With El Chapo being found guilty on ten
counts of drug trafficking, it got me thinking. What other kingpins have lost
their empire? Hi I’m Gia for FindLaw.com and here’s our list of five of the
biggest kingpins of all time and how they were brought to justice.
Number one: El Chapo. His nickname translates to Shorty but the man who led
the Sinaloa cartel was once considered the most dangerous and feared man on the
planet. He was apprehended twice in Guatemala and Mexico but escaped from
prison both times! His third capture resulted in his
extradition to the United States and his sentencing is expected in June of 2019.
Number two: “Freeway” Ricky Ross. As the premiere cocaine kingpin of California
in the ’80s he trafficked several metric tons in and out of LA and claims to have
sold three million dollars worth of drugs in just one day. Ross was nabbed in
a federal sting operation and sentenced to life in prison under the state’s
three strikes law, but he appealed and had a sentence reduced to just 20 years
after a federal appeals court found the law had been applied incorrectly. Number
three: Griselda Blanco. Also referred to as la madrina, the black widow, or the
cocaine godmother. Blanco controlled cocaine trafficking
into Miami for the Colombian Medellin cartel for almost 20 years starting in
the 1980s. Blanco even continued running her drug operations from a Miami prison
after being arrested by the DEA. Eventually Blanco was deported and then
murdered in Colombia in 2012. Number four: Frank Lucas. Immortalized by Denzel
Washington in ‘American Gangster,’ Frank Lucas allegedly got
his start shipping heroin from Southeast Asia in the coffins of dead American
servicemen. Originally sentenced to 70 years behind bars after the DEA raided
his New Jersey home in 1975, Lucas traded information leading to hundreds of drug
trafficking convictions in exchange for witness protection and lifetime parole.
And number five: Pablo Escobar. The kingpin to end all kingpins. Escobar was
killed in a shootout with us-backed Colombian police task force in 1993.
Before that Escobar was responsible for an estimated 80% of all cocaine smuggled
in the United States. A mass of profits that would be worth 50 billion in
today’s dollars. Thanks for tuning in I’m Gia for FindLaw.com and we’ll see
you next time. you