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 as a result of 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 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. Learn more about George Jung and his criminal past below.
George Jung Biography
One of Jung’s nicknames is Boston George, and it comes from the fact that he was born in Boston, Massachusetts to parents, Ermine Jung and Frederick Jung and was raised in Weymouth. When he was younger, there was nothing to suggest that George Jung was headed for a criminal life. 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 high school, he was arrested for solicitation of prostitution. The complete transformation into an international drug smuggler was yet to come for George. He enrolled at and 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.
He 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).
The enterprise did not last for long, he was arrested in 1974 after he was ratted out by an associate and was 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 as a drug trafficker. 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 a prison again by 1994 when he plead 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.
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 made a significant reduction in his total net worth. He is currently believed to be worth a total of $10 thousand now.
Wife and Daughter
George Jung’s current partner is Ronda Clay Spinello, but a previous relationship with Mirtha Jung is known to have led to the birth of a daughter who they named Kristina Sunshine Jung on the 1st of August, 1978. Following his release, 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.
However, recent images show George has been making headway in earning the forgiveness of his daughter with both of them seen together in public events.
Where is He Now? Is He Still Alive?
George Jung is very much still 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 film in 2001, Blow where he was portrayed by the actor, Johnny Depp.
He is believed to be living with his partner, Ronda Clay Spinello Jung.