Could Colombia be making a play to return to its days of glory, back in the late 1970s, when it was likely the number one supplier of marijuana in the world? One could easily assume as much based upon the multi-ton busts happening there recently.
Colombian police seized almost 10,000 pounds — nearly five tons — of marijuana over the span of three drays in Medellin and Pereira, authorities said on Monday, reports Sara Gates at The Huffington Post.
According to Colombia Reports, in the main bust, Medellin police arrested four men who tried to smuggle 5,000 pounds of weed in a truck carrying oranges. The payload, consisting of “more than 101 bales of marijuana,” weighed about 5,597 pounds.
Authorities said the pot was meant for the domestic Colombian market, and said the total value of the bales was $1.69 million U.S. dollars. (That works out to just over $16,732 per 55-pound bale, or just over $300 a pound.)
Medellin police assumed the big load belonged to the crime lord known only as “Sebastian,” head of the “Ofricina de Envigado.” This is the crime syndicate founded by the late Pablo Escobar which allegedly holds majority control of Medllin’s underworld.
Authorities on Saturday arrested a man identified only as “Frank,” whom they claim is Sebastian’s brother and second-in-command.
Medellin police said their seizure of large shipments of marijuana, along with the alleged arrest of Sebastian’s second-in-command, represent huge wins in Colombia’s War On Drugs.
Authorities also found recent success in Pereira, Colombia — about 100 miles south of Medellin — with the seizure of four more tons of marijuana with an “estimated street value” of US $5.5 million.
Could the multi-ton busts signal a return to the days of the 1970s, when $40 ounces of Santa Marta Gold and Colombian Redbud flooded our shores, thanks to brave smugglers like Robert Platshorn and the Black Tuna Gang? Well, probably not, at least as long as demand in Colombia keeps up with supply; that removes their incentive to risk shipping the weed to the U.S.