1970s Marijuana Kingpin Arrested at Seniors Community





A key member of a Miami-based marijuana-smuggling ring was reportedly arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service on Thursday, more than 31 years after skipping out of a federal trial.

Mark Steven Phillips, 62, was arrested in his apartment at Century Village, a seniors community where he had been living in recent months, the Miami Herald reports.

Along with 13 others, Phillips was charged in May 1979 in what was then the country's largest marijuana importation prosecution in history. The ring, known as the "Black Tuna Gang," derived its name from the radio moniker for the group's Colombian source for marijuana.

Phillips, who faces sentencing for a racketeering conviction and adjudication of fugitive charges, told U.S. Magistrate Edwin Torres that he has no property, $600 in a bank account and receives $667 in monthly Social Security benefits.

"I'm retired," Phillips told Torres, according to the Miami Herald. "Your honor, I would like to say something. I have no valid passport. Nothing but a bicycle, but I'm not going anywhere."

Authorities estimate that the ring smuggled 500 tons of marijuana into the U.S. in the mid-'70s....



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