The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on July 7, 1993 · 52
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 52

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 7, 1993
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52 THE BOSTON GLOBE WEDNESDAY, JULY 7, 1993 Weymouth's wayward son: George Jung says he has no JUNG Continued from Page 49 him to prison for the rest of his life. And he has lived to tell all about it "They got Carlos because the cartel turned him in. People ask why I'm still walking around - because Escobar and I are like this," Jung said, holding up two crossed fingers. "I asked permission to testify against Lehder and they turned him in down there. You don't get caught in Colombia and taken in by the United States unless the cartel wants you to be taken in. They are the government; they rule the country. And I created this whole thing," Jung said, smiling. "This kid from Weymouth created the Medellin cartel." Jung's voice has the woozy pitch and sway of someone who has had a lifetime of too much drink. Indeed, on a recent afternoon Jung was polishing off his third Scotch on the rocks less than an hour past noon, ' although he maintains that cigarettes - Camels, to be precise - are the only addiction he has yet to conquer. Born and raised in Weymouth nearly 51 years ago, Jung had little in his childhood to suggest his later criminal turns. He was one of two children born to Frederick and Ermine Jung. Fred Jung ran a lucrative business servicing heating accounts from his own truck. In 1948, the Jungs moved to Abigail Adams Circle, the town's fanciest area with its two-story, Colonial-style houses. Jung was always an unspectacular student. From the first grade he had difficulty reading, and he did not learn his multiplication tables until he was entering the fifth grade. Unmoved by academics, Jung turned to athletics and was a football standout at Weymouth High School. He received his first taste of power and prestige as a high school halfback in this town, which shed its blood, sweat and tears for its young gridiron heroes. "We put on our uniforms and the streets would be lined with people. Football was the ultimate. It ruled the universe," said Jung, still impressed by the memory. "We'd walk down the streets in our gold and white uniforms to the stadium. People would cheer us. It was great" His on-field popularity was sustained off the field as well. While the other guys sported crewcuts, Jung opted for a style reminiscent of a then-popular TV detective, Peter Gunn - a little longer and flatter than a crewcut. Because his mother worked at several department stores, Jung had a credit card and would buy herringbone jackets, khaki pants, penny loafers and Jack Purcell tennis sneakers. While other friends were doing the Mashed Potato and Stroll, Jung was kickin' cool ii Mm tirf! At Loeb Drama Center: CAKEWALK a tunny & deeply moving new play about Lillian Hellman and her love affair with a younger man July 7-9, 13-17 at 8; July 1 1 at 2; July 18 at 2&7. ORPHEE world premiere opera by Phillip Glass, based on the film by Jean Cocteau Final 2 times: July 6, 10 at 8. At Hasty Pudding Theatra: REDUCED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY performs THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) July 6-10 at 8; July 11 at 2&7; THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA (ABRIDGED) July 13-1 7 at 8; July 18 at 2&7. For all tickets: 547-8300. Experience the magic of the Boston Pops and the John Williams Jubilee Season through July 11 at Symphony Hall. Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 7:30pm. Tickets: $10.50-33.50. Good seats available. Call SymphonyCharge (617) 266-1200. "A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE" "The music soars!" (WBZ-TV) Now In Its final weeks thru Sept. 121 Tues.-Sat. at 8; Thurs. & Sun. 2 p.m. Student Rushf Seniors V4 price Thurs. Mats, at 2 p.m. Call Info (617) 426-6912 or (617) 931-3100 to Charge Tlxl "SHEAR MADNESS" The original company of the famed comedy whodunit, A Boston entertainment institution for 14 years. 7-time winner of Boston Globe "Best Comedy of the Year." Tuesday through Friday at 8:00; Saturday at 6:30 & 9:30; Sunday at 3:00 & 7:30. Tickets: $20-$26. Charge by phone at (617) 426-5225. Charles Playhouse, Stage 11. HUM The first musical in Wm. Finn's trilogy that culminates with "March of the Falsettos" and "Falset-toland." Presented in its Boston premiere at the Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon. July 9 - Aug. 8 Wed-Sun at 8 pm, Sat & Sun at 3 pm. Tickets $22 and $18 at 437-7172. Order now! CITY OF ANGELS, starring John James (of Tony Awards including Best Musical. Mon.-Sat. ENGLEBERT HUMPERDINCK, July 18 & 19. FOREVER PLAID "Sensationall" (Globe) Tues.-Sat. at 8; Mats: Thurs. & Sat. at 2, Sun. 3 p.m. Spec. Summer Discounts: Seniors $1 0 off all perfs. Kids under 1 2 half price - plus free ice cream and soda! Legal Seafood Dinner Packages 4 Au Bon Pain Picnic Packages avail, at B.O. Call (617) 357-8384. "A Little Night Music ' by Tony Award Winner STEPHEN SONDHEIM. Turtle Lane Playhouse, 283 Melrose St., Newton. July 16-Aug. 22. Thurs.