Metro

George Jung, drug kingpin immortalized in ‘Blow,’ returns to Weymouth

Johnny Depp as George Jung in “Blow.”
LOREY SEBASTIAN
Johnny Depp as George Jung in “Blow.”

Call it blowback.

George J. Jung, the notorious drug smuggler whose exploits with the feared Medellin cartel were immortalized in books and the Johnny Depp film “Blow,” returned to his native Weymouth last week to film portions of a documentary on his life.

The documentary, currently titled “Boston George,” will chart Jung’s journey from humble beginnings on the South Shore to high-flying drug supplier helping to run an empire that spanned Florida, California, and international locales, a co-producer on the project said Monday.

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Jung’s return to Weymouth was first reported by the Patriot Ledger of Quincy. He told the newspaper that he received a surprisingly warm welcome when he arrived home for the first time in decades.

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“I didn’t know if I was going to get stoned, literally, or be told politely to leave town,” the 75-year-old Jung told the Ledger. “It was the complete opposite.”

He was not available for further comment Monday, but his life of crime has been well documented in press reports, true crime books, and, of course, the Hollywood film, cementing his cult status as a flamboyant anti-hero willing to speak candidly about his meteoric rise and crashing fall in the freewheeling drug game of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s.

Federal authorities described Jung in the mid-1990s as formerly one of the top figures in the Medellin cartel, a Colombian drug ring that supplied 80 percent of the nation's cocaine at its height in the 1980s.

He met Medellin kingpin Carlos Lehder Rivas in prison in the 1970s and later became part of his operation.

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But the lucrative partnership ended in 1985 when Jung was busted in a Fort Lauderdale sting for smuggling 660 pounds of cocaine. Three years later, Jung was the prosecution's star witness at Lehder's trial, testifying against his former friend in exchange for a reduced sentence himself.

Trouble found Jung again in 1995, when the feds raided his East Dennis home and seized between 200 and 300 pounds of marijuana. He was ultimately sentenced to 21 years and eight months in that case.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.