The last of South Florida’s infamous “Cocaine Cowboys” was busted this week after spending 26 years on the lam, according to reports.
Deputy marshals nabbed Gustavo “Taby” Falcon, 55, and his wife, Amelia, at an intersection in Kissimmee as the two were in the middle of a 40-mile bike ride on Wednesday.
He was booked into the Orlando County jail Wednesday evening, and is expected to have his first appearance in Orlando federal court on Thursday. His case is expected to be transferred to Miami.
Falcon, the brother of the notorious Augusto “Willie” Falcon, had long evaded a Miami indictment charging him with smuggling tons of cocaine into the US in the 1980s, the Miami Herald reported.
“Willie” Falcon and his partner, Salvador “Sal” Magluta, were known as the kingpins in the legendary Cocaine Cowboys violent drug trafficking group in South Florida in the 1980s. The duo used speedboats to haul the cocaine they had smuggled from Colombia through the Caribbean to Miami, the paper reported.
A 2006 documentary about the “cowboys” showed suitcases full of cash, hit men with machine guns, drug-laden speedboats and nighttime drops of drugs in South Florida’s swamps.
Marshals first obtained some clues to Gustavo Falcon’s whereabouts in 2013 when he got into a car accident in the Orlando area and used a fake ID with a Miami address, according to the Herald.
Bay Company Articles 's Videos amp; Hudson News Gustavo and his family had been renting a Kissimmee home, which the marshals kept under surveillance — and found that they had been living in the Orlando area since 1999. Barry Golden, a spokesman for the US Marshals Service in Miami, told the Herald that he was surprised by the discovery and had assumed Gustavo had been hiding out in Mexico or Colombia.
He and his wife went by the names Luis and Maria Reiss.
Gustavo was last seen in South Florida in 1991. That same year, a federal indictment charged him, his brother, Magluta and several others with smuggling 75 tons of cocaine into the US between 1978 and 1991.
“Willie” Falcon and Magluta were acquitted of the charges in 1996, but authorities later discovered they bought off witnesses and at least one jury member.
Magluta was retried and convicted of drug-related money laundering charges in 2002 and sentenced to 205 years in prison — reduced to 195 years in 2006. “Willie” accepted a plea deal in 2003 on similar charges. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and is expected to be released in June.
With Post wires