-Sat. 8 pm, Sun. 7 pm. $15 417. Special Rates for Seniors and Group Student Rush Friday. Reservations 244-0169. ; WI 1fW ttffiWM Special exhibition features impressionist Anders Zom; other gallenes contain art by such masters as Rembrandt, Titian, and Matisse. Recently conserved TRAGEDY OF LUCRETRIA by Botticelli on view. Tues-Sun. 11 am-5 pm. Info: 566-1401. July 10 and 11 One of N.E.'s finest snows, with work in 19tn and 20th century crafts traditions by 100 nationally acclaimed artisans. Furniture, textiles, folk art, metal work, ceramics, woodenware. and toys exhibited and sold in the Round Stone Barn. Junction of Routes 20 and 41, Pittsfield, MA. (413) 443-0188. K. r George Jung In West Weymouth in with records by Lionel Hampton, Ella Fitzgerald and Erroll Garner. Everyone agreed Jung was a natural ringleader. "George had this thing about him that made people just want to be around him; they liked to tell their friends they'd been with George," says Malcolm MacGregor, a school chum, in the book. "George was always bolder than anyone, always doing things that were out of the ordinary. He'd do just about anything if it would make him different from everybody else." After graduating from high" school in 1961, Jung kicked around Weymouth doing odd jobs such as bricklaying before skipping off for a brief stay at the University of Southern Mississippi. Bored with school, he and a Weymouth pal went to California, lured by the promise of sunshine and bikini-clad beauties. For a young man who didn't even smoke cigarettes, Jung quickly fell into the druggy haze of California life. "I never thought about doing anything illegal. Never. I wanted tc get a scholarship to college, major in advertising and become an account executive. That's what I wanted until Ik - Ifiii Mmtt Dynasty). Boston area premiere! Winner of 6 eves through July 10, matinees July 7,8. Group rates available. 508-922-8500. ; W "): f ! lJ 1993 and (below) in a yearbook photo I got to California. That's what turned me around completely," he said. "It didn't take long. I went out to a different world. I was like, 'Hey, what the hell is this? Wow! The Land of Oz. I'm never coming back now.' In the beginning I went to Long Beach and tried to do the school thing, then eventually I just said, 'Screw it I don't need this.' " . Jung's entry into the drug business started small. Like many other "A hair-raising hitl'-NEwswuK SllElR CHARGE BY PHONE 426-5225 Tue.-Frl. 8; Sat. 630 & 930; Sun. 3 & 730 ALL SEATS S20 AWD $26 Dinnar packaga available at naarby Ramington't raitaurant lot $6 mora par tick at KJ!H:I.1-JIVJ!!.IIH4: i .i'..'". TTT1 JOIN US FOR THE FINAL CONCERTS OF THE JOHN WILLIAMS JUBILEE SEASON JULY 6-1 1AT SYMPHONY HALL THURSDAY, JULY 8, AT 8PM FRIDAY, JULY 9, AT 8PM Ronald Feldman conducting Ronald Lowry, cello Favorite music by John Williams, including excerpts from the Rim scores E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial) and For and Away, and music by selected French composers, including Debussy's Fetes from Nocturnes, Ravel's Alborada del gracioso, and Saint-Saens' Cello Concerto No. 1 . GOOD SEATS AVAILABLE Tickets from SI 0.50 to $33.50 CALL SYMPHONYCHARGE AT (61 7)566-1 200. i 1 A '." BOSTON from 1961. 'George had this thing about him that made people just want to be around him; they liked to tell their friends they'd been with George.' MALCOLM MacGREGOR High school friend drug users, he would buy two bags of pot, smoke one and sell the other just to buy more pot Eventually, his business grew - he would buy a few pounds of marijuana for $60, break them into 35 one-ounce bags, then sell those for $10 each. But it wasn't until 1967 that Jung realized just how lucrative the drug business could be. Frank Shea, a friend and University of Massachusetts at Amherst ' student, while visiting California, Auowf waiKwim Tonight ratsy Gli PiltCV RON DELIA CHIESA WGBH-FM ine Starring SANDY MARTIN Tuos. thru Sat. 8 PM, Matt. Thurs. ft Sun. 2 PM TICKETPRO: 931-3100 STUDENT RUSH CHARLES PLAYHOUSE: 426-6912 GLOBE ADS PAY BEST, TRY OXEXD SEE I I FROM "BLOW" told Jung about the burgeoning use of marijuana among college students in western Massachusetts. What Jung could buy in California for $125 could be sold in Amherst for $200 to $300. "We looked at each other and I said, 'Oh really, Frank? I'll tell you what. Why don't you go back to school, we'll sell our cars, and we'll have enough money to get the pot, and we'll start running it back to Amherst. We'll make more money than any PhD,' " Jung said. "That's how it all started." Soon, Jung and his cohorts, including his stewardess girlfriend, who smuggled marijuana on airplanes, were making $50,000 a month. Then Jung decided it was time for his gang to start smuggling their own marijuana from Mexico. Jung got his pilot's license, and suddenly $50,000 a month was a staggering $250,000 a month. All along his family knew what he was doing. Actually, once law enforcement got wind of Jung's activities, it was impossible for his family to remain oblivious to their son's