The man behind the ‘Blow’ bust will speak at Elon University

April 9, 2009 at 3:03 pm 2 comments

Michael McManus will share his experiences from his work in the DEA with Elon students tonight.

By Patrick McCabe

Written April 6, 2009

Ever wondered who the real people were behind the characters in the Johnny Depp’s film Blow?

Michael McManus, former Drug Enforcement Administration supervisor, posed as a dealer and gained the trust of drug lords in order to bring down George Jung, the man responsible for establishing the American cocaine market.

Michael McManus, former DEA agent.

Michael McManus, former DEA agent.

McManus arrives on Elon’s campus on April 9 to share his experiences as a part of the American drug world. He hopes to promote knowledge and awareness among the student body.

My father was a Federal Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration and was undercover for over 17 years,” daughter Kelly McManus said. “He has spoken all over the world and I know he will do a great job of educating us all at Elon.”

As a part of the Isabella Cannon Leadership Program, Kelly is completing a common good project on drug education at Elon. She has been working all year on various projects to make all Elon students aware of the serious drug issues that plague college campuses. Teaming up with the Office of Greek Life, Kelly was able to bring her father to campus as a part of her education effort.

 He’s been in a lot of life or death situations,” said K. McManus. “Its hard to ever think that your father could not come home one night. It was scary but he was fighting the war on drugs.”

While going undercover and meeting all sorts of rich and powerful people may sound like a dream job to some Elon students, Kelly says it is a hard way of life.

McManus spent much of his career as a Drug Enforcement Administrator befriending and than arresting hardened criminals. He has had experiences with some of the top drug lords in America and he has helped put many of them behind bars.

“Going back and traveling to certain parts of the Bahamas can be risky for my family,” said K. McManus. “When we lived there my father put so may people in jail that people know his last name. So every time I travel back there I never tell people my last name unless I have to.”

Michael McManus will help Kelly continue her efforts in educating Elon students on the serious issues that go hand in hand with drug use and abuse, as well as share some of his experiences, including the role that was modeled after him in Johnny Deep’s film, Blow.

See McManus Thursday, April 9, at 7:30 in Alumni Gym.


Entry filed under: Drugs, Guest appearances. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Janna  |  April 10, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Patrick, I have been enjoying your reporting choices this week. This is a solid advance story on the McManus visit.

  • 2. Janna  |  April 10, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Think about making the main headline more SEO. You have room there to add a couple words on the front end, for instance using Drug agent or DEA agent in the big typeface or something similar to get more searchable keywords in the main headline. If you look up at the URL bar on the page, you will notice that the words in your headline become part of the URL. Getting as many keywords as possible packed into that will bring more traffic to your work.


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