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Five Utah Police Wounded, One Killed in Drug Raid

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #716)
Consequences of Prohibition

[Editor's Note: Again this year, we are trying to track all deaths directly attributable to US domestic drug law enforcement operations. We can use your help. Let us know if you come across an incident that you think qualifies. To see the 2011 drug war deaths, go here.]

Agent Jared
An Ogden, Utah, police officer was shot and killed and five others wounded, two in critical condition, in a drug raid on an Ogden home the night of January 4. The resident was also wounded and is in custody facing as yet unspecified charges. Although police aren't saying, it appears the target was a personal marijuana grow. Agent Jared Francom becomes the first person killed in US domestic drug law operations this year.

According to the Deseret News, citing police sources, Agent Francom died at the Ogden Regional Medical Center early last Thursday. He was assigned to the Weber-Morgan Metro Narcotics Strike Force when he was killed.

Twelve members of the strike force were attempting to serve a warrant when a gun battle erupted. Police said they were doing a "knock and enter" warrant, meaning they would knock on the door and enter if no one responded. When the entered the residence, they were met with gunfire. They later found the resident wounded and hiding in a shed.

The resident and suspected shooter is Matthew David Stewart, 37, who worked a midnight shift at a local Walmart and whose previous criminal record consisted of a misdemeanor conviction for driving without insurance in 2005 and a citation for not wearing a seat belt in 2004.

Police did not specify what the warrant was for, but Stewart's father, Michael Stewart, told the Deseret News his son had "mental difficulties" and was self-medicating with marijuana. The elder Stewart also said he believed his son was growing marijuana, but only for himself. He added that Stewart was probably sleeping before going to work when the 8:40 pm raid happened and he reacted the way he did because he awoke to people in his house.

Police are not releasing further details on the raid pending completion of their internal investigations.

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.


Sin (not verified)

One more tool who won't be oppressing another American citizen!

Thu, 01/05/2012 - 5:36pm Permalink
George (not verified)

Another victim of the Holocaust called the Drug War.

The representatives of the US government should be tried and convicted for these murders.

Thu, 01/05/2012 - 7:41pm Permalink
kickback (not verified)

Some way or another , the temperance crowd and its goons will tie this incident to the Mexican Cartels . Gun banners will be frothing at the mouth . How could a Plant Bust Unit of 12 , suffer 5 hits at the home of a Wal-Mart employee who was asleep at the time of home entry ? Startled , fight or flight moment . This madness happens because the American Public allows it to happen . Ron Paul will win the Rep. nomination process and face Pres. Obama come November.  Sleep Meter check .

Thu, 01/05/2012 - 11:43pm Permalink
malcolmkyle (not verified)


Yet another law enforcement officer dies in order that unconscionable Transnational Corporations, and their Media Enablers, can continue to abuse, addict and poison us for obscene profits.

According to the CATO Institute, ending prohibition would save roughly $41 billion of expenditure while generating an estimated $46 billion in tax revenues. -

Thanks to Prohibition we now have far more people locked in cages than would normally be the case. Apart from the fact that these extra prisoners are not contributing economically to society, it also costs 50,000 dollars per annum to incarcerate them. Additionally their families often go on government assistance, and it's again the average tax payer who has to pick up the bill. Their kids may be taken into care or raised by foster parents, again with tax payer money. Now add to all this the court costs, jail costs, and the salaries of all those people that have to deal with the enforcement of prohibition, like police officers, judges and public defenders and you'll start to get a fair idea of why "Black Thursday", October 24, 1929 happened during the period of another of our great experiments - Alcohol Prohibition.

* The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. 

* 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population at year-end 2009.

* 2,292,133 adults were incarcerated federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2009, that's approx. 1% of US adults.

* Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or parole.

* In total, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation,parole, or incarcerated) in 2009 — about 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population.

Prohibition has helped fill our Prisons and Jails to capacity. Violent criminals, murderers, rapists and child molesters are released early to create space for so called 'drug offenders'. Half of court trial time and also a huge chunk of police officers time is pointlessly wasted. Enormous untaxed profits from illegal drugs fund multi-national criminal empires which bribe law enforcement authorities and spread corruption faster than a raging bush fire. Prohibition takes violent criminals and turns them into multi-billionaires whilst corrupting even entire countries, including our own. Our drug laws are also funding the Taliban and al-Qaeda whose illegal opium profits allow them to buy weapons and pay it's fighters more than $300 a month, compared with the $14 paid to an Afghan policemen.

Maybe many of the early Prohibitionists did not really intend to kill hundreds of thousands worldwide, or put 1 in every 30 American adults under supervision of the correctional system. But similar to our "Great Experiment" of the 1920s, the prohibition of various other drugs has once again spawned rampant off-the-scale criminality & corruption, a bust economy, mass unemployment, a mind-boggling incarceration rate, a civil war in Mexico, an un-winnable war in Afghanistan and an even higher rate of drug-use (both legal & illegal) than in all other countries that have far more sensible policies. 

Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare; if you support it you must be either ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, insane or corrupt.

Fri, 01/06/2012 - 8:18am Permalink
codee ferguson (not verified)

Stop the violence, End Prohibition NOW! was cannabis really worth the death of not only an officer but anyone? i'm sure there is way more f*cked up shit goin on in utah these people could have been addressing, than a guy who come home from his walmart job to medicate with cannabis.

Fri, 01/06/2012 - 11:16am Permalink
Wasted1 (not verified)

This story appears to have some holes in it.

How could one guy (who was asleep and unprepared for them) shoot six cops who were prepared for him?

I suspect some of the police shot some of the other police.  Bet the homeowner gets charged for that.


Protect & Serve (Themselves!) 

