Bobby Tuna Pt. 1: Robert Platshorn
In the events that follow there are several discrepancies in dates and years between the official government indictments and the stories told by robert platt horn and the other figures figures involved when a date is uncertain. We've gone with the date provided by platform himself summer in columbia nineteen seventy seven bobby plant horn washed impatiently as indigenous laborers loaded the last few bales of marijuana into the body of the the old d c three cargo plane the colombian heat hung around him like a damp cloak without the slightest hint of a breeze another dan mosquito he'd be eaten alive before this trip is throw bobby knew they had finished loading the grass and get off the ground soon and not just because of the police the army and robing groups of political rebels. Were very active in the area. Finally the fuel fuel truck finished filling. The planes tanks and pulled away into the trees. Thank god time to get out of here. Bobby turned to order everyone onto the plane. When several voices called out chunk kilo hombres everyone around him raise their hands into the air instantaneously bobby bobby looked around at all the laborers bewildered he had no idea what was going on or who had called out then he saw them colombian soldiers carrying old m one carbine stepping out of the trees along either side of the airstrip he grimaced this is not not good not good at all and i'm kate leonard and this is kingpins a a podcast original every friday we journey inside the ranks of organized crime rings from street gangs to mafiosos to understand how a kingpin kingpin or queen pin rises to the top of the underworld and why they fall as we follow the lives of infamous crime bosses will explore how money and power change them and now it changed the community around them. This is our first episode on robert platt shorn who for a time in the mid nineteen seventies was one of the nation's biggest marijuana smugglers working out of south florida. His black tuna gang reputedly imported a million pounds of marijuana into the u._s. In just a year and a half this week will explore his rise from working. Thing is a pitch man in atlantic city to running a multi-million dollar pot smuggling network out of a fancy miami beach hotel and next week. We'll look at how a joint f._b._i. M._d._a. investigation finally reeled in platte shorn and his black tuna gang making them the first major major catch in the war on drugs at par cast. We're grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and instagram at par cast in twitter at marquess network and if you enjoy today's episode the best way to help is to leave of a five star review wherever you're listening. It really does help us. We also now have merchandise ted park cast dot com slash merch for more information formation by late nineteen seventy seven robert platt shorn and his childhood friend robert monster leinster had been working as middlemen in the marijuana business for several years known as bobby and robbie respectively to their associates the two roberts i would buy loads of marijuana from local dealers and sell it to their customers laundering their drug money through a car dealership called the south florida auto auction. It was a good system and they made a decent profit but they knew that if they wanted to make the good money the really big money they needed to start start importing the goods themselves directly from the source with that in mind in late nineteen seventy seven they began planning a trip to colombia robby would stay back in miami to oversee the car business and bobby would fly to columbia with their new business partner gene myers known own as big gene myers was a pilot and it started out as one of bobby's small time customers wanting to join the syndicate to help grow at even the larger he was now working with his former suppliers full-time the three wannabe smugglers had ambition but not much else as newcomers to columbia. They had absolutely no reputation to go by. They also didn't have enough money to pay for a load of marijuana front. They hope to find a supplier to sell it to them on credit and they figured their best chance of success was to look the part of trustworthy established smugglers borrowing money from some of their stateside customers. They use twenty five thousand dollars to rent a private jet and and book swank accommodations columbia. The jet was a lear twenty-four sleek and sharp with two powerful engines above the wings. The bikers were extensively there for protection but in reality they were part of the act. If bobby and big gene wanted to play the game of powerful falwell connected smugglers. They needed to look the part arriving in bahrain kia on the northern coast of colombia. Bobby was shocked to discover cover. The big gene in the bikers didn't have passports. He hadn't even thought to ask before they left. Bobby was scared out of his mind when he stepped off the a plane but his experience in sales taught him how to always look cool and collected. Even when you're in way over your head he had been to columbia before so he knew how to solve the problem. Bobby walked into the customs office and carefully peeled off five one hundred dollar the bills from awadh he pulled out of his well pressed linen. Pass bobby carefully explained that his friends were simply accompanying him on a business meeting eating in town and would be leaving later in the day. The customs official looked him up and down a few times then the cash disappeared he went back to the learjet and gathered gene and the bikers he was glad to see that the plane was drawing all the attention he'd hoped for bobby confidently led his group past a line of police officers and customs officials as though he didn't have a care in the world they made their way to up scale hotel in downtown bar and kia and rented the presidential suite when bobby's contact a. columbia named johnny showed up they they got down to business. Bobby explained that they had a plane in miami ready to take two thousand pounds of high grade marijuana at the earliest the est possible time they need it on credit and they needed it fast. Then bobby offered to put himself up as collateral. If if johnny could deliver the marijuana he promised bobby would remain in columbia as a hostage until the load was paid for johnny was thoroughly impressed impressed by bobby's charm and confidence. He told bobby that everyone was talking about his lear jet and bodyguards with no passports most importantly roy janis context. Were eager to meet the brash gringo. Johnny arranged a meeting later in the day with a man named chino who promised two two thousand pounds of good quality herb by the end of the week bobby would remain with chino until the load was paid for if everything went as planned bobby and robby would officially be in the smuggling business from that day forward big gene in the bikers called bobby the they are in a barn kia for the way he smoothly handled the situation from start to finish the entire journey would not have been a success without bobby's cool-headed headed handling of the situation