In Memory of Agent Ronald Chelius

Reno Evening Gazette
Wednesday, March 14, 1979

State Narcotics Agent Slain
Case Started in Carson City, Ends Tragically in Sacramento

Ron CheliusNevada state narcotics officer Ron Chelius was killed Tuesday night trying to stem the flow of illegal drugs into Carson City. He was 37. Chelius was felled by a single shot to the chest just after he had bought a quantity of mescaline in Sacramento. The Sacramento Sheriff's Department is holding Jeffery I. Cook, 19, and Joseph N. Roberts, 18, both of Sacramento, on the charge of murder. Vern Calhoun, head of the Nevada Division of Investigation and Narcotics, said the case Chelius was working on had been instigated by the Carson City Sheriff's Department. Calhoun said the Sheriff's Department had developed information which might lead to a Sacramento group suspected of selling drugs for some time to youngsters in Carson City. Investigation resulted in infiltration of the group.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Chelius, working undercover, met with Cook and Roberts to buy mescaline while four other undercover agents watched, other officers said. Cook and Roberts tried to run away but were arrested by the other agents who had observed the drug sale in a field next to a supermarket in Sacramento's north area, sheriff's spokesman Bill Miller said. Miller said the youths were sitting in a pickup truck when Chelius approached them. After he bought a large quantity of the hallucinogenic drug, Chelius identified himself as a police officer and told the youths they were under arrest, Miller said. One of the youths drew a two-shot pistol and shot Chelius, who fell to the ground. The youths jumped from the truck and ran toward the back fences of nearby homes, but were caught by the other agents, Miller said. Chelius joined the state agency December 1, 1973, after working for the Carson City Sheriff's Department. He was a senior agent described by Calhoun as a working supervisor. Nevada Governor Robert List, upon hearing of Chelius' death, called Chelius' widow Ilse, to console her. Chelius also is survived by three children, Toni 13, Shawn 11, and Jason 8.