Last ‘Cocaine Cowboy’ rustled up in Florida

Except he was the real thing.

But Falcon was hiding in plain site with his family in a rental home in Kissimmee.

“We pulled his driver’s license and saw it was the same Gustavo Falcon.” “We figured this all out a month ago,” Golden said.

With his older brother Willie, the Miami Herald said the Cowboys turned the Miami area into a drug trafficking hub — and the murder capital of the country.

But he was right under the noses of law enforcement all along. For 26 years he was on the run and believed to be hiding under an assumed name in either Mexico or Colombia.

Cops say that with Gustavo Falcon’s arrest, the book has been closed on the city’s wild west Miami Vice era.

A fake license with a suburban Miami address tipped them off that he was in the Kissimmee area and they began watching him in recent days. The Marshals got lucky when Falcon got into a car accident in the Orlando area in 2013.

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He was sentenced to 20 years in the big house but is expected to be freed in June.

“Nobody thought he was in the United States,” Barry Golden, a deputy and spokesman with the U.S. Marshals Service, told the Miami Herald.

However, Willie Falcon was retried in 2003 after detectives realized witnesses and one jury member from the initial trial had been bought off.

Falcon was arrested Wednesday, April 12, 2017, some 26 years after he went on the lam, while on a 40-mile bike ride with his wife near the Orlando suburb where they apparently lived under assumed names. He is scheduled to have his first appearance in Orlando federal court on Thursday, before his expected transfer to Miami. This undated photo provided by Orange County Corrections shows Gustavo Falcon, the last of South Florida’s “Cocaine Cowboys”. (Orange County Corrections via AP) Gustavo Falcon, 55, also known as Taby, was booked into the Orlando County jail, Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the 55-year-old gangster was arrested by U.S. Marshals outside Orlando where he was living.

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“He’s the last of the Cocaine Cowboys,” Golden said.

His brother and another co-conspirator were acquitted in 1996.

The last of the Cocaine Cowboys was last seen in South Florida just before he was indicted in 1991 on charges of conspiring to import and distribute 75 tons of cocaine into the U.S.
Gustavo Falcon could have stepped out of any episode of the iconic 1980s crime show Miami Vice.

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He used the name Luis Reiss. Falcon had obtained bogus driver’s licenses for himself, wife Amelia and his two adult children.

bhunter@postmedia.com