Pablo Escobar was one of the world’s richest and most dangerous men at the height of his drug smuggling career. Capitalizing on the rise in demand for cocaine within the 70s and 80s, Escobar formed the infamous Medellin Cartel to traffic large shipments of the drug across international borders. Escobar was feared across his home country of Colombia due to his ability to take down any of his adversaries. Although he seemed untouchable, two brave Americans were tasked with the mission of bringing down the murderous kingpin. Former DEA Special Agents Javier Pena and Steve Murphy discuss their careers in law enforcement, their work within the war on drugs, and the manhunt for Pablo Escobar.

Steve Murphy was the recipient of numerous awards and honors throughout his law enforcement career, including the “DEA Special Agent of the Year Award,” the “DEA Administrator’s Group Achievement Award,” the “Director’s Award” from DOJ’s OCDETF Program, the “Distinguished Service Cross” from the Republic of Colombia (first time presented to a non-Colombian official), and the “International Award of Honor” from the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association.

For his efforts, Javier Peña received Colombia’s highest award given to someone, not a Colombian citizen, as well as commendation awards from the DEA and the international community. Additionally, the U.S Government honored Javier in 2010 with the Presidential Rank Award in 2010, awarded to exceptional career Senior Executive Service (SES) members and Senior Career Employees.

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