Described by the U.S. Division of Justice as “the Henry Ford of the cocaine business,” Lehder co-founded Colombia’s notorious drug cartel alongside Pablo Escobar, Jorge Ochoa and Jose Rodriguez Gacha within the Seventies. He conspired with heads of state to deprave total nations and open cocaine smuggling routes within the Bahamas, Cuba, Panama, Nicaragua and Mexico, additionally shopping for his personal Bahamian island, Norman’s Cay, and reworking it into an air and sea cocaine transport hub. Lehder concurrently rose to political energy in Colombia as head of the Nationwide Latin Motion and helped elect Pablo Escobar to Parliament, with the cartel at its peak smuggling 300 kilos of cocaine per day, and producing $20 billion a 12 months.
Lehder in 1987 grew to become the primary Medellín Cartel chief to be captured and extradited to the US, the place he was sentenced to life in federal jail with out the potential for parole, plus 135 years. He was in the end launched from jail and deported to Germany, after a 33-year stint, in 2020.
The Final of the Cocaine Cowboys will provide unique entry to Lehder in his first on-camera interviews in 32 years, boasting over 35 hours of dialog with the previous cartel chief, in addition to footage and pictures from his private archive. For the primary time ever, he particulars his trajectory from non-public college child, to automobile thief, to the highest of the cocaine business, and the harrowing story of his first cocaine run in a truck by way of the Andes. Lehder additionally will get into his early smuggling enterprise with “Boston George” Jung, portrayed by Johnny Depp within the 2001 movie, Blow; never-before-told tales of his partnership with Escobar, and Escobar’s obsession with gangster Al Capone; private negotiations for cocaine commerce routes with Manuel Noriega (Panama), the Castro Brothers (Cuba) and the Contras (Nicaragua); bribing Bahamian Prime Minister Lynden Pindling with $2 million a 12 months and commanding a personal military of enforcers, pilots, and boat captains at his personal non-public island and airport; and the extraordinary circumstances of his launch from jail, following his testimony towards Noriega on the Panamanian dictator’s unprecedented 1991 drug trial.
Billy Corben is directing the collection from his scripts written with David Cypkin, with the pair producing alongside Alfred Spellman for rakontur. Whereas it’s unclear at this level the place the present will land, we hear that it’s presently being shopped to a number of high-profile streamers.
A Miami-based media studio based in 2000, rakontur launched its Cocaine Cowboys collection on the unlawful drug commerce with a 2006 documentary of the identical title, which it adopted up with Cocaine Cowboys 2 (2008) and Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded (2014). The corporate extra lately launched the six-part docuseries Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami, chronicling the rise and fall of Miami drug kingpins Sal Magluta and Willy Falcon — aka, Los Muchachos — which debuted on Netflix final 12 months. Rakontur has additionally beforehand produced such titles as The U and The U Half 2 for ESPN Movies’ 30 for 30 collection, and the 2018 documentary Screwball in regards to the MLB doping scandal involving the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez.
Corben is represented by Black Field Administration.