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It’s a helluva drug, etc.
Patrick Radden Keefe • The New York Times Magazine • June 2012
How a Mexican drug cartel makes its billions.
“But Chapo’s greatest contribution to the evolving tradecraft of drug trafficking was one of those innovations that seem so logical in hindsight it’s a wonder nobody thought of it before: a tunnel. In the late 1980s, Chapo hired an architect to design an underground passageway from Mexico to the United States. What appeared to be a water faucet outside the home of a cartel attorney in the border town of Agua Prieta was in fact a secret lever that, when twisted, activated a hydraulic system that opened a hidden trapdoor underneath a pool table inside the house. The passage ran more than 200 feet, directly beneath the fortifications along the border, and emerged inside a warehouse the cartel owned in Douglas, Ariz. Chapo pronounced it ‘cool.’”
“‘When this new route was complete, Chapo instructed Martínez to call the Colombians. ‘Tell them to send all the drugs they can,’ he said. As the deliveries multiplied, Sinaloa acquired a reputation for the miraculous speed with which it could push inventory across the border. ‘Before the planes were arriving back in Colombia on the return, the cocaine was already in Los Angeles,’ Martínez marveled.”
Gus Garcia-Roberts • Miami New Times • April 2010
Scott Storch, a producer who earned six figures for beats he made in less than an hour, was worth an estimated $70 million. Then he blew it all in a bizarre cocaine binge.
“A $3 million 34-carat yellow-diamond pinkie ring crowned his personal jewelry collection, which also included a diamond watch formerly owned by Michael Jackson. He paid $20 million for a 125-foot yacht. And the pièce de résistance: his 2006 purchase of a 18,000-square-foot white-columned Palm Island mansion, dubbed Villa Ferrari, for $10.5 million.
“Storch shuffled through women who were equally expensive. He gave heiress Paris Hilton a Maybach and flew her to the French Riviera via private jet—at a cost of $275,000, according to XXL Magazine—and became full-fledged paparazzi prey by reportedly dating Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, rapper Lil' Kim, and porn star Heather Hunt.