Former DEA agent's survival story to air on National Geographic channel

Former DEA agent's survival story to air on National Geographic channel
Source: Charlie Martinez family
Source: Charlie Martinez family

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - An East Texas man who was a former DEA agent is sharing his story of survival after being kidnapped and shot by ruthless drug traffickers.

Charlie Martinez and his partner's story will be broadcast on the National Geographic channels hit series 'No man left behind.'

Keeping narcotics off the streets was a way of life for Martinez, who now calls East Texas home.

"I had gone at times, for years without any time off," Martinez said. "The average person doesn't have any idea of what those men and women do on a daily basis. They basically risk their lives."

For years Martinez fought crime, and in a sense thought that he was invisible.

"For 13 years I had been successful and I was pretty positive and feeling good," Martinez said. "At times you thought you were bullet proof."

Until one night while he and his partner where on the job they were kidnapped by ruthless drug traffickers who they'd been scouting.

"We thought we were going to die that night and we believed that we were on our own," Martinez said. "We had no help coming."

Martinez said this was a life altering experience.

"It's a life changing experience, we're all capable of doing more than we think we can when it comes to survival," Martinez said.

His life changing experience is now being told again, this time through a TV series.

"It's a story about survival, commitment to partners, and about an agency that works behind the scenes and does a lot of dangerous work," Martinez said.  "There's a bond between my partner and I, Kelly. It's hard to explain when you've lived through something like that and survived. It made my life better. I appreciate things more, I appreciate friends, and every day is a gift you've got to make the best of it."

Martinez episode will be aired Tuesday, July 5, on National Geographic at 8 p.m. Check your local listings.

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