business. Cops and feds were constantly scoping the Jungs' Wey- BEST DiaMfTklltn, 1993! CAFE Boston Randolph Nitick'Nuhui.NHI r-Bosltift longest Ranalnj Mtulcal Comedy! -i 7 wtoTWmaPM UTS l9PKjIUTSfM TUB ITRT I rtPHV mbhanoveh street ItttAlM LUddI B08T0N 8 north end Say-931-ARTSlnto: 227-9872 ri7TTPIfWT.y.'ttf 1J PWmifn KVm Paclcaaes! Kid under 13 Half Price plus Free Ice Cream ft Sodal Swmn Boat Rideal GROUPS: J57-83M OR 42H444 LEGAL SEAFOOD DINNER PKGS. I AU BON PAIN PICNIC PKGS. AVAIL. CALL BOX OFFICE 357-I3M (617) J31-M00 THE TERRACE ROOM AT THE BOSTON PARK PIA2A HOTEL i I KsA rV617)524 1 i TT"3 regrets mouth home looking for George. In fact, when he was finally arrested in 1974 for marijuana smuggling, he was nabbed hiding in his bedroom in his parents' home. He was sent to federal prison in Danbury, Conn., where he met a young, handsome Colombian named Carlos Lehder. "Danbury was like crime school," said Jung, flicking away ashes from a cigarette. "You meet everybody in there - guys who taught you how to launder money, everything. It's incredible." By this time, Jung was no longer seduced solely by the drugs, the women and the money of criminal life. It was the life itself. What he really loved was the game. "It's a high. It's a better high than drugs; it's a natural high. You-could even equate it to those fighter pilots. You're afraid, but pretty soon you cross over and overcome fear. That's when you become the most' dangerous son of a bitch that walks the face of the earth," he said. "I didn't care about the money. I cared about being a showoff, a wiseguy. Once it becomes the game, you can't. -get out of it." When Jung was released from prison in 1976, he began smuggling cocaine and was immersed in a world unlike any he had ever known. For starters, the money reaped smug-'"1' giing cocaine made the cash made on" ' ' maryuana look like pocket change. But what also increased was the dan-', ' , ger, and Jung soon learned that "the ' maryuana business is done with a ' handshake; the cocaine business is done with a gun." Jung won't say whether he ever . pulled a trigger on anyone, but he . -admits he saw others murdered and .. ' was the target of several murder. . plots once his association with .... Lehder began to go sour in the -, 1980s. Whatever he has done, he claims to regret nothing - especially , the havoc cocaine has wreaked on American society since the 1980s. "There was no moral question. It '-' wasn't the fact that Carlos and I had the courage to be bad; it was that no one in the country had the courage to be good," he said. "It's a business. I have no regrets about it. What good does it do living in the past with regrets? I live my life for now , and tomorrow. What happened yes- ' ' terday I can't change.' ; But there are some things Jung ,. would change. He is estranged from his only chpd, Kristina, 15, who lives , in California with Jung's ex-wife, . Mirtha. "She's embarrassed by me and what I've done. I hope when she . gets older, we can work things out." . And he is also wistful about the toll ' his activities took on his relationship with his parents, especially his father, who died in 1988. His mother would not allow Jung to visit his father when the elder Jung was dying. Instead, Jung made a tape for his fa-. ther. It is a rambling tape, which never offers an apology but attempts . to forge a final, fragile peace be- . tween father and son. "They said he used to go out and play it in his car every day. I broke his heart. I destroyed him. I didn't turn out to be the college graduate, the advertising account executive, a normal human being," he said. "It '. burns out after a while with the fed- ' eral government knocking on your ' parents' door week after week after week, telling them your son's armed and dangerous, he's a maniac. He ' -just couldn't take it anymore." These days, Weymouth is just a' faded part of Jung's past. For the ; past 10 years, his mother has lived in , ' Indiana near his sister. Jung spends r I much of his time on the Cape, al- ' though he is thinking about moving back to Florida, where he lived dur- '. , ing the height of his cartel smuggling. He has kicked cocaine, which he now calls a "goddamned evil drug," but still indulges his first il-" '. legal love, maryuana. He is playfully ' vague about how he earns a living '. these days, but claims he has more than enough money to keep him sat- . isfied for years. And for all his travels and travails, he still considers himself "a kid from Weymouth," a former Cub Scout and local football hero, who still fiercely believes his life was a series of "ifs and accidents." "If Frank Shea didn't go to San ; Francisco that summer, who knows what I might have done? If Carlos Lehder hadn't been assigned to my top bunk, who knows. Between the T I and the T there's a mile," Jung said, ; sucking on his umpteenth cigarette.:; . "Who knows, maybe I'm not out of -the life. Maybe I'm playing both ' ends against the middle. Maybe I'm smarter now than I used to be. I stilt" love the game. Ell always love tr game." .

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