3 World-Famous Drug Dealers

Although the exploits of ruthless drug dealers and kingpins are often glamorized on the silver screen (Narcos) and on the big screen (American Gangster), the brutality that came along with that lifestyle can probably never be overstated. Since the Mexican Drug War kicked off in 2006, over 60,000 Mexicans have lost their lives. That figure is only a fraction of the human toll from the drug trade in all of Latin America. We’re going to take a look at some of the most notorious drug dealers of all time in no particular order.

  1. Frank Lucas. Lucas, who passed away last year, was portrayed by Denzel Washington (an Academy Award winner) in American Gangster. Lucas used his contacts in the military, who, at the time he was rising in the ranks, were largely in southeast Asia fighting the Vietnam War. His famous claim — that he smuggled heroin underneath the coffins of dead soldiers — was never substantiated. However, he certainly left his mark as one of New York’s – and America’s – most storied drug traffickers. Lucas was twice convicted of drug trafficking and spent years in prison during his life. His first conviction, in 1976, netted him a 70-year sentence. However, he cut a deal and became an informant for the government, which reduced his time to five years.
  2. El Chapo. Officially Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Lorea, he was the head of the Sinaloa Cartel. No other drug cartel is responsible for more drugs arriving into the U.S. from the Mexican border. El Chapo, in 2006, famously ordered the assassination of a rival drug lord that started constant violence between Mexican cartels. He was arrested in February 2015 and escaped soon after, setting off one of the most high-profile manhunts in the history of the world. After he was re-captured, El Chapo was tried for more crimes related to his activity as drug kingpin and is currently serving a life sentence for murder, drug trafficking, racketeering, and other charges.
  3. Pablo Escobar. Escobar is, without a doubt, the Godfather of all drug kingpins. At the time of his death, his net worth was around $59 billion in today’s figures. Escobar made his money in the cocaine trade; he trailblazed one of the first drug smuggling routes into the U.S. Escobar was finally convicted of crimes like racketeering, drug trafficking, and murder in 1991, but eventually escaped from his self-built prison. He met an unceremonious end in 1993 when he was killed by police on a neighbor’s rooftop. 

Drug Criminals

These three individuals changed the course of human history by trafficking in ridiculous amounts of drugs to and from Latin America, New York, southeast Asia, and all other corners of the world. Though they advanced in their drug careers, they all started out as small-time criminals and drug dealers. 

Stay tuned for this month’s other post on drug crimes. That one will hit a little closer to home, though, detailing drug felonies under Illinois state law. In the meantime, don’t forget to reach out to Abdallah Law for a quality, tenacious criminal defense for any drug charges you are currently facing. We offer free consultations to new clients.

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