Fri, 01/06/2012 - 11:21am Permalink
Concerned Utah… (not verified)

There has been a multitude of accounts about this so called cop killing event. First account was about a high speed chase trough the streets of Odgen, UT that ended in the shooting at the residence. Second account was a the shooting took place in the backyard, where the suspect was supposedly holed up and AKed the cops, Third account is that of cops doing a "No Knock" warrant and the suspect shot them when they entered the residence.  None of this makes any sense and the most creditable accounts are by the citizens living in the neighborhood. And the accused father. (He said he did not know that his son had any guns!) One neighbor has a video/sound recording of the shots. Another neighbor tells of watching from her back deck as the cops arrested the suspect from inside his shed. I have seem this in several news releases...Among the questions that authorities will try to answer was whether the officers, in the chaotic moments upon entering the house, may have inadvertently fired on each other." And this..."Stewart, 37, was in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, though it's unclear if he was shot. He does not have an attorney yet."  And this..."They would not say, for instance, whether the shootout took place entirely inside the home or spilled out into the yard, how many shots were fired and how many guns were recovered."

It is time for the truth to be told about what really happened. I feel in my heart that the accused did not do what the cops are saying he did. I think the cops screwed up and will probably never admit to it.

BTW, Odgen UT has always been known for its unlawfulness and corruption!

Fri, 01/06/2012 - 1:34pm Permalink
DirtyPigs (not verified)

Good... It makes me happy when a citizen, protecting his home and freedom, puts down a jackboot nazi police state gangster.

Sat, 01/07/2012 - 7:39pm Permalink
Anonymous10101 (not verified)

if marijuwana was legal i think all the deaths leading up to this one could of been avoided. anything that god lets grow should be legal. since it would be hard to destroy a weed that is funding are state 

Sun, 01/08/2012 - 5:22pm Permalink
Goofstr (not verified)

Their War!

Their casualty! 

Their spin doctor's about to blame that evil weed.

Vote Dr. Ron Paul to stop this nonsense for us.

Mon, 01/09/2012 - 2:21am Permalink
cy klebs (not verified)

I recall the complaints Walters made about nutrients from grows leaching into the water.  There should be no need for this.  When will society and individuals meet halfway.  

Mon, 01/09/2012 - 2:47am Permalink
Anon (not verified)

It is tragic that your husband was killed in the line of duty.  But do not blame marijuana or the person he was going to arrest;  you need to blame the drug war, period.  You can not bury your head in the sand and convince yourself that your husband and his superiors were doing the right thing.  Your husband was not protecting the streets when he was killed.  Your husband is not some kind of fallen hero.  In the eyes of nearly a majority of Americans, marijuana is harmless and should be legalized.  Your husband was enforcing a flawed policy and he was killed for it.

If you need some sort of comfort in this outrage, do not lie to yourself and think that your husband was killed because he was helping society.  Your husband was killed because of special interest groups and Washington insiders looking to line their pockets from prohibition.  If you truly want to get to the truth of the matter, and understand why you have suffered such a loss, you need to consider that your husband should not have been enforcing senseless drug laws in the first place.  You need to stand with other police officer wives against this criminal drug war and point your grief at the right parties.  More, and more police officers need to stand up and say enough is enough. 

If you truly want to find peace and justice in your husband's death, you will join the fight to end the war on drugs.

Mon, 01/09/2012 - 10:44am Permalink
Free American … (not verified)

Hows that drug war going pigs??? Americans will never stop protecting their homes and families...especially from Nazi's like the DEA!!

Mon, 01/09/2012 - 4:43pm Permalink
Lincoln (not verified)

No surprise. Especially that there are holes in the story.

If you have the resources to dig deep you may also find pending civil litigation against Ogden Strike Force for running over a disabled man riding his bicycle down the sidewalk, then beating him while pinned under the vehicle (a private Nissan Xterra of one of the involved agents) for simple drug possession.

What can a person say about this story? Justice served? No, because an innocent marijuana patient was murdered. If he'd have gotten all six officers it would be a closer depiction of justice on the Karmic level.
Mon, 01/09/2012 - 5:28pm Permalink
Bill Smeathers (not verified)

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan should be arrested immediately! They know and allow their State Police to commit acts of deviant perversion to a child and then look the other way and pretend it doesn’t happen! Law Enforcement Officials? Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, nor Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan have the slightest concern over their rouge cops. What about law enforcement gangs of deviant perverted police. Andrew Schroeder badge # 6969 of the Illinois State Police, Freeport, Stephenson County. This guy was caught in August of 2007, buy my then 9 year old daughter with a pair of her soiled panties during one of his famous drug raids. Was he sniffing for drugs? Keep the drug war on going so people like this can continue getting away with being legal perverts! Stop the Drug war and put people like Andrew Schroeder #6969 of the Illinois State Police, Freeport, Stephenson County, in a cage where he belongs! Stop the killings! Stop the drug war.

Sun, 01/15/2012 - 2:39am Permalink
ogden born (not verified)

I wonder if the six Friendly fire slugs pulled from francoms neck likely the real killer will have any merit as to who need br on trial and why was francom really taken out of the picture by who the cheif is gone the mayor was exposed and gone strike force is officially on the record gone ( they are now a bigger more aggressive unnamed group who must not need follow any rule or civil right ) the new bunch are out of control and gunning for what they! Choose the war that they are forcing upon the people is sensless yet they have made one of there's look like a hero ands a inocemt a murder its a cover its a pripoganda stunt so the sheep look away before being slaughtered. In my and many other here in Ogden seem to think I knew francom and felt as I lost a friend in a strange way I meet him first with my face in rhw dirt his gun in my neck I still liked him and cared his children just lost therw daddy the police are getting violent greedy and violate more rights than mostbreak laws what does civil rights get us shot iguess civil war OMG
Thu, 04/26/2012 - 6:46am Permalink

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