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Notorious Thief 'The Ghost,' Who Allegedly Masterminded $5 Million Bank Heist, Dies Behind Bars
Anibal Mustelier, 70, was serving time for a string of jewelry store robberies, but his list of suspected crimes was much more infamous, including a major Miami bank robbery and, authorities believe, serving as an assassin for Fidel Castro and the Medellin drug cartel.
A bank robber and alleged assassin, who was once suspected of pulling off an unbelievable $5 million heist before evading capture for decades, has died.
Anibal Mustelier, 70, died at the Miami Federal Detention Center on Sept. 18, the Miami Herald reports. The cause of death is unclear.
He was serving a 47-year prison sentence for a 2015 jewelry store robbery spree, the U.S. Attorney's Office of Southern Florida wrote in 2017 when announcing his penalty.
Before he was arrested for that spree in 2016, he had evaded capture from authorities for 26 years. He was “formerly one of FBI’s most wanted individuals, with prior pending federal indictments from 1996,” the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Investigators had been searching for Mustelier from 1990 to 2016 with no success. His ability to hide from law enforcement earned him the nickname “The Ghost,” The Atlantic reported in 2016.
Mustelier is most infamous for his alleged heist of a SunTrust Bank in Miami in 1996, The Atlantic reported. He’s believed to have masterminded the robbery, which netted $5 million. It also earned him an “America’s Most Wanted” episode.
The bank robber was also rumored to be an assassin for Fidel Castro and the Medellin drug cartel, the Miami Herald reports. He moved to Miami from Cuba sometime before 1979 and is believed to have had connections to the cocaine crime boom in the area during the 1980s, according to an episode of Reelz Network’s “Gangsters: America’s Most Evil.”
He had previous convictions for grand theft and burglary in 1979; burglary in 1981; and cocaine possession in 1987, all of which he received probation for. The FBI also believes he tried to kill Florida drug smuggler Francisco Condom-Gil twice, according to the Miami Herald. The convicted drug kingpin was shot in 1989 and then his car was blown up a year later, though he survived both attempts on his life. The latter attack prompted the FBI’s interest in Mustelier.