Part of the Medellín drug cartel, he was imprisoned multiple times and was later played by Johnny Depp in the 2001 movie “Blow.”
George Jung, a cocaine smuggler who, at the height of his criminal career in the 1970s and ’80s, reaped millions of dollars a day from running drugs through the notorious Medellín cartel, died on Wednesday in hospice care in his hometown, Weymouth, Mass. He was 78.
The death was confirmed on social media by people close to him, including a post shared on his Instagram page. No cause was given, but the celebrity news site TMZ reported that he had recently been experiencing liver and kidney failure.
Mr. Jung made his fortune as part of the Medellín cartel. He joined the cartel’s mastermind, Pablo Escobar, one of the world’s most murderous and successful cocaine traffickers, in smuggling planeloads of the drug into the United States.
At its peak in the mid-1980s, the cartel was the largest drug-smuggling ring in the Western Hemisphere, vacuuming up an estimated $420 million a week, or $22 billion a year.
Mr. Jung, who went by the nicknames Boston George and El Americano, gained some notoriety after Hollywood produced a version of his life story in the 2001 movie “Blow,” in which he was portrayed by Johnny Depp. The movie, directed by Ted Demme, was adapted from Bruce Porter’s 1993 book, “Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million With the Medellín Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All.”
Published: May 10, 2021
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