Growing up in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where physical violence was a daily reality at home, at school, and on the streets, Louis Diaz had what it took to survive—and to one day become what he vowed to be: a man of uncompromising principles who is “compassionate on the inside, fierce on the outside.” These were the qualities, along with his street fighter’s steely nerves and hair-trigger temper, that drove Diaz from his savage beginnings and early forays in organized crime to become one of the DEA’s bravest undercover agents—the man who was instrumental in taking down some of the nation’s and the world’s most notorious crime rings.
Tonight, Mike and Mark speak with this undercover legend – about his work, the life that led to it – and Louis’ extraordinary book – Dancing with the Devil: Confessions of an Undercover Agent.
About the guest:
Louis Diaz, son of parents from the North of Spain, was born and raised in the rough and tumble Red Hook section of Brooklyn, N.Y.,which was immortalized in the movie “On the Waterfront,” starring Marlon Brando.
A retired, and distinguished U.S. federal agent, Lou worked with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, (ATF), for three years and twenty two years with the Drug Enforcement Administration, (DEA). Through out his tenure as a federal agent, Lou was a prolific case agent and undercover agent responsible for dismantling major gun running and drug organizations of historic proportions and importance.
He also served his country proudly and honorably in the U.S. Army during the Viet-Nam war era, 1964-1966. After his discharge he married and attended Queens College at night where he majored in Psychology and Drama graduating with a B.A. in 1975.
After a ten year stint with DEA in NYC, Lou was transferred to the Los Angeles, DEA Field Division where he served as a senior field agent, and Chief of Technical Operations. During his eleven year tenure in L.A., he began studying acting and, after appearing in his first film, was inducted into the Screen Actors Guild.
Working under his stage name “Lou Casal,” he hit the screen and stage with the same intensity and “true grit,” he used to pound the mean, but beautiful streets of New York City.
Lou has starred and co-starred in many major TV productions including NYPD Blue, The Pretender, Arliss Super Agent, Sabrina, V.I.P., Mad TV, E! Entertainment, Time of Your Life, LA Robbery Homicide, General Hospital, Kingpin, and Las Vegas. He has also been featured in numerous film productions,including Maniac Cop III, Badge of Silence, Pure Danger, Vegas Story, Hitmans Run, and Dangerous Waters, among others. Lou has also performed in numerous theatrical productions including Arthur Miller’s View from the Bridge, and Sidney Kingsley’s, Detective Story, playing the role of Detective Dakis.