Longtime UMaine Detective Chris Gardner honored posthumously

Former Maine Drug Enforcement Agent and longtime University of Maine Police Department Detective Chris Gardner, who died last year, has been honored by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Maine Department of Public Safety announced.

Gardner was posthumously honored for his work on a major federal firearms and drug investigation that involved Connecticut and Maine. The three-year investigation was dubbed “Operation Blood Red” and began in 2013.

Each year, one case is selected from all cases investigated by ATF across the country to receive the Director’s Award.

Gardner had been a member of UMaine PD for 27 years, rising to the rank of detective sergeant. For more than seven years, he also worked as a special agent with the North Central Task Force of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. Gardner passed away unexpectedly Nov. 15, 2016 in a Bangor hospital. He was 47.