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DEA agents portrayed in Netflix series ‘Narcos’ visit El Paso; talk about Pablo Escobar take down

Erik Elken

You may know the names Steve Murphy and Javier Peña from the Netflix series ‘Narcos.’ They are the retired Drug Enforcement Administration agents largely credited with the take down of drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Murphy and Peña recently visited El Paso as part of their speaking tour — Chasing Pablo: The True Story of Pablo Escobar.

In an exclusive interview with ABC-7, Murphy and Peña detail what it was like being embedded with the Colombian National Police with a sole mission of catching one of the deadliest and most notorious drug lords in history.

“We credit Pablo Escobar killing between 10,000 to 15,000 innocent people,” Peña said. “It was a specialized group and our only mission.”

“[The tour] is about telling the truth,” Murphy said. “There’s nothing special about us, two small town country boys. It’s just we got to work a really big criminal investigation and then it got blown out of proportion in a show called Narcos.”

Murphy and Peña don’t consider themselves heroes, but they’re revered across the DEA.

“When you talk about Javier Peña and Steve Murphy — bravery, pioneers in drug law enforcement,” Special Agent in Charge for the El Paso DEA Kyle Williamson said. “I look at them as really laying the groundwork for a lot of the things we do overseas. The Pablo Escobar case is a great example of what we can do in the law enforcement community working with a foreign government, working with different U.S. entities to bring someone to justice.”

“This got to be personal for us because of our friends that were killed,” Peña said. “If we weren’t there with this police group, it would’ve been very different. It was successful because we lived with them. We gave each other a lot of information.”

Murphy and Peña are now both retired and spend the majority of their time on their speaking tour. The Netlfix series lifted their name recognition.

“When Narcos came out, our second year we did 83 shows per year,” Murphy said. “We average about 75 per year and are already booking out as far as August 2020. If it hadn’t been for Narcos, we wouldn’t be here [still].”

The duo also has a book coming out next month with a ghostwriter, Manhunters: How We Took Down Pablo Escobar.

KVIA 2019

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