Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was a Colombian drug trafficker who, during his peak in the ‘80s, controlled over 80 percent of the cocaine shipped to the United States, according to Biography, earning him a place on Forbes’ list of the 10 wealthiest people in the world.
Escobar became involved in the cocaine trade in the 1970s as part of the Medellin Cartel. In 1975, following the death of cartel leader Fabio Restrepo, Escobar seized control of the cartel and began to massively expand the its operation.
He earned popularity among many Colombians for his charity projects and soccer clubs, but later terror campaigns, resulting in thousands of deaths, turned public opinion against him. He was killed by Colombian police in 1993.
It’s impossible to run an organization the size and scope of the Medellin Cartel without an enormous amount of help and associates around the world.
According to Escobar’s son, Sebastian Marroquin, one of those partners was none other than singer Frank Sinatra.
The Daily Mail reported that Marroquin told a Brazilian newspaper that New Jersey-born Sinatra was one of Escobar’s partners in Miami.
He claimed that Sinatra was a “better cocaine dealer than a singer” and that Sinatra was one of his father’s partners in Miami.
When he was asked how he could be so sure that was true, Marroquin replied “there are more singers than you can imagine that began their careers thanks to the sponsorship of drug traffickers.”
He also said, “There are no receipts, just words. I know because I was very close to my father, and he and his partners always spoke about that.”
Sinatra was certainly known to have ties with organized crime in the U.S. According to History, Sinatra’s FBI file read like a guide to organized crime figures. Even though Sinatra always denied having any connections to the Mob, he did have connections with various figures in Mob organizations, such as Chicago Mob boss Sam Giancana, whom he had a close friendship with.
He was also seen with Mob members from Philadelphia and Detroit. He flaunted friendships with various members of organized crime families, but he also offered to snitch on some of them.
In 1950 he made an offer to J. Edgar Hoover to become an informant, maybe to defuse rumors that he, himself, was part of the Mob. Hoover declined.
All of these incidents happened decades before Sinatra met the Escobars. Do any of these things necessarily indicate that he, personally, was ever involved in illegal activity? Not really.
He certainly was never prosecuted for anything. All it really demonstrates is that Sinatra didn’t pick his friends based on their moral code.
In his 2009 book, The Accountant’s Story, Pablo Escobar’s brother, Roberto, related that they once dined with Sinatra “on petty cash,” while on holiday in Las Vegas. He said that they ate in a private dining room at Caesars Palace.
During that supper, Pablo Escobar told Sinatra that they were planning to take a helicopter tour of Las Vegas, and Sinatra offered to go along as their guide. This meeting happened before Escobar became so well known.
Roberto talked about what an honor he thought it was to meet Sinatra and went on to say that the person who introduced them told Sinatra that the Escobars were real estate developers.
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Reportedly, when Pablo Escobar began to become infamous, Sinatra called the friend who had made the introduction, and asked if this was the same man he met in Las Vegas. When he received an affirmative answer, he was said to have been very firm about not wanting any other contact or association with him.