Area residents will want to mark Thursday, Sept. 19, on their calendar. That’s when Retired DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) agent Steve Murphy and his partner Javier Pena are scheduled to appear at the Chuck Mathena Center in Princeton.

Their experiences while working together in Colombia to bring notorious drug overlord Pablo Escobar to justice inspired the Netflix show “Narcos.”

The story about the struggle against Escobar and his Medellin Drug Cartel is also the subject of their upcoming book, “Manhunters: How We Took Down Pablo Escobar,” which is being published by St. Martin’s Press and is currently featured on Amazon for preordering.

The idea to host the “Narcos” presentation in Princeton began back in March 2018 when Princeton Police Chief T.A. Gray met Murphy during a law enforcement class in St. Augustine, Fla.

Both Murphy, who began his law enforcement career in Mercer County, and Pena were among the conference’s participants. Gray introduced himself to Murphy and later spoke to him about how well his program would be received back in Princeton. Gray and Murphy talked about the idea again when the retired DEA agent visited Mercer County in December 2018.

One of the upcoming presentation’s goals, besides being a fundraiser for local law enforcement, is to give local people working in law enforcement an opportunity to interact with speakers they might otherwise never have a chance to meet, Gray said when Murphy’s visit was announced.

Tickets for the Sept. 19 event at the CMC are still available. They are $25 and can be purchased at the Chuck Mathena Center box office, by calling 304-425-5128, or by going to

We hope to see a large crowd at the event.

Those who attend will not only be supporting the police department, but also getting a behind the scenes look at how Murphy and Pena helped to bring down this infamous drug terrorist. It should be a great night. We look forward to the program and learning more about the true story that was the inspiration behind “Narcos.”

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