"Jon Roberts, Smuggler in Cocaine Cowboys, Dies"
"Griselda Blanco, Miami's Cocaine Queen, Assassinated In Medellin Butcher Shop"
"Cocaine king Max Mermelstein came out of hiding for a screenwriter"
The golden years hasn't turned out so good for most of the retired drug traffickers featured in Rakontur's trail-blazing documentary Cocaine Cowboys. Max Mermelstein, the Medellin Cartel drug smuggler who later testified against the organization, succumbed to cancer at age 65 in 2008. Last year, cancer also claimed the life of Mermelstein's ex-pal Jon Roberts, who was 63 when he died. On Sunday, 69-year-old ex-cocaine queenpin Griselda Blanco joined Mermelstein and Roberts in the afterlife. She was gunned down by a motorcycle assassin in Medellin, Colombia.
That leaves Miami native son Mickey Munday as the last ex-doper featured in the documentary who is still alive and not behind bars. (Jorge "Rivi" Ayala, Blanco's ex-hitman, is serving consecutive life sentences in state prison).
"They're either all dead or in jail forever," Munday says. "I am the last one standing, really."
Munday never fit the profile of your average cold-blooded drug smuggler. A North Miami High alum, he studied architecture and drafting in college. He didn't get into the game until he was 33-years-old, which he did out of boredom. He organized the sale of 2,000 pounds of pot for a friend.
After meeting Mermelstein, Munday joined a crew that spent the 1980s importing $2 billion worth of yeyo into Miami. In Cocaine Cowboys, Roberts described Munday as "MacGyver" because of the ingenious ways he would come up with to surreptitiously evade law enforcement.
But the party ended when Mermelstein flipped on his cohorts in 1987. Munday spent five years on the lam before he was caught. He served seven years in prison. He and Roberts sold their story rights to Paramount Pictures.
But unlike Mermelstein, Roberts and Blanco, the 66-year-old pilot was never involved in any murders, which means Munday doesn't have any bad karma hovering over him.
"The violence never made sense to me," he says. "They would spend more time trying to figure out how to steal $10,000 from each other instead of how to make a million bucks together. And everybody wanted to be el jefe. There was a lot of time spent shooting one another instead of making money."
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Although Munday had a close call with mortality this past July 4. An avid cyclist, Munday was riding in North Miami when a car made a right turn on red, crashing into him.
"I was in the intensive care unit of Jackson Memorial Hospital for five days," he says. "I had a fractured rib, collapsed lung and stitches and staples all over me."
When he heard the news of Blanco's assassination this weekend, Munday says he was surprised one of her enemies hadn't gotten to her sooner. "People never forget," he adds.