Last year, one of the most wanted drug lords in the world, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was captured and prosecuted by Mexican and American authorities, locking away one of the most feared criminal figures. However, while imprisoning “the most powerful drug trafficker in the world”, as the United States Department of Treasury calls him, is a successful step towards winning the war on drugs, El Chapo isn’t the only enemy of the state.
Every continent has its all-mighty narcotics kingpins, and in some cases, the characters are so infamous that cinematographers have based their movies and documentaries on them. In fact, one of the 5 best documentaries on Netflix focuses on retired drug dealers and their journey through a life of crime and hustle. Nonetheless, for now let’s shift our vision towards the real-life runners of the narcotics game, as well as past legends: these are the most wanted drug lords.
5. Frank Lucas
One of the drug lords that will be forever remembered through film is Frank Lucas. In American Gangster, Denzel Washington portrays the story of the trafficker who cut out his middleman, in order to smuggle large quantities of heroin into the United States. Although he was clever enough to hide the stashes in coffins of dead American soldiers coming home from Vietnam, his boastful attitude played against him and Lucas was caught in 1976. In spite of being sentenced to 70 years in prison, he was released five years later and is now part of the witness protection programme.