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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Coronado Company Drug-Smuggling Ring

One of Coronado's deep, dark scandals will soon be made into a Hollywood movie. According to entertainment website, Oscar-winning actor George Clooney is said to be interested in making the movie called "Coronado High," based on a the exploits of some Coronado High School students who started their own drug trade in the 1970s. The film will be an adaptation of an upcoming article by Joshua Bearman. The students, who called themselves the Coronado Company, smuggled small amounts of marijuana from Tijuana to Coronado on their surfboards.

"You know, go to Mexico, buy the drugs, strap them to a surfboard and paddle north into the ocean and then surf into the Silver Strand," said former U.S. Attorney Pete Nunez. Nunez eventually prosecuted the Coronado Company after the group smuggled drugs from 1972 to 1981. The teens started innocently enough, according to Nunez. "Small time, you know, a kilo or two or three," said Nunez. The group then went international, smuggling from Southeast Asia to Lebanon. "Shipping motherships worth, tons, ton-quantities of drugs back to the United States," said Nunez.

The crew made hundreds of millions of dollars, and their exploits were featured on "60 Minutes." In 1985, Nunez prosecuted more than 60 members of the Coronado Company and won. The story then ended.. Clooney is said to be teaming up with producer Grant Heslov for "Coronado High." They worked together on the Oscar-winning film "Argo." Below is an excerpt of the GQ article detailing the exploits of the group..

The story seemed too incredible—too Hollywood—to be true: A group of twentysomething surfers and a former high school Spanish teacher form one of the most successful smuggling operations in the country. When writer Joshuah Bearman, author of the story that became Oscar-winning Argo, came upon the story, he thought it was improbable at best and, at worst, apocryphal. Then he started reporting... and reporting... making call after call, building trust with every surviving member of what would eventually be called the Coronado Company. "It was difficult to piece together," Bearman says now. "Everyone was wary when they first talked to me, but eventually I gained their trust." Nine months later, he knew that the true, full story—its every twist and turn—was even more incredible than those first sketchy details. What started with a single surfer, swimming a few bales of crappy pot from Mexico, became a worldwide operation, specializing in trans-Oceanic smuggling and Thai Stick, the most potent, valuable stuff on Earth.
You can visit the GQ article in totality here.

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