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Where Are Billionaire 'Cocaine Cowboys' Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta Now?
Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta, the subjects of Billy Corben's newest edition of "Cocaine Cowboys," once ran Miami.
Miami’s notorious billionaire drug lords Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta once ruled the south Florida city but where are they both now?
The pair, known as “Los Muchachos,” are the main subjects of “Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami,” which began streaming on Netflix on Wednesday.
The Cuban-American duo was accused of importing more than 75 tons of cocaine into Miami. Despite their drug lord status, Falcon and Magluta were popular in their community, known for their nonviolent nature and generosity. The docuseries notes that they even achieved a sort of “Robin Hood” status for using their cocaine money to give back to the community. They donated money to local schools and gave money to acquaintances so their kids could afford college.
“This is a community that knew them by their first names,” Billy Corben, director of the “Cocaine Cowboys” franchise, told Oxygen.com.
They were very connected to people in the city.
“I think as someone says in the documentary there may be six degrees of Kevin Bacon but when it comes to Willy and Sal in Miami, you’re like one or two degrees away,” Corben told Oxygen.com.
Their non-violent rise to power didn’t last forever, though.
“A story like this ends the same way all of these stories end, which is everybody is either dead or in prison,” Corben told Oxygen.com.
When the pair were arrested in 1991, the witnesses in their upcoming trial became targets. While some survived attempted murders like car bombings and make appearances in the docuseries, three witnesses were killed.
The cloud of apparent corruption continued into the courtroom itself as the drug lords bribed three jurors in their 1996 criminal trial. Their efforts led to a shocking acquittal.
While Falcon and Magluta may have felt as though they tricked the system, the jury misconduct was exposed in 1999. In 2002, the pair was retried on multiple charges including corruption and conspiracy to obstruct justice by bribing jurors. They were also charged with murdering three witnesses and money laundering.
Falcon took a plea deal on the money laundering charges in 2003 and was sentenced to 20 years behind bars, Esquire reports. He spent 14 years behind bars before he was released in 2017, NBC Miami reported in 2017. He was then deported to the Dominican Republic; his lawyers argued that he would not be safe in Cuba.
“His attorney ordered that because part of the money that Willy and Sal had made in the drug trade they had donated very generously to various charities and churches and organizations, some of which were anti-Castro organizations and some of the paramilitary organizations who had through the years attempted to enter the island and overthrow or assassinate Fidel Castro,” Corben told Newsweek.
Falcon left the Dominican Republic shortly after arriving on the island, where people were upset by his notorious presence, according to the Netflix series.
It’s not clear where he is now.
"Willy is out and about,” Corben told Newsweek. “I think I know where he is, but I can't confirm it so I won't say.”
Magulta, however, took his chances at trial. He was sentenced to 205 years in prison, NBC Miami reported in 2017. While he was acquitted of the three murders, he was convicted of money laundering and bribery.
His sentence was later reduced to 195 years. He is currently serving his sentence at ADX Florence, the infamous supermax prison in Colorado.
While there, he read an article in which Corben expressed a desire to do a docuseries on him and Falcon. The former drug lord reached out to the director from prison through his friends and family.
“Sal basically opened up his parents’ home to me [...] and I had access to Sal’s personal archives,” Corben told Oxygen.com.