Gustavo Falcon, Last of Notorious “Cocaine Cowboys” Cocaine Drug Smugglers Caught After 26 Years
According to law enforcement, Gustavo Falcon, a member of the notorious drug trafficking group “Cocaine Cowboys” was arrested this week after being on the lam for 26 years. Falcon is the last member of the group of drug smugglers who trafficked cocaine into Florida in 1980s to be apprehended.
Barry Golden, a senior investigator with U.S. Marshals in South Florida, told the Miami Herald:
“He is the last of the Cocaine Cowboys.”
Falcon was nabbed on Wednesday and booked in Orlando County jail. Falcon, 55, was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. He and his brother Augusto “Willie” Falcon, along with partner Salvador Magluta were indicted in 1991 for moving massive amounts of cocaine into the U.S.
While Willie Falcon and the operation’s mastermind Magluta got prison time, Gustavo managed to evade police and remain on the lam. After multiple trials, Magluta was eventually convicted and sentenced to 205 years in prison, which was later reduced to 195 years. Willie Falcon struck a deal in 2003 and was sentenced to 20 years. Ironically, he is set to be released in June.
There were rumors Falcon was living in either Mexico or South America, but shockingly, Golden stated that he had been residing in the Miami area since around the turn of the century:
“Nobody thought he was in the United States.”
Officials said that Falcon and wife (who was also arrested) had been on a 40-mile bike ride when they were apprehended. They had been using aliases and had garnered fake licenses for themselves and two children, now both adults. Deputy U.S. marshals had been surveilling the Falcon home in Kissimmee, near Orlando, for several days.
Marshals got a break when they discovered that Falcon and wife were involved in a car accident in 2013 in the Orlando while using false identification. The parents used the names Luis Andre Reiss and Maria Reiss. Also, Falcon had obtained false Social Security cards for the couple.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology