George Jung, known as one of the most prolific drug smugglers in US history and the inspiration for the 2001 film Blow, was released from prison on Monday after nearly 20 years behind bars.
Jung, now 71, was initially sentenced to 60 years in 1994, but was given a reduced sentence after testifying in the trial of his former accomplice, Carlos Lehder, in addition to good behavior.
Jung was supposed to be released from Fort Dix in New Jersey this November, but it was ultimately decided that he would be released nearly six months early.
He was one of the biggest cocaine dealers in the world during the ‘70s and ‘80s. It has been said that Jung was responsible for 89 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the country.
Some of George Jung’s major drug deals include:
- Transporting marijuana from California to New England in 1967, using his stewardess girlfriend to smuggle the drugs onto her flights.
- Using airplanes stolen from private airports on Cape Cod to smuggle drugs into Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. He and his associates made roughly $250,000 per month with this operation. He was eventually arrested in Chicago in 1974 for smuggling 660 pounds of pot and sentenced to 26 months.
- Working with the Medellin Cartel in the late ‘70s to fly hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from Pablo Escobar’s Colombian ranch to the US.
- Smuggling 1,754 pounds of cocaine in Topeka, Kansas, in 1994, which he was ultimately arrested for. Jung pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy as a result of this arrest and received his 60-year sentence.
Blow, starring Johnny Depp, is a biopic based on the life story of Jung. Depp played the main role, but the film also largely centered around his estranged relationship with daughter Christina, played by Jaime King. Blow grossed over $83 million worldwide, but didn’t win any awards and received mixed reviews from critics.
Since his release, Jung has been moved into a halfway house on the West Coast in order to receive help transitioning back into society. Sources report that he has spoken with his estranged daughter in recent years and she even visited him in prison twice. They plan to meet again in the near future.