William Roger Reaves, of Georgia, is one of the best to ever do it when it comes to the international smuggling of drugs. In the 1980s, he had close ties to the Medellin Cartel and its leadership, Pablo Escobar and Jorge Ochoa. He reportedly was responsible for $5 billion worth of cocaine entering into the United States. Like most in that life, Reaves was busted. In July 2001, he was knocked in a $400 million cocaine bust. It remains one of the largest drug busts in the history of “The Land Down Under,” doubling the previous largest shipment. In 2002, he was originally sentenced to life with a minimum of 14 years, but that minimum was increased to 18 years. During his time in the joint, he became an author, penning a text about the his rise to the highest and crash to the lowest low. The book is titled Smuggler.
That business flew hundreds of massive stashes of marijuana, hashish and cocaine into the US and sailed 20-tonne shipments from Pakistan to Thailand. He also describes how he met and later hired pilot Barry Seal to fly tonnes of cocaine around the world, landing at a small airfield in Mena, Arkansas, where a politician called Bill Clinton was the state’s governor.
After Seal was arrested, tried and convicted, he became an informant for US authorities until his murder by Colombian assassins in 1986.
A Hollywood film of Seal’s life is in production with Tom Cruise in the lead role.
In Reaves’ book Smuggler he describes how he personally earned $US7 million in just months at the height of the trade and was so influential that Escobar built him a 1000ft (304m) runway in the South American jungle to pick up tonnes of cocaine.
He also details how after a calamitous final journey to the WA coast, he and his accomplices scuttled their boat The White Dove, then ferried almost a tonne of cocaine ashore on dinghies before being arrested at gunpoint and driven to Geraldton by police.
This year, on his 73rd birthday, Reaves received an arrest warrant from the US stating that he owes the government 7934 days (21 years and nine months) in jail for a parole violation. He wrote, “I made untold millions and lived a life few can believe — and I have paid dearly, with interest, for the privilege.”
Furthermore, the Australian Federal Police are considering activating Proceeds of Crime legislation against Reaves for the book. According to Yahoo:
Within that legislation are specific guidelines on “literary proceeds” which allow the Commonwealth to recover any profits made through “any commercial exploitation of the notoriety gained from committing an offence”.
An AFP spokesman confirmed it was aware of Reaves’ book but “could not confirm or deny who it is currently investigating”.