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George Jung
Born August 6, 1942 (1942-08-06) (age 67)
Boston, Massachusetts
Conviction(s) Drug trafficking and smuggling
Status Serving 15-year sentence
Occupation Drug trafficker and smuggler
Parents Frederick Jung & Ermine Jung
Children Kristina Sunshine Jung

George Jacob Jung (born August 6, 1942), nicknamed "Boston George", was a major player in the cocaine trade in the United States in the 1970s and early 1980s. Jung was a part of the Medellín Cartel which was responsible for up to 85 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the United States. He specialized in the smuggling of cocaine from Colombia on a large scale. His life story was portrayed in the 2001 movie Blow, starring Johnny Depp.



Early Life

George Jung was born to Frederick and Ermine Jung, in Boston, Massachusetts then raised in Weymouth, Massachusetts.[1] Though Jung did not excel in academics at school, he was a star football player and was described by his classmates as "a natural ringleader."[1] After a brief stint at the University of Southern Mississippi, he traveled to California where he hoped to get a degree in advertising. He never completed his studies.[1] Jung began recreationally using marijuana, selling a portion of everything he bought to break even. In 1967, after meeting with a childhood friend, Phillip Eugene Sadler, Jung realized the enormous potential for profits by smuggling the cannabis he bought in California back to New England.[1] Jung's initial smuggling operation had the drugs being transported via his stewardess girlfriend, who would carry them in her suitcases on flights.[1] In search of even greater profits, Jung expanded his operation to flying the drugs in from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico[1] using airplanes stolen from private airports on Cape Cod[2] and professional pilots.[3] At the height of this enterprise, Jung and his associates were reportedly making $250,000 a month (equivalent to over $1.6 million today).[1] This ended in 1974, when Jung was arrested in Chicago for smuggling 660 pounds of marijuana. He had been staying at the Playboy Club where he was to meet a connection that would pick up the marijuana. The connection, however, was arrested for heroin smuggling and ratted on Jung.[3] After arguing with the judge about the purpose of sending a man to prison "for crossing an imaginary line with a bunch of plants,"[2] Jung was sent to a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut.[1]

Introduction to the Medellín Cartel

Medellín Cartel
Pablo Escobar
Juan David Ochoa Vazquez
José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha
Carlos Lehder
Jorge Luis Ochoa V√°zquez
Fabio Ochoa V√°zquez
José Abello Silva
Gilberto Molina
Dandeny Mu√Īoz Mosquera
See also:
Hacienda Napoles
La Catedral

At Danbury, Jung's cellmate was Carlos Lehder, a young German-Colombian man who introduced Jung to the Medellín cartel; in return, Jung taught Lehder how to smuggle.[3] When Jung was released, they went into business together. Their plan was to fly hundreds of kilos of cocaine from Pablo Escobar's Colombian ranch to the U.S., and Jung's California connection, Richard Barile, would take it from there[citation needed]. Jung had a security man who would accompany him to the exchanges, where Jung would give the man the keys to a car and half the cocaine, and then leave[citation needed]. A day or two later, they would meet up again and exchange keys to cars[citation needed].

Jung made millions off the operation as only the middle man[citation needed]. He came up with the idea to steal single-engine airplanes for his transportation and charge $10,000 a kilo with five planes going from Colombia to California, carrying 300 kilos a plane. This translated into $15 million a run for Jung[citation needed]. In order to avoid 60% surcharges, as well as a need to launder his earnings, he kept his money in the national bank of Panama City[citation needed].

Betrayal by Lehder

By the late 1970s, Lehder had effectively cut Jung out, by going straight to Barile. Jung continued to smuggle, however, reaping millions in profits.

Jung was later arrested in Massachusetts in 1987 at his mansion on Nauset Beach,[4] near Chatham. With his family, he skipped bail, but very quickly became involved in another deal, where he was betrayed by an acquaintance. During this time, Lehder began cooperating with the government against his partner, Manuel Noriega. With Escobar's advice and approval, Jung agreed to testify against Lehder and was set free[citation needed]. Lehder was sentenced to life plus 135 years, but after making a deal with the federal government, he went into the Bureau of Prisons' version of the federal Witness Protection Program[citation needed].

Current incarceration

After working some "clean" jobs, Jung began to work in the marijuana business again. In 1994, he reconnected with his old Mexican marijuana smuggling partner and was arrested with 754 pounds of marijuana in Topeka, Kansas and faced a 15-year mandatory sentence[citation needed]. He pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy. He was incarcerated at Otisville Federal Prison in Mount Hope, New York[5], but has since been transferred to Federal Correctional Institution, La Tuna in Anthony, Texas. [6] His projected release date is November 27, 2014, at age 72. After his release, he will still have eight years of supervised release.[7] His daughter, Kristina Sunshine Selina Noel Jung, was portrayed in the movie Blow by Emma Roberts (and briefly by model/actress Jamie King) and now lives in California with her husband and children. His wife was portrayed by Penelope Cruz.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Graham, Renee (7 July 1993), "Weymouth's Wayward Son", The Boston Globe: p49 
  2. ^ a b Pearson, Patricia (24 July 1993), "Up and down on a mountain of cocaine", The Globe and Mail 
  3. ^ a b c "Interview with George Jung". PBS. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  4. ^ "True Crime Authors, History Channel, 3-14-08
  5. ^ NNDB Tracker
  6. ^ United States Bureau of Prisons, Inmate Finder
  7. ^ George Jung, aka Boston George

External links

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