Bluefield University in the News


by | Oct 16, 2015

More than 16 years before Stephen Murphy played a key role in bringing down the most notorious drug lord of the 20th century, he was a member of the Bluefield, West Virginia, Police Department. In early November 2015, Murphy will return to Bluefield, joining Javier Pena as they discuss their role in heading the largest, most complex, high profile investigation of its time against Pablo Escobar, the world’s first “narco-terrorist.”

Article by Jim Nelson, Bluefield State College

On November 4, Murphy and Pena will visit the campuses of Bluefield College and Bluefield State College, then they’ll deliver a two-hour lecture at BSC’s Basic Science Auditorium that evening. That presentation, which begins at 6 p.m., is open to the public, free of charge.


Their visit to the colleges comes as a result of the collaborative efforts of Bluefield College criminal justice faculty Dr. Kimberly Farmer and Dr. Kelly Walls and BSC criminal justice faculty member Dr. Shelia Hallman-Warner.


The hit Netflix series Narcos dramatizes the experiences of retired Drug Enforcement Administration agents Murphy and Pena as they worked with an elite Colombian Task Force that resulted in the chase and ultimate death of Pablo Escobar. Escobar, the world’s wealthiest, most violent criminal of the 20th Century, headed the Medellin Cartel and eventually controlled more than 80 percent of all the cocaine distributed in the United States. Escobar was responsible for the deaths of more than 140 Colombian National Police officers during the 18 months he was on the run, pursued by Murphy, Pena, and an elite Colombian Task Force.


“Having known Steve Murphy for more than 40 years as a friend and colleague, I am happy to be able to take advantage of this opportunity to host his return to Bluefield,” Dr. Walls noted. “He and retired agent Pena are true American heroes of the drug war at its inception. I strongly encourage anyone from both schools and the community to attend this lecture.”


Now retired from DEA, Murphy and Pena have delivered more than 100 presentations to corporate, law enforcement, higher education, and civic organizations. They’ve been featured in national media, including the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, and New York Times.


“I am delighted that Dr. Walls reached out to me with the opportunity for BSC to co-host this event,” added Dr. Hallman-Warner. “This is a wonderful and rare opportunity for students as well as the community.”


In addition to the public lecture at 6 p.m. at Bluefield State College’s Basic Science Auditorium, Murphy and Pena will participate in a press conference on the Bluefield College campus at 2 p.m. and a meet-and-greet with BC and BSC students at 3 p.m. in 310 Lansdell Hall on the BC campus.



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