Once a founding partner of the Colombian Medellin cocaine cartel, Jorge Valdes has turned into something different than he was before.
Netflix dropped the docuseries Cocaine Cowboys, which featured Jorge. However, Valdes isn't exactly a household name, unlike big-time leaders like Pablo Escobar and Joaquín Guzmán (also known as El Chapo).
Although he is not a household name, his life of crime is any less significant. While living in the US, he worked there as part of a big drug cartel based in Colombia.
In Cocaine Cowboys, amongst the other Miami-based drug lords depicted, Jorge stands out the most.
Since he is still alive and out of prison, it’s hard not to wonder who he is.
Who Is Jorge Valdes?
Jorge, born in Cuba but moved to the U.S. with his siblings, and their father was the U.S. head of operations for the Medellín Cartel.
Valdes was 10-year-old when they moved to Miami, Florida, for the next chapter of their lives. Later, he and his family relocated to New Jersey, where he attended Hudson Catholic High School from 1970 to 1972. Later, he attended the University of Miami to pursue his degree in Accounting.
At 17, Jorge got hired as an accountant for Federal Reserve Bank by his father’s friend. In the bank history, he was the youngest employee. After that, however, he left his job to start working in his own accounting office and found himself pursuing money and influence.
Valdes’ grocery store was a front for the drug business, and during that time, there was no Colombian Medellin drug cartel. Soon he obtained access to success, women, wealth, and connections with all kinds of individuals in a short amount of time.
When Pablo Escobar didn’t even surface, Jorge and his team sold 500 Kgs of cocaine and brought in $100 million a month.
Jorge was 21 and hadn’t seen cocaine in his life took over the administration of every American operation of the group in 1977.
After a couple of years, Valdes was captured for heading one of the largest drug conspiracies in America in 1979.
As a result, he entrusted his business to Sal and his best buddy, Willy Falcon. Nonetheless, they lied to Jorge.
Jorge was released from prison in 1985 and returned to Sal and Willy to receive his share of the money earned in the past six years. Instead, however, they told him that they had given up the work. Believing his friend, Jorge lingered in the drug trade before deciding to walk away.
However, within months, Valdes was detained and convicted on criminal counts from 1985. As a result, he received an additional ten years in prison.
In 2005, after serving his prison life, he earned his Ph.D. in Theology from the research-based Loyola University Chicago.
Jorge gave up power, money, reputation and started living a normal life. Now, he is a motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur and serves as the Chairman of the Board at COREedi. He is also the founder of Jorge Valdes Ph.D. and the Tres Hermanos Foundation.
Talking about his economic status, his net worth is estimated to be $25 million. However, during his peak as a drug kingpin, he made over $500 million.
Facts On Valdes
- Jorge was born on 29th February 1956 in Santiago de las Vegas, in Cuba. His parents remain anonymous as he never gave away details about them.
- However, he once posted a picture of his parents, brother, and sister on his Instagram account.
- He stands tall at the height of 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 meters).
- Per his social media presence, he is active on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Peeking into married life, he was once married to his wife named Sherry. However, their married life came to an end after she caught Jorge cheating and snitched everything about his drug business. She also wrote a letter to the U.S. attorney mentioning everyone’s name involved in the industry.
- After the failed marriage, Jorge believed he would never re-marry; however, he met his second wife, Sujey Valdes, in 1997. She also showered her love to his children, and eventually, they got married on 19th July 1997. He dedicated one of his Instagram posts to his wife Sujey and wrote the heartfelt letter.
- Jorge and Sujey welcomed additional two children. Now, they are parents to Esteven Valdes, Alexander Valdes, Jorge L Valdes Jr., Jade Valdes, Isabela Valdes, and Krystle Welch.
- Jorge has also become a grandpa to his beautiful grandchildren.