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The Vietnam veteran turned assassin in Narcos was inspired by a real person

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Félix meeting Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Narcos is one of the most famous Netflix crime chronicles. The crime drama television series captures the rise of the cocaine trade in Colombia just as it happened in real life during the late eighties. It also focuses on the actions taken by law enforcement as they target powerful and infamous drug lords such as Pablo Escobar and then his rival cartels. An interesting part of this gritty gangster drama was the revelation of the Vietnam veteran turned Narco assassin joined a powerful Mexican drug cartel. Tony, played by Mark Kubr in the series, is a bodyguard who has worked for multiple drug lords in his career, including Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and Alberto Sicilia Falcon. 

He is depicted as a character who does not say much. In the series, during the scene of the party of Silicia Falcon, Tony is seen frisking Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo before he approaches Alberto Sicilia Falcon. After he serves Alberto Sicilia Falcon, Tony works for Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo as a bodyguard. 

As the series progresses, Tony is killed in 1985 by Guillermo Calderoni. This happens when Guillermo guides the police to a safe house that belonged to Félix Gallardo. However, his character is fictional, unlike most other characters; yet it is inspired by a real-life person: Mike Decker.

The inspiration behind the character Tony

According to James Mills, in his book “The Underground Empire,” all his characters are real, and the details in the book are accurate. The author claims to divulge exclusives regarding a secretive group of DEA agents and CENTAC. Central Tactical Units was an investigation group tearing down the world’s largest drug schemes until the FBI made them cease activity. Mills described CENTAC as “the most successful tool ever invented to counter the international narcotics industry.”

In the book, Decker emerges as Mills quotes him for 10% of the book. Michael J. Decker was a Navy SEAL in the capacity of a combat scuba diver before he joined one of the cartels to work as an assassin. Mills writes that Decker had adequate skills, cold-blooded efficiency and courage to be ideal as an assassin.

underground empire book with alberto sicilia falcon
The Underground Empire book cover.

However, the Navy refrained from verifying or repudiating that Decker had been a member of the SEALs. Mills alludes the Navy might have been hesitant to admit it as Decker might be a CIA agent. Other than that, there have been court records, interviews with prosecutors, police officers, government documents, and several individuals who contradict most of Michael Decker’s statements in the book.

Decker reveals that he went on a trip with a drug dealer known as Brian Dennard in and out of the Bluefields area of Colombia, looking at the fields of coca plants. 

Decker also disclosed his marriage to one woman who he claimed was the stepdaughter of William Rockefeller, who is part of the infamous Rockefeller family. He also states that William was interested in Dow Chemical Company and had lots of family money.

On the contrary, Decker was married to the stepdaughter of one William Rockafellow of Albuquerque rather than Rockefeller, as he had stated. William Rockafellow reveals that the events described in Mills’ book, “The Underground Empire: Where Crime and Governments Embrace,” are dramatically different, as he recalls. 

Decker’s father-in-law claims he can make up very fantastic stories. On the other hand, supervisors like Ray McKinnon, and drug agents such as Rich Gorman, commented that all that Decker revealed could be substantiated. I often joke that if veterans were ever completely abandoned by the government, we would make one hell of an organized crime family. Keyword: joke.

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