents and family of Former Marine Jose Guerena, and join those who want to make sure this does not happen again and that generous compensation be paid to the family.

The granting of warrants for night time searches must be premised on adequate and prior surveillance of the premises. Both surveillance and raid must be done by the same people. It is obvious that those who conducted the raid did not know who lived in there, where he worked, and police record. If they did the surveillance, they would have known that this was not an elusive criminal and that there was something wrong with the initial detective work.

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 2:14am Permalink
Moonrider (not verified)

Go here:


Seconds later, Jose was sprawled face-first in a pool of his own blood, shredded by dozens of rounds fired by the SWAT team. That's how his four-year-old son would later find him. Joel was left alone after Vanessa, who had gone out to plead for someone to get medical help for her husband, was assaulted and brutalized by the SWAT operators and then detained for questioning. The child remained alone in the house with the body of his dead father while Krygier developed a "tactical team" to extract the child at minimal risk. That is, minimal risk to the berserkers who had just killed Joel's dad.

Wed, 06/01/2011 - 3:27am Permalink
Anonymous//////// (not verified)

If you research this story, you will find that the marine was in fact "storing" kilos of cocaine in his home, for a friend,, who was the drug trafficker that was being investigated. His wife is also on record stating he was just trying to make extra money by "helping a friend store some boxes",, and the extra money helped pay for her school. A warrant is not done on a whim. It takes weeks and often months of investigating to get it done. And then, a judge reads and signs the warrant before anything is begun. The fact that no drugs were found at the time is irrelevant. He was storing large amounts of cocaine at one point, not pot. Also, police make mistakes in all facets of the job. As well as doctors, surgeons, lawyers, teachers, auto mechanics, etc.
Thu, 06/02/2011 - 3:33pm Permalink
Anonymous2 (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous//////// (not verified)

I see the apologists have finally felt necessary to defend their hideous nature on this website. Good work by the masthead, you are not being ignored.
Thu, 06/02/2011 - 6:27pm Permalink
dr v (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous//////// (not verified)

at least when someone without a gun makes a mistake there is a chance you will survive the encounter. These stories are too common and way to well excepted. for whatever reason no one had to about surrounding the place and starving them "war heros" for a change! thanks, dr v.

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 4:15pm Permalink
youdon'tknowme (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous//////// (not verified)

the your talking must would think your a cop trying to justify what they did and so far i found no research to support your calm so if your not with the marines and his family don't talk I'm sick of people saying that cops make mistakes it seems to me that they're making more and more or what you calll mistakes my cousin was just shot and killed by a cop who said he had a gun and none was found on him so please tell me are we suppose to believe that cops make mistakes when it looks a hell of lot like they playing target practice with us. answer me that.

Mon, 06/18/2012 - 2:38pm Permalink
noydb (not verified)

His guilt or innocence is irrelevant, bottomline is he was still entitled to a trial by his peers. These incompentant thugs acted as judge, jury, and executioners and should be on trial for murder and put behind bars.

Thu, 06/02/2011 - 4:58pm Permalink

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.