'Cocaine Cowboy' Pleads Guilty

Authorities say a figure from 1980s Florida, and a fugitive for more than a quarter century, pleaded guilty in Miami federal court to a charge of cocaine distribution.

The fugitive, identified as Gustavo Falcon, was known to the media and law enforcement as one of Miami's 'Cocaine Cowboys,' who had been accused by law enforcement of smuggling cocaine into the U.S.

Falcon was reportedly part of a gang that included his older brother Willie Falcon, and gang member Sal Magluta among others. 

All had been accused of purportedly smuggling some 75 tons of cocaine into the U.S. during the 1980s, raking in what authorities believed to be around $2 billion.

The violence that reportedly surrounded the Cocaine Cowboys may seem reminiscent of the TV series 'Miami Vice,' and that may not be coincidence.

The larger-than-life figures, and much of the lavish spending coupled with the structured and fierce violence for which the gangs became known, appears to have been the inspiration for the TV show.

The name 'Cocaine Cowboys,' given to the many alleged participants in the violent drug scene, was itself taken from the image of Miami as a latter-day Dodge City.

Falcon, believed by law enforcement to be the last of these cowboys, had vanished in 1991, seeming to have dropped off the face of the earth.

Authorities say he was found last April, living under an alias in Osceola County with his wife. 

He was arrested, but investigators say she is facing no charges.

Officials say Falcon, as a result of his guilty plea, could get a sentence of no more than 14 years.

The decision will be up to a south Florida federal judge.

Sentencing is set for April of this year, according to court documents.


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