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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Willie Falcon, a Miami High dropout who, along with his boyhood friend Sal Magluta, was accused of trafficking nearly $2 billion in cocaine in the Eighties and Nineties, was no longer in federal custody after being deported, CBS Miami has learned.
A Justice Department spokesman, Steven Stafford, confirmed Falcon’s departure, saying simply in a statement: “Mr. Falcon Ramos has been removed from the United States.”
Falcon, who was imprisoned since 1991, completed his prison term for money laundering and assorted other crimes last year, but was being held in an immigration facility in Louisiana while the United States sought to send him back to his native country of Cuba.
Falcon and his attorneys fought deportation to Cuba, arguing he used some of his drug proceeds to finance efforts to assassinate Fidel Castro.
Falcon claimed he faced certain death if he was sent to the island nation he left as a child. Earlier this year a federal judge rejected his argument and ordered 63-year-old deported.
The Miami Herald reported Monday evening he was sent to the Dominican Republic. CBS News has also confirmed that Falcon is in the Caribbean nation.
Falcon’s departure appears to be the result of a deal with the Justice Department in which he would stop fighting deportation if he was allowed to go to a country other than Cuba.
CBS Miami was told the deportation occurred over the weekend. The Herald reported it occurred ten days earlier on November 6.
“We are making no comment on the case,” said Steven Goldstein, one Falcon’s attorneys.
Brendan Hogan, an attorney with the Justice Department’s Office of Immigration Litigation, also declined to comment.
A spokeswoman for the U.S Attorney’s Office in Miami said she had “no information to provide.”
During their heyday, Falcon and Magluta were known throughout South Florida as “Los Muchachos” – The Boys.
They built one of the largest drug trafficking empires in the country. They lived a life that was part Miami Vice and part Scarface.
They spent money freely, had lavish homes, and became power boat racing champions. Prosecutors, however, always maintained there was a darker side, one that held on to their empire through violence and murder.
Falcon and Magluta’s first trial in the Nineties ended with an acquittal. The truth, however, soon emerged. The pair had paid off several jurors to steer the group to a not guilty verdict.
Falcon eventually pleaded guilty to money laundering charges in a deal that allowed him to complete his sentence in June 2017.
Magluta fought the charges and was convicted and sentenced to 195 years in prison.