Coke Dealer Who Inspired Blow Out of Jail

George Jung 'back in the saddle again'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 4, 2014 1:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – The cocaine-smuggling kingpin played by Johnny Depp in Blow is out of prison after nearly 20 years. Massachusetts-born George Jung, who helped the Medellin cartel import as much as 85% of the cocaine available in the US in the late '70s, on Monday left a minimum-security prison in New Jersey a few months ahead of schedule and was bound for a halfway house on the West Coast, reports Boston magazine. "Boston George" was sentenced to 60 years in 1994 but had his sentence reduced for testifying against a former accomplice. In a 2000 interview with PBS, he described himself as a "coke star" during his smuggling heyday, who "had a lot of money and unlimited access to cocaine and even if I looked like Bela Lugosi I still had the most beautiful women on the planet."

Jung, now 71, started out selling weed in the late '60s but ended up as one of the world's leading drug traffickers after he ended up in the same Connecticut cell as a convict with cartel ties after a 1974 drug bust, reports Maxim, which notes that after the 2001 Depp movie, Jung "attained a cult celebrity status among men with Scarface posters on their walls." After arriving in San Francisco, Jung told TMZ that his first post-prison meal was clam chowder, and offered some words of wisdom. "Life's a rodeo and the only thing you have to do is stay in the saddle," he said. "And I'm back in the saddle again now." (Another trafficker a lot further down the food chain started a prison sentence last month—at the age of 90.)

George Jung is seen at San Francisco Airport on his way to a halfway house.
George Jung is seen at San Francisco Airport on his way to a halfway house.   (Tube News)
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