JACKSONVILLE, FLA., NOV. 18 -- A former cellmate of Carlos Lehder testified today that he set up a nationwide distribution network for Lehder, who once had his mother take $800,000 worth of drugs from Miami to Los Angeles.
George Jung, who met accused cocaine czar Lehder in the Danbury, Conn., federal prison in 1974, said he resisted Lehder's repeated requests to meet a Richard Burlie, his West Coast dealer.
"I loved him as a brother and eventually broke down," Jung said. By 1977, Jung said Lehder had eliminated him from the operation, so he met him in Nassau, Bahamas, to talk about his suspicions. "I met him there and confronted him with my suspicions and he told me yes, he was working with Burlie . . . and I was no longer needed in his organization," Jung said.
Prosecutors charge that Lehder, a leader of Colombia's Medellin Cartel, is responsible for as much as 75 percent of the U.S. cocaine supply and numerous murders.
Jung said Lehder told him that M19, a Colombian revolutionary group, was protecting him and carrying out his executions in that country.
"He mentioned making somewhere up from several hundreds of millions of dollars by transporting cocaine into the United States," Jung said. "He related to me that he was the king of drug transportation, the king of cocaine."