Michael had avoided his mother's perilous path until now. Under the advice of his criminal defense lawyer, Michael declined to comment for this story.

New Times pieced together Michael's life through court documents and depositions from his mother's criminal cases, news articles and books about the Blanco family, Cocaine Cowboys footage, interviews Michael gave in 2008 to other media outlets, the criminal complaint against him, and extensive conversations with his childhood best friend and business manager, Cristian Rios. The result is a compelling tale about a young man struggling to debunk his mother's homicidal reputation while at the same time embracing her criminal legacy to capitalize on its entertainment value. "Michael is well aware of who he is in the public eye," says Cristian, who is convinced that Michael, who had inked a multimillion-dollar Hollywood deal six days before the bust, was set up. "He would not put his life in peril for something that would jeopardize his family, his movie deal, and his freedom."

One day in 1983, a 5-year-old Michael was in Medellín with his father, Dario Sepulveda, when their car was intercepted by men dressed as police officers. Griselda — also known as "the Black Widow" for having allegedly killed her first two husbands, one of whom had fathered her three eldest sons — had learned that her third hubby was messing around with a topless dancer from Fort Lauderdale. She confronted Dario about his infidelity inside the Davie home of Max Mermelstein, a smuggler who acted as point man for the cartel's distribution network.

Undercover cops say Michael used this diamond-encrusted pendant as collateral.
Courtesy Office of State Attorney
Undercover cops say Michael used this diamond-encrusted pendant as collateral.
Former smuggler Mickey Munday says Michael should have used more caution.
Colby Katz
Former smuggler Mickey Munday says Michael should have used more caution.

The couple argued over Michael's custody. Dario preferred to send his son to school, but Griselda wanted Michael to be with her all the time, according to Mermelstein's account for a 1989 Sun-Sentinel article. (Mermelstein died in 2008 after being in the witness protection program.) So Dario took Michael to Colombia, where he thought his friends in the cartel, including kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Ochoa brothers, would protect him from his estranged wife.

The fake cops who intercepted Michael and his father opened fire on Dario, killing him. After the shooting, Mermelstein said, "Little Michael was screaming and ran over to embrace his father. But by the time he got there, Dario was dead."

Following his dad's murder, Michael was reunited with his mom in Miami. But Dario's friends and family members, including a brother who had been a hit man for Griselda, wanted revenge. Griselda never stayed in one place for long. She was constantly uprooting Michael from one hideout to another to stay one step ahead of her enemies and drug agents. She had safe houses in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area.

When the Godmother and her sons fled to Irvine, California, the DEA ratcheted up its hunt. According to federal court documents, agents got a big break in 1984 when an old family friend named Gerry Gomez, who was doing a ten-year prison stint, volunteered to bring Griselda and her boys down. Gomez had owned a garage in Medellín where he had serviced cars and motorcycles owned by the Blancos.

Agents tracked down Griselda's house in Irvine. On the second day of surveillance, they spotted a 6-year-old Michael at the door. His mom was standing behind him. About 20 minutes later, six DEA detectives stormed the house. Michael watched as his mom was hauled off to jail. His brothers were subsequently arrested on trafficking charges. The Blancos' run had come to an end.

During the first five years his mother was incarcerated, Michael lived with his maternal grandmother. According to his friend Cristian, the boy had access to money and homes in Colombia that the U.S. government wasn't able to seize from his mother. When Griselda was sent to prison, Michael traveled back and forth between Medellín and the Bay Area, near the correctional facility where his mom was held. Sometimes he lived on his own. He would also seek out people to give him room and board.

In 2008, Michael told AllHipHop.com that from the time he was 12 until he reached adulthood, he was raised by various legal guardians whom he did not identify. "I would meet someone that my mother would know, and I would say, 'I'm going to live in your house and I'm going to pay you rent and you're going to be my legal guardian,'" Michael told the website. "At one point, the legal guardian happened to be a minister, and he taught me a lot about the Lord."

