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Agent Vanco is a DEA agent based at the El Paso Intelligence Center as part of the Tri-State Border Interdiction Task Force when Hank Schrader is temporarily assigned to that team.


Season 2

At the El Paso office, Hank Schrader is the only one laughing when he mocks the idea of drug dealers praying to their patron saint, Jesús Malverde. When he asks Vanco why the saint's statue sits on his desk, the agent says that it's to help him know his enemy, based on the teachings of Sun Tzu.

Vanco is with Hank when they visit an informant, Tortuga, and offer him his pick of the Skymall catalog. Hank is angry that Vanco and the rest of the unit treat Tortuga so well.

On a stakeout in Mexico, Vanco and another agent mock Hank in Spanish. His promotion was about politics, concludes one agent, who reassures the uncomprehending Hank that they're just singing his praises.

Hank thinks he sees Tortuga in the distance. The team speeds in his direction only to discover Tortuga's severed head mounted on a live tortoise. "HOLA DEA," is painted on its shell. To Vanco's amusement, Hank edges away, looking ready to vomit. Seconds later, another agent lifts the head off of the tortoise, triggering a bomb to explode. A still-woozy Hank totters over to Vanco, whose leg has been blown off at the knee, and uses his belt as a tourniquet. ("Negro y Azul")


  • It is unlikely that he would have remained after his recovery and would have likely been moved to a desk job if he remained at the D.E.A.

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