George Jung – Then and Now

(Last Updated On: May 14, 2017)

George Jung, America’s most notorious drug trafficker, was released from jail in 2014, after almost 20 years in prison. After his release from a New Jersey federal prison, George was transported to a California halfway house to adjust to free living. Now in 2017, George Jung is 75 years old, he has reconciled with his daughter Kristina Jung but not his wife Mirtha Jung. George suffers from dementia and lives in California.

In 2016, George went to prison again – for a few months this time. Jung reportedly took a trip to San Diego in order to make money as speaking engagement. He was unable to get in touch with his parole officer prior to leaving, to request permission from the authorities for his travel. His manager insisted that everything would be fine, as it would only be a 4-hour trip.

On December 6, 2016, George Jung was captured in his home in Sacramento because of his parole violation, and booked in Sacramento County jail. Because of his past record, Jung was not eligible for bail.

His probation officer said that Jung is an alcoholic and habitual liar, who cannot change his ways. Jung’s lawyers believe that he is no threat to society and that his image has been tarnished because of the movie “Blow”. George received 3 months prison time followed by 4 months in a halfway house, a no alcohol restriction and 36 months probation.

George Jung’s Biography

George Jacob Jung was born on August 6, 1942, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Frederick and Ermine Jung. He was raised in a small town of Weymouth, Massachusetts. After graduating from Weymouth High School in 1961, Jung went to the University of Southern Mississippi, but never completed his studies.

George Jung started out his criminal career by selling pot in 1960’s. In 1967, with his friend, Jung started profiting by smuggling cannabis from California. This ended in 1974, when he was arrested in Chicago for smuggling 660 pounds (300 kg) of marijuana.

In jail, Jung met Carlos Lehder Rivas, a young German-Colombian drug dealer. Cocaine was a relatively little-used drug in the US at that point, but when Lehder and Jung were released from prison in 1976, they changed that forever.

After meeting Carlos Lehder in Connecticut’s prison, Jung went into the cocaine business with him and the Medellin Cartel. Lehder introduced Jung to the dominant international drug-trafficking Medellín Cartel and it’s head – Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug lord. Pablo Escobar was a ruthless drug lord who murdered witnesses, judges, politicians and citizens alike in his rise to the top of a $30 billion cocaine empire.

Nicknamed Boston George and El Americano, Jung was always looking for better ways to transport cocaine out of Colombia to the United States. He began to fly in drugs using stolen airplanes and a private plane he bought. Jung and Lehder showed the Colombians how you could drop huge amounts of cocaine into the US via air, where there was a huge market for it.

Jung went on to established the American cocaine market in the 1970s and made millions off the drug operations. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, he become a multi-millionaire. George Jung’s net worth was estimated at nearly $100 million at one point.

By the late 1970s, Lehder had removed Jung, by going straight to the sellers of cocaine. Around that time, George got hitched with a Colombian young lady named Mirtha Calderon (later – Mirtha Jung) and soon they had a girl together, named Kristina Sunshine Jung.

In 1987, when Kristina was just 1 year old, he got arrested at his home on Nauset Beach, Massachusetts. They would put him in jail for a 10 years sentence, yet George escaped.

After working some “clean” jobs, Jung began working in the drug industry again. In 1994, he was arrested again with 1,754 pounds (796 kg) of cocaine in Topeka, Kansas. In exchange for his testimony against Lehder, George’s initial sentence of 60 years was reduced. George was released from jail in 2014 after serving a 20-year sentence.

Movie “Blow”

The popular 2001 movie Blow by Ted Demme is based on the book by journalist Bruce Porter. George Jung was the main subject of film, played by Johnny Depp. The film also depicted George Jung’s wife Mirtha Jung and George Jung’s daughter Kristina Sunshine Jung.

The film’s ending shows Depp, playing George Jung, admitting that his daughter was the best thing in his life, wishing he has spent more time with his daughter and imagining a reconciliation scene. As the lonely Jung walks back into the prison from the yard, we learn that in the years of incarceration, his daughter never came to visit him. The real Kristina Jung reportedly filmed a cameo in the film, but her scenes were later removed.

If you have not yet watched “Blow”, it has magnificent acting from the cast (Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Paul Ruebens, and Ray Liotta). The young Kristina Jung is played by Emma Roberts. It’s a well told story and one of the best biopics and drug movies of the 00’s.

While incarcerated, Jung wrote a novel Heavy – a sequel to Blow. In September 2014, he contributed to the novel with T. Rafael Cimino, whose uncle is film director Michael Cimino. In 2015, George hung out with Johnny Depp for the first time after being released from jail.

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