Cumberland University to Host DEA Agents Javier Pena and Steve Murphy of “Narcos” Fame on Oct. 25

Cumberland University announced its 2023 Rise Above Speaker Series, NARCOS: Capturing Pablo, on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall with world-renowned Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents Steve Murphy and Javier Peña. 

Agents Murphy & Peña are responsible for capturing one of the most notorious drug lords of all time, “The King of Cocaine”, Pablo Escobar and the Medellîn Cartel. Guests will hear the real-life experiences that inspired the Nextflix hit series, NARCOS. The night’s program will be followed by a question and answer session focused on their investigation, the making of Netflix’s NARCOS, and what history-changing investigation is on the horizon.

CU is hosting this event along with sponsors Force Science, VirTra, Core Civic, the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission, the Tennessee Gang Investigators Association, the Law Offices of Thomas Maynard, Covert Results, Dempsey Vantrease & Follis, PLLC, and State Representative Clark Boyd. 

VirTra will host a free virtual simulation focusing on multiple scenarios for police use of force with their V300, 5-screen simulator. Force Science will also conduct a free educational course, The Good, the Bad, and the Reasonable: The Reality of Police Violence. Both VirTra’s simulation and Force Science’s courses will be on Oct. 25 and 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All Rise Above events are free and open to the public.

“Bringing nationally known names to campus is an amazing opportunity for both our students and community,” said Criminal Justice Program Director and Tom P. Thompson Professor, Suzann Lafferty. “As we see an increased interest in majors like Criminal Justice and one of Cumberland’s newest programs, Homeland Security, we are thrilled for Steve and Javier to share both their inspiring experiences.”

The Cumberland University Alumni Book Club will meet on Thursday, Oct. 26, to discuss Murphy and Peña’s book, “Manhunters,” in Memorial Hall’s Baird Chapel at 11 a.m. These true American heroes will discuss their efforts to bring down the world’s first narco-terrorist, the challenges they faced in hostile environments and the innovative strategies they employed to successfully end the reign of terror of one of the world’s most wanted criminals. 

As the higher education leader in Wilson County, Cumberland University’s speaker series is intended to amplify a variety of national voices and promote education, growth and unity among community members. Cumberland previously hosted former Vice President Al Gore to commemorate Cumberland’s most prominent alumnus the Hon. Cordell Hull; and last fall, Cumberland hosted Heisman Trophy recipient Tim Tebow. The Rise Above events are free to the public. 

For more information about the evening event and book club, visit:

News / Press, The Millard and J.J. Oakley School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts / Cumberland University to Host DEA Agents Javier Pena and Steve Murphy of “Narcos” Fame on Oct. 25