202-905-8885 deasbf@deasbf.org
DEA Survivors Benefit Fund

On October 29, 2004, Task Force Officer John “Jay” Balchunas was fatally wounded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He died from his injuries on November 5, 2004. Officer Balchunas was conducting surveillance as part of the Department of Justice/FBI Fall Threat Initiative prior to the national elections.

Task Force Officer Balchunas was employed as a Narcotics Bureau Special Agent within the State of Wisconsin, Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). Prior to joining the State DCI, Task Force Officer Balchunas worked as a Milwaukee Police Officer for seven years and a Marquette University Public Safety Officer before that. Additionally, Task Force Officer Balchunas was a dedicated Volunteer Firefighter with the New Berlin Fire Department, achieving the rank of Lieutenant.

On the evening of October 29th, while walking to his car, Task Force Officer Balchunas was accosted by two assailants. A struggle ensued and one of the assailants shot Officer Balchunas in the abdomen. He underwent several surgeries before succumbing to his injuries on November 5, 2004. Task Force Officer Balchunas was engaged to be married in the fall of 2005 and is survived by his fiancée Luann Vogel, his parents Don and Mary Kay, his brother Dan and his sister Linda.

The Survivors Benefit Fund is not part of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) but, instead, is a private 501(c)(3) organization that supports the families of DEA agents, employees, and task force officers who gave their lives in the line-of-duty. Neither the DOJ nor DEA approves, endorses, or authorizes the Survivors Benefit Fund, its materials, or its fundraising efforts.