Cops Nab Cocaine Cowboy Who Has Been Hiding For 26 Years
His brother Augusto “Willie” Falcon will be a freed from jail this June, but it looks like after 26 years on the lam, 55-year-old Gustavo Falcon is only just beginning to face his punishment.
Police nabbed the younger Falcon Wednesday night in Kissimmee, FL during a 40-mile bike ride with his wife Amelia.
If you’re familiar with the ‘Cocaine Cowboys’ documentaries, you already know much of the story. The Falcon brothers, along with Salvador ‘Sal’ Magluta, formed a treacherous trio during the 80’s growing up in the Cuban-American community in Miami. They were accused of using speedboats and private jets to smuggle over $2 billion cocaine from the Caribbean and South America into the U.S.
“He is the last of the Cocaine Cowboys,” Barry Golden, a senior investigator workin the U.S. Marshals’ South Florida office, told the Miami Herald.
Gustavo is expected to appear in federal court Thursday and will likely be moved to Miami.
When prosecutors indicted the Falcon brothers and Magluta in 1991 on trafficking charges, they were also accused of hiring Colombian hit men to kill potential snitches.
The pair were initially acquitted of all drug trafficking charges in 1996, but the US attorney’s office and FBI discovered Falcon and Magluta had paid witnesses and at least one jury member to help their cause. In 2002, when Magluta was retried on drug-related money laundering charges he was convicted and sentenced to 205 years in prison (that was later reduced to 195 years). Willie Falcon took a plea deal in 2003 for 20 years in prison.
While Willie Falcon and Magluta went to jail, Gustavo Falcon virtually disappeared, leaving most law enforcement to believe he’d fled to Cuba, Mexico or South America.
But Golden told the Miami Herald the fugitive was living in the Miami area since about 1999. Cops were initially hipped to Falcon’s whereabouts in 2103 after he used what’s believed to be a fake license with a Miami address when he got into a car accident.
“We figured this all out a month ago,’’ Golden told the Miami Herald. “We pulled his driver’s license and saw it was the same Gustavo Falcon.’’
Falcon and his wife had been using the aliases Luis Reiss and Maria Reiss and they were using fake licenses for themselves and their two grown children. The family had most recently been living in a rented home in Kissimmee, FL that police had under surveillance for the last month.
WOW. Crazy right? Can you imagine spending 26 years looking over your shoulder while living right under the noses of the cops?