George Jung, now 71, has been released from prison early, giving the man whom Johnny Depp portrayed in the movie Blow a five-month head start on getting back into society.
The prolific cocaine smuggler was the subject of the 2001 movie. After becoming one of the nation’s biggest cocaine suppliers in the 1970s and 1980s — it was once reported that he was responsible for close to 90 percent of all cocaine smuggled into the country — George Jung was caught in 1994 and sentenced to 60 years behind bars.
Jung had originally been scheduled for release on Thanksgiving Day later this year, but instead, he was released from FCI Fort Dix in New Jersey on Monday. The reason for his early release has not been explained by prison authorities.
There may not be much chance of a quiet re-assimilation back into society. Thanks to the movie Blow, there is major public interest in George Jung and his story. On Monday, his name was one of the biggest trending searches on the internet, and the story of his release became worldwide news.
The media has actually been following Jung’s movements for some time. When he was granted a temporary release from a Texas prison in 2012 to have a mole removed, the story was picked up by celebrity news outlet TMZ. Jung’s name often becomes a popular internet search topic whenever Blow is aired on television.
Being a celebrity would be nothing new to George Jung. During the peak of his cocaine trafficking operation, he enjoyed a lavish lifestyle that put even Hollywood stars to fame.
“I was a guy who had a lot of money and unlimited access to cocaine and even if I looked like Bela Lugosi I still had the most beautiful women on the planet because everybody at that time, especially women, were in love with cocaine and of course in love with the money — the access to the automobiles, the clothes, the dinners, the lifestyle,” Jung told Frontline in an interview. “Basically I was no different than a rock star or a movie star. I was a coke star.”
After his release on Monday, George Jung was reportedly sent to a half-way house on the West Coast. Hopefully, the cartel members he informed on will leave him alone to enjoy his golden years.