Cocaine Smuggler That Inspired “Blow” Released After Almost 20 Years

Coke legend George Jung, played by Johnny Depp, was released today—six months ahead of schedule.

After nearly 20 years in prison, notorious drug trafficker George Jung is now free to hide whatever he wants under his mattress. The 71-year-old, made famous by the 2001 Johnny Depp biopic Blow, was released from FCI Fort Dix in New Jersey yesterday and, according to TMZ, immediately began his transition back into society at a West Coast halfway house.

He can probably expect fans to find him. Ever since Depp’s portrayal of the Boston-born smuggler, he’s attained a cult celebrity status among men with Scarface posters on their walls. And he probably deserves it. For a time in the ’70s and ’80s, Jung was the world’s most prolific drug trafficker. He started with weed in the late ’60s, running a successful little operation that netted him $250,000 a month. That was small time compared to what came next.

A 1974 arrest landed him in a Connecticut prison, where serendipity landed him in the same cell with a fellow convict who happened to have ties to Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel. 

Upon his release, Jung—together with the Medellin Cartel—was responsible for upwards of 85% of America’s cocaine supply, regularly flying planes from Colombia to California and earning $15 million a run. That translated to large houses, nice cars and women—lots of women (even though, by Jung’s own admission, he “looked like BelaLugosi.”)

The dream ended in 1994 when Jung was sentenced to 60 years in prison for conspiracy. Twenty years later he’s out, but not without learning another trade while behind bars. Introducing Smuggler Wear, the septuagenarian’s drug-themed fashion line.

Photos by New Line Cinema