Former DEA Agent Accuses Amazon of Portraying Him as Murder Accessory in ‘The Last Narc’
Former Drug Enforcement Administration agent James Kuykendall is suing Amazon Studios and those associated with the documentaries "The Last Narc" for defamation based on his characterization on the show.
The four-part series, released in July, tells the true story of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, a DEA special agent who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 1985 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The investigation into Camarena's death resulted in numerous convictions of drug lords in connection with the Guadalajara cartel behind Camarena's death.
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In the lawsuit, which names the defendants as star and former DEA supervisor and special agent Hector Berrellez, deputy producer John Massaria, executive producer Tiller Russel, Good Pixel Productions and the Intellectual Property Corporation, "the show masquerades as a factual documentary, but in reality the tragic murder of Camarena is supposed to be exploited by scandalizing it for profit and entertainment value. "
The lawsuit states that the series is dependent on a "garish conspiracy narrative" alleging Central Intelligence Agency agents and other US officials secretly conspired with the cartel to ship drugs to the United States to use the proceeds to fund it the Contras could then be used to fight against the Communist regime in Nicaragua. As a result, Camarena was murdered because he discovered the conspiracy and wanted to expose.
"As part of this far-fetched narrative, the show falsely and despicably accuses Plaintiff Kuykendall ... of complicity in the murder of his close friend and colleague," read the lawsuit. "In particular, the show falsely alleges that the plaintiff received bribes from the cartel, that he was present at cartel meetings where Camarena's kidnapping was planned, that he supported and facilitated the execution of that plan, and that he supported the trial of one of them Camarena's intentionally sabotaged killers who lied for the cartel. "
Kuykendall claims the show reinforces its false narratives by relying on unreliable, discredited, and unnamed sources. The lawsuit cites its plea of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional stress and violation of the plaintiff's right to publicity.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants actually acted maliciously in producing and distributing the show, knowing that the portrayal of Kuykendall on the series was false. The lawsuit alleges that representatives from Russell and Amazon spoke to Kuykendall during the development of the show and continued anyway despite Kuykendall's request not to release the show because of its falsehood.
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