When people think about an infamous couple who were also each other’s partners in crime, they will most likely have Bonnie and Clyde on their minds. However, there were other, equally intriguing couples who committed crimes together, and this is the case with George Jung and his first wife, Mirtha Jung. While a lot is known about George, we can’t help but wonder, what brought him and his ex-wife together? And what kind of life is she having today?
Early life and Education
Mirtha Jung was born as Mirtha Calderon in Cuba.
There are some speculations about her birth date, as several sources state that she was born on 3rd December, while others say the day was 3rd August – Jung herself is yet to confirm the exact date. What is known is that the year of her birth was 1952. Despite being born in Cuba, sometime during her childhood she moved to Columbia. She now holds both Cuban and American nationality. During her teen years, she became addicted to several drugs, including cocaine.
Marriage to George Jung
Mirtha met drug dealer George Jung sometime during the ‘70s when he communicated with the fragment of his cartel that was set-up in Columbia.
Despite the 10-year age gap, the couple fell in love and started dating soon after.
Jung was a drug smuggler who was a major part of the Medellin Cartel, founded by Pablo Escobar and quickly became one of the biggest players in the big cocaine trade that was going on in the US during the ‘70s and the ‘80s, and the Medellin Cartel was responsible for around 85% of the cocaine that was smuggled into the US during this time. Jung’s nickname with the gang was Al Americano, and he worked mostly with his contacts in Colombia, which is where he met Mirtha.
After several years of dating, the couple married in 1977.
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Their only child, a daughter named Kristina Sunshine Jung, was born on 1st August 1978. The duo kept on with their drug-related activities even after the baby was born.
George connected Mirtha with the Medellin Cartel after their meeting, and the duo started operating together. During the decade, they smuggled several tons of drugs from Colombia into the US, and earned millions. Mirtha was an equal partner with George, so they shared their profits equally. However, their illegal activities started bringing discomfort into the couple’s lives, due to the dangers the drug-dealing business. After George ended up in prison in the middle ‘80s, Mirtha filed for divorce, and thus ended this Bonny-and-Clyde-like romance. Their marriage was ended in 1984.
Struggles with Drugs
Mirtha was a drug user from her teenage years. The addiction was so severe that she kept on using cocaine even while she was pregnant, despite numerous doctors advising her to stop, and continued after the birth of her daughter. Several months after she gave birth, she was arrested for drug possession and sentenced to three years in prison. While jailed, she made tremendous efforts to stop using cocaine, because she wanted to be a better mother for her child. She managed to quit her addiction before she was released in 1981, and several years later she cut ties with everything drug-related when she divorced her husband.
George was arrested several times, but the longest sentence came in 1994 in Topeka, Kansas USA, when he was apprehended with 1,754lbs (796kg) of cocaine. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 60 years in prison, initially in Otisville Federal Prison located in Mount Hope, New York US, but was quickly transferred to Federal Correction Institution La Tuna, in Anthony, Texas US. After testifying against his former partner in crime, Carlos Lehder, his sentence was reduced sentence to 20 years. He was released on parole on 27th November 2014 but was arrested again on 6th December 2016 for a parole violation, released again on 3rd July 2017 into a halfway house, and as of April 2020 hasn’t been arrested again.
After her divorce, Mirtha raised her daughter as a single mother. Several years after the divorce, she remarried to Romain Karan, and the couple had two children of their own. Similar to her, George Jung also married for the second time, to Ronda Clay Spinello, and they have a daughter together, called Clara. Both couples now live in the USA, albeit separately and far from each other.
While Mirtha was in prison, her daughter was given to George’s parents, Fredrick Jung and Ermine Jung, who had full custody of the girl for several years. Kristina Sunshine Jung became a writer and a poet, and she is rumored to have started writing her mother’s biography.
Mirtha’s marriage to George was portrayed in the 2001 film “Blow” directed by Ted Demme. The movie was inspired by George’s connection with the Medellin Cartel, and focused on his relationship with his wife and daughter. The couple was portrayed by one of the best-known names in Hollywood, as Mirtha was played by Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp was George. The movie even won an MTV Movie Award in 2002.
Mirtha’s last public appearance was some time after the film premiered in 2001, when she gave an interview to a newspaper from Texas.
Nothing is known about Mirtha’s current career or business path. As she lost all of the money she earned while smuggling drugs, nothing is known of her earnings today. Some sources estimate her net worth at around $150,000 from film royalties, but the exact amount is not disclosed. It also isn’t known whether or not she has any real estate or cars registered to her name.
Mirtha is a slim woman who stands at 5ft 6ins (1.67m) tall and weighs around 121lbs (55kgs). She has blue eyes and on her latest public appearance had blonde hair, although during her time with George Jung, her curls were black.