“Narcos: 10 Real-Life Stories About The Illegal Drug Trade That Could Work As A Narcos Spin-Off”
In 2015, Netflix released the first season of the Spanish language TV series Narcos. The show, which focussed on notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, became an instant hit. When Escobar’s story was concluded in the second season, the focus shifted to his quieter rivals, the Cali Cartel, in the third season. And when that was done, a spinoff show called Narcos: Mexico was introduced.
This time the focus was on Miguel Felix Gallardo aka “El Padrino” (The Godfather). Felix was the founder of the Guadalajara Cartel. An ambitious man, he went on to unify all the Mexican cartels then installed himself as their leader. Narcos: Mexico also features a young El Chapo, so we are likely to see him as the main character in the near future. However, there are other stories that would also work well as Narcos Spin-offs. Here are some of them.
10 Griselda The ‘Queenpin’
Griselda Blanco was a key figure in the Medellin cartel before Escobar made a name for himself. She was nicknamed “La Madrina,” which is Spanish for “The Godmother.” She even named her son Michael Corleone after Al Pacino’s fictional character in The Godfather. Blanco was known to knit brasseries that were designed in a manner that would enable women to smuggle cocaine in them.
In the early 70s, she moved from Colombia to New York where she oversaw a huge distribution network. When the government nearly arrested her, she fled back to Colombia, only to resurface in Miami in the 80s. Among the most shocking things she did was shooting her husband dead. She also loved taking out enemies by sending gunmen on motorcycles. Ironically, she was killed by a motorcycle gunman too.
9 The Friend Killer
Osiel Cárdenas Guillén came to be known as “El Mata Amigos” (The Friend Killer) after he murdered a friend who was in line to take over as the new boss of the notorious Gulf Cartel. Osiel bribed members of the Mexican Special Forces military unit and used them as his mercenaries.
His sicarios preferred killing anyone who wouldn’t cooperate instead of bribing them. He was on top of the world until he threatened a group of DEA agents and warned them of dire consequences if they didn’t hand over an informant. The U.S. government captured him in 2003 and extradited him.
8 Lord Of The Skies
Amado Carillo Fuentes was nicknamed ‘The Lord Of The Skies’ due to his prowess in transporting cocaine via aircraft from Colombia to Mexico. Before he became the top guy, he was a known associate of the Cali Cartel in Colombia and Mexico’s Miguel Felix Gallardo.
In the 90s, the Juarez cartel became popular with Fuentes at the helm, though he was always on the run from the authorities. He eventually died while trying to change his face via plastic surgery. The bodies of his surgeons were later found mutilated.
7 The Opium King
Khun Sa—popularly known as the Opium King—was a Burmese warlord who doubled up as a drug kingpin lord. He is said to have had full control of the Golden Triangle (the opium rich region of Laos, Thailand, Thailand, and Burma). It is reported that from the mid-70s to the early 90s, the amount of opium entering New York form Burma increased from 5% to 80%.
Khun is said to have had a personal army of 20,000 men, making him impossible to arrest. The US government put a $2 million bounty on him but he was never extradited. After a brief imprisonment in Burma, he went on to open legitimate businesses
6 The Crazy Duck
Paul Lir Alexander was a Brazilian drug lord, popularly known as El Parito Loco (The Crazy Duck). He is said to have served in the Israeli Army before working for the DEA. He later went rogue and started a drug empire. Due to his experience as a DEA agent, he was always elusive.
Lir acquired a lot of wealth from his operations, buying plenty of ranches and yachts. He preferred using electrical transformers to transport cocaine into the United Staes. The DEA arrested him in 1993. After being released temporarily in 2010, he completely disappeared. Nothing has ever been heard about him again.
5 Felix The Distributor
What happens to drugs from South America and Asia when they enter the US? They are distributed by local gangs. Felix Mitchell was a man who made such gangs popular. He was the founder of a drug distribution empire called the “69 Mob.”
At his peak, Felix was making $800,000 a day in drug sales. Eventually, he was arrested and handed a life sentence in 1985. He died a year later in prison after being stabbed. However, his arrest led to the emergence of even more gangs as they all attempted to take over the territories that his empire had a hold on.
4 Escobar’s Buddy
Carlos Enrique Lehder Rivas was one of the co-founders of the Medellin Cartel that Escobar came to be known for. He ran a major cocaine transportation network on Norman’s Cay Island in the Bahamas. He also founded the “Muerte a Secuestradores” —a paramilitary group that fought guerrillas who targeted cartels. The CIA and the DEA were allegedly reported to be working with the guerrillas to target drug dealers.
Carlos also founded a political party called the National Latin Movement, to prevent him from being extradited to the US. After bribing plenty of officials in the Bahamas, he was eventually arrested and extradited. He is currently serving a life sentence in an undisclosed American prison.
3 The Other Ross
You definitely know about Rick Ross the rapper but are you aware that he got his name from a notorious drug lord? Freeway Rick Ross was introduced into the drug trade by a crooked teacher while in high school. Does this story sound familiar? Yes, it does. It actually might have inspired the relationship between Jesse Pinkman and Walter White.
Ross would later go on to deal with drugs on a larger scale. He grew quickly in the business and eventually made connections with the Nicaraguan cartels. By 1982, he was selling $3 million worth of crack cocaine daily. He was finally arrested and sentenced to life, though his sentence was reduced after an appeal. After his release, he went on to be an author and public speaker.
2 The Escobar Of The Carribean
Puerto Rican drug lord José David Figueroa Agosto was nicknamed the ‘Escobar of the Carribean.’ Agosto was a very careful criminal. It took ten years of surveillance before authorities found something that they could charge him with. He is said to have established operational bases in both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
In 1993, he killed a truck driver over a missing a Columbian cocaine shipment. He was thus sentenced to 209 years in prison. However, he escaped by simply walking out after presenting a fake release order to prison guards. He was later arrested again and extradited to the US.
1 The Indian Kingpin On The Run
Indian kingpin Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, who is very much active, is said to be responsible for most of the drug shipments in the UK and Western Europe. He masterminded the Bombay bombings in which 300 people were killed and over 1400 people were injured.
Despite ranking 3rd in the list of FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives back in 2011, he has evaded capture for over four decades. There is still a $25 million bounty on him. Dawood is believed to be residing in Pakistan where he heads the D-Company. He also controls an illegal money transfer service called Hawala.
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