Last Of Cocaine Cowboys Faces Miami Judge After Being On Lam for 26 Years
The last of the “Cocaine Cowboys,” Gustavo Falcon, faced a Miami federal judge Tuesday on charges of smuggling tons of cocaine into the United States after being on the lam for 26 years.
His defense attorney said he plans to plead not guilty when he is arraigned before Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman on May 11.
The brief hearing had the feeling of a reunion for agents and prosecutors who worked the high-profile case decades ago. Falcon, 55, was captured by U.S. marshals after a long bicycle ride on April 12 in the Orlando area, where he had been living under a fake name in a rented home with his family.
“I have never heard of a cowboy who rides a bicycle,” attorney Howard Srebnick told the Miami Herald, trying to raise doubt about Falcon’s reputation.
Falcon’s court appearance attracted some relatives but mostly news media because he, his older brother, Willie, and others epitomized the Miami Vice era during the cocaine boom of the 1980s. Falcon — younger brother of Augusto “Willie” Falcon and one-time partner with Salvador “Sal” Magluta, both legendary cocaine smugglers — was indicted along with them and several others in 1991.
Gustavo Falcon was last seen in South Florida shortly before he was charged with conspiring to import and distribute 75 tons of cocaine worth $2 billion with brother Willie, partner Magluta and about a dozen other defendants between 1978 and 1991.
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