DEA Agents Who Helped Bring Down Escobar To Tackle Opioids In New Series

By David Konow 07/26/18

The docu-series will reportedly give viewers unprecedented access to how the DEA plans and executes drug busts.

Steve Murphy and Javier Peña
Steve Murphy and Javier Peña Photo via YouTube

Steve Murphy and Javier Peña are the former DEA agents who brought down cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar. The Netflix show Narcos is based on their true experiences fighting the drug trade.

Now Murphy and Peña are behind a new show about the opioid crisis and the DEA's efforts to fight it.

As The Wrap reports, this new docu-series will cover several different angles of the current drug war including what happened to the international drug cartels after the fall of Escobar.

The show hopes to capture “controlled busts,” where smaller dealers can still continue their deliveries in exchange for giving up bigger dealers.

The show will also feature doctors getting arrested for overprescribing opioids and pharmacists who are making fentanyl with their own pill presses.

Murphy and Peña plan to film in China, where you can buy opioids off the web and get them delivered through U.S. mail. Murphy and Peña also plan to travel with DEA agents through Europe on drug busts.

“What we want to do is show people what’s being done and what could be done,” Murphy says. “[The opioid epidemic] is now the leading cause of overdose deaths in the country.”

Murphy says the DEA is “onboard” with this series, and it promises to give viewers unprecedented access to how the DEA plans and executes drug busts.

“The DEA sees the seriousness of this epidemic,” says Murphy. “One of the things they agreed to do is take us to their Chinese counterparts and show us where fentanyl comes from, how it’s produced and how the pill press works.”

The timing couldn’t be better for a series that will tackle the opioid crisis head on.

Murphy told Fox Business, “The one thing that we’re finding out is that these new traffickers, like the ones we chased in the 1980s 1990s, are getting smarter at hiding their drugs. Now, most of them are coming through as counterfeit medications, and they are getting people sick, and they are dying.”

Peña added, “Today’s [drug crisis] is worse than it was in the 1980s because of how smart these drug dealers are getting in smuggling these drugs into the country in the most modern and efficient ways possible.”

The new Murphy and Peña show is currently being shopped around by powerhouse talent agency UTA. 

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.