Former Cocaine Kingpin George Jung Released from Prison
The infamous George Jung, whose life as a cocaine dealer was brought to the big screen when Johnny Depp portrayed him in Blow, has been released from jail, according to reports.
TMZ captured a photo of Jung, a Weymouth native who spent decades in jail for his role in bringing large amounts of cocaine to the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, as he left a minimum-security prison in New Jersey this week.
Jung—known as “Boston George”—was being held at FCI Fort Dix, a minimum-security federal correctional institution with about 4,600 inmates. The Massachusetts-born drug dealer is now 71-years-old.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) website, Jung is no longer in the custody of BOP officials. The bureau’s website allows the public to locate the whereabouts of a federal inmate incarcerated between 1982 to the present day. A search of the database shows a person matching Jung’s age and name when plugged into the system:
Jung’s original scheduled release date was supposed to be on November 27, 2014, but according to reports, he has been released from the minimum-security holding, where he spent nearly two decades behind bars. Reports indicate that Jung will go live in a “halfway house” somewhere on the West Coast as part of a transitioning program to prepare him for reentry into society. Calls made to the federal facility about why Jung was released before his scheduled date were not immediately returned.
Jung’s story came to the national spotlight after Depp played him in the Hollywood film based on his drug dealing escapades. The former Bay State resident got his start dealing marijuana in the late 1960s, smuggling between the West and East Coast, and selling it to college students in the Amherst area.
According to a detailed interview between PBS Frontline and Jung from 2000, a year before Blow hit the big screens, Jung spent time in a Danbury prison for smuggling marijuana, at which time he learned from other inmates about the profitability of getting involved in the cocaine drug trade in Colombia.
When he was released for transporting marijuana, Jung later got involved with the Medellin Cartel, which was credited with supplying roughly 85 percent of the cocaine circulating in the United States during the late 1970s. “I thought cocaine was a fantastic drug. A wonder drug, like everybody else. It gave you [an] energy burst. You could stay awake for days on end, and it was just marvelous and I didn’t think it was evil at all,” Jung said in the interview. “I put it almost in the same category as marijuana, only hell of a lot better. It was a tremendous energy boost. It gave the feeling, a high, but nobody knew, well maybe a small percentage of people knew. But eventually everybody knew how evil it really was.”
Jung’s early release comes at the same time that Depp is in Boston filming yet another biopic, based on the book Black Mass, which details the life and crimes of former mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger.