Cocaine Cowboys Series Makes Lincoln Lawyer Look Shabby

Cocaine Cowboys The Kings of Miami': Where Are Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta  Today?

Just finished watching Cocaine Cowboys: Kings of Miami. My main regret is why didn’t I know about it earlier in the day. It was released on August 4th. My other regret I don’t know anyone who has also finished it.

Alleged to be the chief U.S. distributors for two of Colombia’s biggest cartels, Cuban exiles Augusto ‘Willy’ Falcon and Salvador ‘Sal’ Magluta were accused of smuggling over 75 tons of cocaine into the U.S. in the 1980s. The high school friends built a reputed $2 billion empire that made Willy and Sal, aka ‘Los Muchachos,’ two of Miami’s biggest celebrities. While law enforcement plotted their takedown, the world champion powerboat racers managed to skillfully outrun and outmaneuver prosecution for decades before the chase finally came to an end. Featuring colorful interviews with those closest to them, their defense team, and the Feds tasked with taking them down, the series paints a vivid portrait of the last of Miami’s ‘cocaine cowboys.’

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I have a better sense of1970s and 1980s drug scene in South Florida until I just watched this film.

My father has this story he tells of when my mother and him were just married in 1970-something. They had bought a new car and were traveling back to Florida from New York. My mother was driving and booked it out one of a toll plaza as soon as she paid the toll. My dad can pass for Cuban, and my mom for Columbian. She got pulled over for speeding, and the state highway trooper wanted to check their truck. She gave every excuse under the sun as to why he doesn’t need to look in the trunk. My dad, who sensed the situation escalating and was in the passenger’s seat, pulled the key out of the ignition and handed it to the trooper. My dad later explained to my mom that the trooper thought they were drug runners because of the Florida plates.

Before they thought we were terrorists, they thought were were drug dealers.

My dad did the same thing to me in November 2001 when I got into a fight with an airport agent about carrying the wrong size perfume. He gave me a look that I needed to just throw it away instead of arguing. He told me it was my fault for not knowing better. I told him their rules were stupid.

What I also saw in Cocaine Cowboys was this web of financial networks and an intricate money laundering scheme. It wasn’t as well covered in the film, because drugs, jury tampering, and murder are more cinematic. Nevertheless, I still found it fascinating. Albert Krieger was a boss of a criminal defense attorney. His cross examinations were classic. This film should be used to teach 1L Criminal Law.

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Nadia Ahmad

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