As the gatekeeper who guards entry into Michael's world, Cristian, a rakish chap with a scraggly beard and straight, shoulder-length black hair, confirms that account. "Michael was always searching for a familial atmosphere that he lacked," Cristian says. "He came away a better person because of those experiences. Michael would give a friend the shirt off his back. That's the man of substance he is."

During his late teen years, Michael experienced a bout of depression, Cristian adds. "His entire family was in prison. He didn't know what he was going to do with his life. He certainly wasn't accustomed to getting a 9-to-5 job. I told him to start writing down his memoir because someone would one day buy his story."

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17 comments
timmynuther
timmynuther

I don't think the drug dealers were all that bad. The people paying all that money for drugs are terrible. But there is no way to eradicate the demand for drugs. There will always be a demand and someone has to supply it. If you think the people who supplied it are evil and did it the wrong way, then maybe legalize it and let the government do it in an orderly fashion. That's not so absurd. What's absurd is the "war on drugs". Didn't we once think prohibition was the answer. Look what happened during that era. 

6060842
6060842

Griselda is a parasite. Anyone who admires people like this are uneducated street clowns. All of the dealers, opportunist pilots and Jorge the assassin are going to burn in hell one day. None of what these scumbags did was of any benefit to humanity. As for the economic boom in caused in Miami, the streets should be paved with the blood and bones of the innocent.

Carlos
Carlos

What comes around, goes around! Always.

Miami01
Miami01

Yur fat dyke pig momma dies a sloooow and painful one. Yu should have perished a very long time go. And you will. Griselda is cursed and so are yu and yur children micheal. Do not spread that diseased blood any longer!

Scorbing
Scorbing

Michael Corleone....Seriously man. I have nothing but respect for you and your mother, but you need to stay away from that life my brother. This ain't the 80s anymore. Do you honestly think the Feds are not going to keep an eye on you? That time is gone my brother. You are a well-set man economically. You have legit businesses that are making you millions. Why on earth would you mess with drugs dealings? Don't mess your life up like that bro. Is not worth it.

Vanek
Vanek

Michael..Michael...they are watching you 24/7...come on man

Damon
Damon

pushed the first judges' homes My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with an excellent man! They met viaSǔGaRMinG Lё.СòM ... it is the largest and best community for sugar daddy and sugar baby to chat online. …view photos of singles near you and meet one there. It's worth a try!

charlie_oscar
charlie_oscar

Mickey Monday exudes douchebaggery and this entire case exudes wannabe'rey! Dude is basically pawning his silver fillings for blow. Nice nostalgic effort to make a case and make a story but these cats are old news with no connect! I am surprised this "sting" did not go down in the parking lot of the former Club Nu, Casanovas, The Mutiny...or Stefano’s...

79 Cadillac...Mullet hairdo...Nick Navarro (RIP) Earings, SL 400's and the geriatrics set of CENTAC 26.

yokolee
yokolee

So they learned nothing from the 80'?Cocaine is not hip anymorecan you dig it?

J.R.
J.R.

He is a criminal. Execute him or drop him off in a labor camp for life.

loveboat2010
loveboat2010

Its amazing how we glorify such distruction. Cocaine and other drugs have ruined so many lives yet we support musicians and movies that glorify this pitiful life. In a way we are all drug dealers when we buy and support differnet media outlets that create this hype about a chemical that kills. Its a vicious cylce.

MelanieBarret
MelanieBarret

my classmate's sister makes $83/hr on the internet. She has been fired for 5 months but last month her income was $7828 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read about it on this web site Many Rich. com

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Real job skills would have helped him out early on. Kind of a pity.

Buffalo_Soldiers
Buffalo_Soldiers

Oh wow. That is a movie script right there for 2013 movies. Is he and her a real member of the real Corleones? I would like to know

famgoo29
famgoo29

@Miami01

Stay away from the innocent kids you idiot

Carlos
Carlos

Respect for someone who killed almost 200 people?

Texcoco
Texcoco

You don't even know anything about this dude, his mom was the killer, not him.

 
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