That One Time Elvis Became an Undercover Federal Narcotics Agent

Toward the end of his career, Elvis Presley was addicted to various prescription drugs from five different doctors, including amphetamines, narcotics and sedatives.

Despite his musical influence on American culture and massive success, the one thing that continues to resonate is his out of control drug use. Many people believe his death on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42, was due to a drug overdose, although data suggests he had a sudden heart attack. The truth about what really happened remains a mystery, one that still casts a shadow over Graceland.

That’s why we were surprised to learn that former President Richard Nixon made him an undercover federal narcotics agent in 1970.

Elvis was known for his growing collection of police badges, which he gathered from around the country. But according to his ex-wife Priscilla, he was set on obtaining a special agent badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Drugs (now the DEA).

In her memoir, Elvis and Me, Priscilla went into detail about this obsession:

The narc badge represented some kind of ultimate power to him. With the federal narcotics badge, he [believed he] could legally enter any country both wearing guns and carrying any drugs he wished.

During a visit to Washington, D.C., Elvis had a secret meeting with Nixon in the Oval Office.

According to documents from the National Archive, the King of Rock and Roll wrote him a six-page letter requesting the meeting and a “Federal Agent-at-Large” badge.

Elvis made sure to keep his private get together with Nixon a secret, as to not hurt his public image. The White House didn’t even release official documents from their meeting until 2012.