Steve Murphy

Steve Murphy

Deterra Advisory Council

Retired DEA agent Steve Murphy is a retired Special Agent in Charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); his team’s takedown of Pablo Escobar is the inspiration for the hit Netflix® series Narcos. As a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Stephen Murphy and his partner, Javier Pena, targeted the world’s first narco-terrorist, Pablo Escobar, and the Medellin Cartel. Living and working alongside their Colombian National Police counterparts in Medellin, Colombia, as well as with elite U.S. military units, their efforts resulted in the dismantlement of the largest and most violent international drug trafficking organization of its time. This was a first in the field of international narcotics investigations. U.S. and international law enforcement continue to utilize many of the strategies and innovative ideas that were created and implemented by Steve and Javier. Steve began his law enforcement career in 1975 as a Police Officer in the City of Bluefield, WV. He then moved to Norfolk, VA, and was employed as a Special Agent for the Norfolk Southern Corporation.

In 1987, Steve became a Special Agent with the DEA. His agent assignments included Miami, FL; Bogotá, Colombia; and Greensboro, NC. Earning progressive promotions and leadership roles, Steve served two tours in the Atlanta Office where he was assigned to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) office and led the Mobile Enforcement Team Program. He created and directed the Atlanta Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force. In 2001, Steve was assigned to the Special Operations Division in Washington, DC, serving as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge and as the Executive Assistant to the Director. In December 2009, Steve was promoted to the Senior Executive Service ranks as Deputy Assistant Administrator over DEA’s Office of Special Intelligence in Washington, DC, and later as the Special Agent in Charge/Director for the Department of Justice (DOJ), OCDETF Fusion Center, where he remained until his retirement in June 2013, after 37 years in law enforcement.

Following retirement, Steve founded a private company that provides specialized training for various components within the U.S. Department of Defense. Focusing on their overseas experiences, Steve and Javier conduct presentations for conferences, law enforcement/security training, universities/colleges, civic groups, and non-profit organizations that discuss their investigative experiences, leadership, conflict management, and how to survive and succeed when faced with seemingly overwhelming odds. Additionally, Steve and Javier serve as Technical Consultants/Subject Matter Experts for the newly released Netflix series, NARCOS, which is based on their activities while living in Colombia. Steve was the recipient of numerous awards and honors throughout his law enforcement career, to include 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.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Bluefield State College in Bluefield, WV. He is a graduate of several executive leadership courses.