In the middle of Miami’s drug-operating heyday, Antonio Bascaro created waves assisting to smuggle thousands of kilos of cannabis from Colombia to the shores of South Florida. Now, practically 40 years later, Bascaro has been released from a federal prison cell, right after getting America’s longest serving non-violent marijuana criminal.
According to a deep dive from BBC Mundo reporter Lioman Lima, Bascaro served 39 years behind bars. He entered prison in 1980 on a conspiracy charge that place Bascaro at the center of a criminal organization accused of transporting some 600,000 pounds of South American pot into the U.S. Facing a prison term of 60 years, Bascaro refused to rat out his fellow smugglers, and felt the complete wrath of weed’s Schedule I status.
“I refused to cooperate due to the fact my moral values and ethics, as nicely as my military education, kept me from working with somebody else or from testifying against one more particular person to resolve my challenges,” Bascaro, who served as a pilot fighting against Fidel Castro’s revolution in the Cuban military ahead of joining the smuggling trade, told BBC Mundo. “No one particular forced me to join the conspiracy. That is why I did not cooperate or attempt to use any individual else to save my neck.”
This month, the man held on America’s longest cannabis bid was released on superior behavior. But even with 21 years commuted off of his sentence, Bascaro now faces an equally uncertain future, with no U.S. citizenship and no location to definitely contact residence.
“But exactly where to?” Antonio’s daughter, Myra Bascaro, told BBC Mundo. “To Cuba exactly where he could get arrested once again for possessing fought against Fidel Castro? To Guatemala exactly where he met my mother but exactly where he has nothing at all and no one… the nation that deported him to the United States nearly 40 years ago?”
For now, although, Bascaro is living with his household for the very first time in practically 4 decades, and readjusting to life on the outdoors. And with cannabis law reform continuing to sweep across the nation, it seems protected to say that Bascaro’s horrendous prison term record will not be topped.
For extra on Bascaro, study our interview with the prohibition victim right here.
Stick to Zach Harris on Twitter