George Jung still has more than a year left to serve on his federal drug conviction, but the 71-year-old may be bracing to become a celebrity upon his return to society.
Jung, nicknamed “Boston George,” was one of the biggest players in the cocaine trade of the 1970s and early 1980s. At one point, 89 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the United States came through George, who was the first to set up a major pipeline from Colombia to the United States.
George Jung was pinched a few times for his drug smuggling, and in 1994 was put behind bars with a 60-year sentence.
But though he was locked up, Jung slowly turned into a celebrity. In 2001 he was the subject of the motion picture Blow, with Johnny Depp playing Jung. He has also been featured in a number of true crime television programs as well as the documentary Cocaine Cowboys, which details the Medellin Cartel that Jung worked with.
After the success of Blow, even Jung’s movements within the prison system began to warrant media attention. When he was granted a temporary release from his Texas prison in 2012 to have a mole removed, the story turned up on TMZ. And Jung’s name often becomes a popular internet search topic when Blow is aired on television.
Jung has already enjoyed something like celebrity before. In the 1970s and 1980s, when he was one of the biggest players in the cocaine trade, Jung enjoyed a lifestyle that could make even Hollywood stars jealous.
“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.
If George Jung is to become a celebrity once he re-enters society, he still has a bit of time to wait. He is scheduled to be released from the Federal Correctional Facility in Fort Dix, New Jersey on Thanksgiving Day 2014.