Nation: The Case of Agent Bario

In a bed at the Santa Rosa Medical Center in San Antonio, periodically plugged into life-support systems, lies Sante Alessandro Bario, 42, once a crack undercover agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). He has lain there more than a month, his eyes always open, his brain waves showing no sign of activity, except for occasional convulsions. He is a victim—for reasons that remain mysterious—of the international drug trade.

Bario was a policeman in his native Italy until 1960, when he met his first wife and followed her to Detroit and then Washington. There he got a job as an investigator for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!