Crime exists in every country; it is part of the fabric of human reality. However, in America, crime has an element of mythology to it, especially for those whose criminal actions are elevated to legendary status due to media coverage and Hollywood reenactments. One of such people is George Jung, the drug trafficker whose criminal enterprise has been compared to that of Pablo Escobar.
The comparison to Pablo Escobar is further justified by the fact that he was a prominent member of the Medellin Cartel which specialized in the smuggling of cocaine from Columbia. He was released from prison after 20 years in 2014 and has kept his status as a famed personality. While his criminal past continues to fascinate a lot of people, it has left many wondering if it destroyed the family he built with Mirtha.
It Was Drug that Brought George and Mirtha Together
Named Mirtha Calderon after she was born sometime in 1952, Mirtha was brought up in poverty and drug-ridden neighbourhood in Cuba which was how she started doing drugs when she was a teenager. As the story goes, Mirtha began working as a waitress after graduating from high school and maintained the job until she met George Jung at a party.
Although she’s Cuban, it was in Columbia that she met Jung. He had already started his drug trafficking business, and Mirtha was an addict, so it is not difficult to see how they became very fond of each other. It didn’t take much time before their relationship bloomed into a romance. Thereafter, there was no stopping them from getting married.
Despite the massive age gap between them, with George Jung being about a decade older, the two were convinced they were meant to be together, and they did so without much ado.
The Ex-Couple Got Married In 1977
Becoming George Jung’s wife made Mirtha one of his biggest support systems in the drug trafficking business that saw him become a prominent figure around the cocaine trade in the United States in the 70s and early 80s.
Although there are reports that have limited Mirtha’s role in the historic drug trafficking activities from Columbia to the United States, insisting that she was only the wife of Jung who was one of the major brains behind the smuggling, other reports beg to differ.
It has been held in some quarters that Mirtha was actively involved in Jung’s activities. As claimed, she played a major role in the drug trade, helping George to smuggle drugs at some point.
They Had Their Daughter In 1978 and their Marriage Ended In 1984
The year that followed their marriage, precisely on the 1st of August, George and Mirtha welcomed their only child together, Kristina Sunshine Jung’s daughter. The birth of the child didn’t make the couple slow down on drugs.
When Kristina was only a year old, the police raided their home and took the child away. Mirtha was at some point charged with possession of drugs. She was subsequently jailed for three years, and it marked a new beginning for her. One that would see her break free from drugs and ultimately necessitate the end of her marriage with George Jung.
Reports have it that Mirtha decided to change her life for good after she was jailed. She stopped doing drugs and was determined to give Kristina a better life. But then, George had gone so far with his drug-dealing activities that it was difficult for him to turn his life around. Mirtha was left with no options; she had to prioritize the future of their daughter; so he left George, and they divorced in 1984.
What Have Mirtha and Kristina Jung Been Up to Lately?
Over the years, it has become clear that Mirtha’s decision to walk away from her marriage to George was a necessary sacrifice she needed to make for their daughter. Since she parted ways with the former drug trafficker, she has not been romantically linked to anyone and has never married again. Based on what she once shared, this is so because Jung is the only true love of her life.
Mirtha now lives a quiet life which makes it hard for people to keep up with her. This is also the case for her daughter Kristina. Nonetheless, we can tell she is a successful businesswoman who is happily married to a fellow named Romain Karan. She owns an apparel line called BG Apparel which offers everything from customized t-shirts to hats, jerseys, and what have you.
While the circumstances surrounding their union aren’t known to the public, it is known that Kristina and her husband are parents to a child named Anthena Romina Karan. The family lives in California.
Kristina and Her Father Weren’t On Good Terms But Had Been Working It Out.
The foregoing has established that George Jung’s marriage to Mirtha saw Kristina Sunshine Jung’s birth. Because of her parents’ involvement with drug, Kristina didn’t get to grow up with her folks. She was largely raised by her extended family members, her paternal grandparents, Ermine and Frederick Jung, and her paternal aunt, Marie Jung.
