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From: Otis Willie
Subject: Who is Eli Chavez?
Organization: The American War Library
X-Newsreader: Forte Agent 1.8/32.548
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 07 Mar 2004 02:21:19 EST
Date: Sun, 07 Mar 2004 07:21:19 GMT
Who is Eli Chavez?
Eli Chavez is a native New Mexican. Born and raised in Albuquerque,
New Mexico. He is very proud of his heritage and the education he
received from the Albuquerque Public School system.
Eli's military career began after graduation from high school with the
82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper and a weapons instructor at
the U.S Military Academy at West Point, New York. While at West Point,
General Westmoreland offered him the opportunity to become a cadet at
West Point, but Eli demurred, returning to Albuquerque to attend the
University of New Mexico. Eli was Honorably Discharged from the US
Army and returned to Albuquerque and joined the 9th Special Forces
Reserves (Green Beret) and worked as a fireman for the Albuquerque
Fire Department. While at the Fire Department Eli attended the
University of New Mexico and where he helped organize the AFL-CIO
International Association of Fire Fighters.
In 1960, Arlene Green, RN and Eli were married.
The Cuban Missile Crisis interrupted Eli's education in 1962. Eli was
called back into active military service and assigned to the 10th
Special Forces in Bad Tolz, Germany.
In 1967, Eli was recruited out of the University of New Mexico by the
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and became a Case Officer and
Para-Military Case Officer. While with the CIA, Eli served our country
in the Republic of the Philippines assisting the Filipino Military in
their Civic Action Program and Home Defense Programs.
After three years in the Philippines, Eli accepted command of Guerilla
Forces in the Kingdom of Laos and Eli was stationed in Pakse and
Savannaket, Laos, as a Para-Military Case Officer responsible for the
Battle of Skyline Ridge and Long Tieng. His service in Laos was
recognized by the Agency (CIA) with the Intelligence Star for Valor.
His classified operational activity during the secret war in Laos have
been chronicled in seven books.
With the American withdrawal from Southeast Asia, Eli transferred to
the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Special Agent in 1974.
Eli served honorably as a covert DEA agent in the Republic of Mexico
working to interdict narcotics traffickers throughout Mexico.
After his service in Mexico Eli was assigned to the DEA office in San
Francisco before returning to Albuquerque as a Special Agent in 1977.
In 1980, Eli was diagnosed with diabetes. As the DEA did not permit
persons with diabetes to function as Special Agents, Eli was medically
classified by DEA as disabled for active service and involuntarily
retired. Eli began a decade-long fight to return to the DEA, invoking
provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
For the next several years, Eli worked in the national security
industry, including developing counter-terrorism training documents
for the Department of Energy (DOE) and nuclear power plants throughout
the country. As Director of Loss Prevention and Security for Marriott
Corporation, Eli developed Loss Prevention and Security Standard
In 1985, Eli was appointed Under Sheriff for Bernalillo County, where
Eli was responsible for all law enforcement and civil operations,
budget, Internal Affairs, and Tactical Response Force Unit training
and deployment. Eli was also instrumental in the development of the
Sheriff Training Academy at Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute
(TVI). Completion of this training program could then be credited
toward an associate's degree.
In 1987, Eli established Loss Prevention Unlimited Inc., a New Mexico
Corporation, under contract to several hotels in Albuquerque and Santa
Fe. Eli also conducted background investigation for the United States
In March of 1990, Eli returned to DEA as an Analyst and later attended
Basic Agents Class 80 at the FBI Academy (Quantico, VA). Eli graduated
with honors from the FBI Academy in June of 1991. At the time of his
graduation Eli was the oldest Special Agent to ever graduate from the
FBI/DEA Academy at age 53.
In March of 1995, Eli's life was again turned upside down with the
death of his beloved Arlene... his wife of 35 wonderful years. Eli's
children Jeannette, Ron, Karen and Wendy, all professionals with
college educations, were grown and gone and Eli found himself alone
and devastated beyond belief! Thanks to the love and support from his
family and friends Eli was able to regroup.
In October Eli returned to the FBI/DEA Academy as an Instructor and
Counselor to DEA Basic Agents Class 101. While at the Academy (1996)
Eli meet his future lifetime partner Sheryl at a Doctors Office under
contract to the FBI Academy.
During the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, Eli was attached to DEA
Atlanta as a Group Supervisor responsible for public safety and
coordination of law enforcement activities near Centennial Square.
After the bombing at Centennial Square, Eli's specialized unit was one
of the first responders to the focal center of the incident, removing
civilians from the area and risking his life diligently and
meticulously checking for additional explosive devices. (Documented
footage of the aftermath viewable on CNN's website.) After the Olympic
Games, Eli was assigned to DEA Dallas, Texas.
In 1997, Eli married Sheryl. She has three children, Scott, Ryan and
Kimberly all professionals with college educations. The Chavez family
has now grown to 7 children and 5 grandchildren.
DEA and the US Department of State decided that Sheryl and Eli should
be attached to the American Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. As Special
Agent and advisor to the Venezuelan Federal Police, we interdicted
thousands of kilograms of cocaine, hundreds of pounds of heroin and
countless other narcotics bound for our youth and to cities in the
United States and Europe. Eli was also instrumental in the arrest of a
Yugoslavian diplomat who was smuggling drugs from Colombia and
Venezuela to Yugoslavia in exchange for weapons for the right-wing
paramilitary rebels in Colombia.
Following a natural disaster that killed over 50,000 Venezuelans, the
DEA appointed him Country Attaché, part of the Ambassador's Country
Team. In that role Eli briefed and was in liaison with the Attorney
General of Venezuela and the Prime Minister of Guyana regarding all
narcotics interdiction efforts in the region.
In June of 2001, Eli's life came full circle. Sheryl and Eli were
transferred to the Albuquerque DEA office where they purchased their
home about a mile from where Eli was raised (Atrisco).
After 28 years in Federal Law Enforcement, Eli retired in June 2002.
So who is Eli Chavez... Eli is a man of integrity; a man of bold
leadership... a man who will standup for the rights of all New
Mexicans... a man who has hopes and dreams for a better New Mexico!!!
It is Eli's desire, and a large part of his makeup and heritage, to
continue to give back to the American community. Eli feels strongly
that he represents the best of what every American in the First
Congressional District are... and can be.
-- DEA Watch
The Voice of the Drug Enforcement Agent
The Voice of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent
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