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One Of Most Prolific Drug Smugglers In History Describes Meeting Pablo Escobar

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One Of Most Prolific Drug Smugglers In History Describes Meeting Pablo Escobar

One of the most prolific drug smugglers of all time has revealed what it was like to working for Pablo Escobar and how he escaped from prison five times.

Smuggler Roger Reaves recently spoke with YouTuber, Lex Fridman, on a podcast, in which he goes into detail of his extraordinary lifestyle. Watch below:


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Reaves grew up on a small farm in Georgia, and went from making moonshine to become one of the most proficient drug smugglers for the Medellin Cartel, one of the biggest in the world at that time.

In the cartel, Reaves worked closely with Kingpin Pablo Escobar and said that he seemed like a 'gentleman' when the pair first met.

He said: "He was just like a gentlemen when I met him. Just like you and I, sitting here, shaking hands."

Reaves was introduced to Escobar by Jorge Ochoa after a job had gone wrong and his contact had been shot.

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Ochoa - who Reaves described as 'the brains' behind the Medellin cartel - asked him about his experience flying drugs across the border, before Escobar walked into the room.

The infamous drug lord went on to lay out Reaves' job description and salary, telling him he paid $5,000 (£3,600) per kilo transported and each plane trip consisted of sending between 300 and 500 kilos of drugs.

Pablo Escobar. Credit: PA
Pablo Escobar. Credit: PA

This meant that the American could make between $1.5 and $2.5 million (£1m-£1.8m) for an eight hour plane trip.

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Fridman pointed out that some see Escobar as a 'brutal murderer', while others view him as 'a Robin Hood-like figure who helped the poor' - and he asked which Reaves thought best represented the drugs lord.

Reaves said: "Both of them. I think he started out to be honest with helping the poor, and then they had a war down there.

"When I heard about Escobar blowing up that airliner and killing those women and children, I was sorry I ever shook his hand. That's brutal murder."

Reaves was referring to the bombing of Avianca Flight 203 in 1989, which killed 110 people.

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The man behind the bombing - Dandeny Munoz-Mosquera - was widely believed to be working on the orders of Escobar and the Medellin cartel.

Roger Reaves escaped from prison five times. Credit: YouTube/Lex Fridman
Roger Reaves escaped from prison five times. Credit: YouTube/Lex Fridman

When Reaves was asked if he would do it all again his response was: "No way,"

"It wasn't worth 33 years in prison being away for my lovely family."

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Despite escaping five times, Reaves spent more than three decades in 26 different prisons in seven different countries within four continents.

Reaves also described how he was almost tortured to death in a Mexican prison.

Attempting to make the American admit to his crimes, they 'bent him over' and injected hot chilli pepper into his anus. They also beat him and almost drowned him until he was 'black and blue and yellow' from head to toe.

At the end of the day, the drug smuggler doesn't think he was much of a criminal, claiming: "I don't lie, cheat or steal, violence makes me sick."

Featured Image Credit: YouTuber - Lex Clips/PA

Topics: World News, Pablo Escobar, crime

Anish Vij
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