It is said that Marie took care of Kristina from the time her mother was jailed until she turned 18. When her mother regained freedom, she reintroduced herself into Kristina’s life, but George was perpetually absent in his daughter’s life. Because of this, the relationship between them deteriorated to the point that Kristina wanted nothing to do with the man.
Thankfully this has changed in recent times. Following his release in 2017, he has tried to mend his relationship with his daughter, who has refused to forgive him for his crimes and the subsequent abandonment during the time he was incarcerated. Recent images suggest that George has been making headway in earning his daughter’s forgiveness with both of them seen together in public events.
George Currently Lives with His Second Wife, Ronda Clay Spinello Jung
George Jung is very much alive. Although he was arrested in 2016 for parole violation and spent a few months in prison, he has been a free man since the 3rd of July, 2017. He has several entertainment and documentary programs made about him, including a 2001 film titled Blow, wherein actor Johnny Depp portrayed him.
Even though when they officially became life partners isn’t known to the public, it is believed that George is married to his long-time partner, Ronda Clay Spinello Jung. They live together and are parents to Ronda’s daughter from a previous relationship; her name is Clara Pearson.
People got to know that George is married to Ronda in 2016 after he was arrested for a parole violation. She had petitioned Barack Obama through Change.org, asking for a presidential pardon for George. She had her name in the petition as “Ronda Clay Spinello Jung” which suggests she was already married to the former drug trafficker at that point.
If her contention in the petition is anything to go by, George Jung has been having a hard time. According to Ronda, he violated his parole because he had to travel to San Diego to work and earn some money so he could survive financially.
The Former Drug Trafficker Is Now Worth Only $10 Thousand.
During the height of his drug trafficking career, George Jung was making as much as $5 million per day. However, getting caught by the law and spending what was left of it on legal fees has significantly reduced his total net worth. He is currently believed to be worth a total of $10 thousand now.
Jung began using marijuana recreationally and then sold some of it. He eventually abandoned his studies and went into the sale of marijuana full time. A chance meeting with a childhood friend in 1967 pushed Jung further into the world of drugs when he discovered he could make a lot more money by smuggling the drugs he sold.
He started by using his stewardess girlfriend at the time to transport cannabis from California to New England. Seeing how profitable it was, he later expanded his operations beyond the border, deciding to fly in the drugs from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The decision proved to be extremely financially rewarding for Jung who was reported to have been making as much as $250,000 a month ($1.8 million in 2018 dollars).
Jung Made Up to $5 Million a Day When He Partnered With the Medellin Cartel.
The enterprise did not last for long; he was arrested in 1974 after being ratted out by an associate and subsequently sent to a prison in Danbury. However, it wouldn’t be the last of George Jung as a known drug trafficker. Prison turned out to be a stepping stone for George. While he was at the Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury, he met Carlos Lehder Rivas, who was serving time in the prison and had connections to the biggest drug cartel in the world at the time, the Medellin Cartel.
After their release in 1975, Lehder and Jung went into business together. Through Lehder’s connection, he began to smuggle cocaine from Pablo Escobar’s ranch in Columbia into the US. The business arrangement was highly profitable for Jung who was making as much as $3-5 million per day. The late 70s was a mega business success for Jung, so much that he earned the nickname, El Americano.
The law eventually caught up with George Jung in 1987, over a decade after his release from his initial stint in prison. Like the first time, Jung was betrayed by one of his business associates. After getting released, he was back in prison again by 1994 when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to prison for 60 years. He was however released in 2014 after he agreed to testify against Carlos Lehder.
A Look at His Life Before His Criminal Career
One of Jung’s nicknames is Boston George, and it comes from the fact that he was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Ermine Jung and Frederick Jung. Raised in Weymouth, there was nothing to suggest that George Jung was headed for a criminal life when he was young.
Although he wasn’t the best student academically, he excelled in sports. He was a star football player in his high school, Weymouth High School, and was considered a natural leader by those who were close to him in his high school days.
Regardless, George Jung chose a life of crime, and he got his first run-in with the police before graduating from high school – he was arrested for solicitation of prostitution. The complete transformation into an international drug smuggler was yet to come for George.
He attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he studied advertising. It was during the course of his studies that he fully took on the life of crime. This made him abandon his studies to focus on his criminal activities.