in only a year bobby robbie and gene would be running a multi-million dollar smuggling network out of florida's boorda's luxurious fontham blue hotel and all things to the sort of confidence under pressure that bobby plant shorn had shown from his youngest days bobby was born to a middle class jewish family in south philadelphia in the early nineteen forties growing up in that era. He learned from a young age that if he wanted to make it in the world he had to find his own way he stated. We were taught that if jews wanted a piece of the american dream they had to create build and own it for themselves. South street were bobby lived was a bustling thoroughfare through the heart of urban philadelphia a street lined with shops and stores office buildings delis and restaurants and the nineteen forties and fifties the area was a sprawling italian sector of the city but bobby and robbie grew up in a small jewish area within that larger neighborhood bobby's mother ranna clothing store for girls on south street and the family lived above the shop. His father worked at a nearby shoe store. His best friend and future sure smuggling partner robbie monster also lived on the street residing above his own family's shop as children bobby robbie and their friends roamed south street calling themselves the south street gang they would climb across rooftops break in and explore old abandoned buildings and share sara cigarette when the adults weren't watching their attempts at sneaking into movie theaters and stealing candy from woolworths were typically met with failure and long periods of being grounded. They're real fun came with cap guns and water pistols. They'd ride their bikes down the crowded sidewalk shooting at unsuspecting shoppers. They particularly enjoyed tormenting the barker's who stood in front of stores trying to sell to the many passersby through spy. They were fiercely. Independent and enterprising children learned to stand on their own two feet from a young age at a time when win parents worked twelve hour days seven days a week to make ends meet. Bobby learned early that if he wanted any spending money he'd have to earn it himself he would perform chores for his mother's store or offer his services to other shopkeepers on the street. Bobby and his friends learned the value of hard work by sweeping floors making boxes collecting and recycling old bottles and shining shoes by the time bobby graduated from high school in the spring of nineteen sixty his parents had moved to atlantic city and we're operating a hotel there that summer they rented rooms. Thanks to a group of pitchman or independent salesman who were selling goods on the atlantic city boardwalk with few job prospects of his own bobby began to to learn the trade for a seventeen year old. Boy bobby displayed an immense talent for salesmanship. His natural charisma was a perfect fit for this sort of job within a few months he was touring the region selling products and gadgets at fairs and home shows he eventually worked boos at two two world's fairs in nineteen sixty two and nineteen sixty four and was featured on a number of t._v. Commercials vitamix blenders were one of his specialties scholte's and he rose to become one of the highest earning pitchman in the country though he continued to work as a pitchman off and on for the next fifteen years he also invested in several business ventures including an ice cream parlour which he opened in nineteen seventy-three call the ice cream dream factory it sat on south street right across from his mother's old store and the family's old apartment it doubled as an ice cream parlor and video arcade. He soon began selling his ice cream on street corners as well using pushcarts stocked with briars ice cream it pru who so successful that he eventually rose to become the second largest briars distributor in the country in the end it was through that ice cream cream shop that bobby ultimately made his way into the world of marijuana smuggling and it was brought to fruition when a fellow pitchmen came to bobby and made him a pitch. He couldn't refuse coming up. We'll see how one of bobby platforms colleagues got him involved in the marijuana. I wanna business. What if your doctor didn't know what was wrong with you. Medicine isn't always an exact science. Sometimes it's the guessing game when the world's most renowned experts can't explain what's wrong were left with a medical mystery every week. The park cast original medical medical mysteries looks at the strangest real life medical cases in history and the experts who raced against the clock to solve them. If you're curious about not some of the world's most baffling and bazaar diseases you'll enjoy medical mysteries. You can sit alongside doctors as they try to piece together the clues news of an unexplainable health condition and solve a high stakes mystery. How do you cure what you didn't know existed follow medical mysteries for for free on spotify and anywhere you listen to podcasts or visit parkas dot com slash medical mysteries to listen now now back to the story bobby platt shorn head found success as a pitchman in the nineteen sixties and seventies working affairs and shows throughout the eastern half of the united states though he moved to florida in one thousand nine hundred seventy four. He still owned his ice cream company in philadelphia. It would come to play an important role in his entrance into the world of drug smuggling in the summer of nineteen seventy. Six bobby was working as as usual booth at the wisconsin state fair hitching blenders and nonstick cookware while they're his colleague. Luke mcleod approached him with an offer. He needed space to store some inventory for one of his businesses. Since bobby closed his ice cream parlor in the winter. Luke suggested submitting leading the warehouse during the winter months to store his own inventory after they hammered out a deal luke made another suggestion since he was going to be using using bobby's warehouse in the winter. Perhaps they could work together on moving some marijuana one of luke side businesses involved using his trucks in the off season. Listen to run marijuana for a florida smuggler to macleod the young and successful. Bobby's seemed like just the person to help him with this. He asked stiff. Bobby happened to know anyone interested in selling the pot that luke could provide as a matter of fact he did his old buddy robbie from south street street had just recently told him a friend who was in the marijuana wholesaling business now bobby had a supply source for robbie's friend and he and robbie nobody could take a commission on the sales just like that bobby and rob were officially in the game. They began drawing commissions on small loads is brought from florida into pennsylvania and new jersey. They used bobby's ice cream warehouse to store bales of marijuana when necessary and struck up several partnerships with local dealers who would buy what they had to offer. They'll they understood what they were doing was against the law. They had good reason to believe leave. Marijuana would soon be legalized in nineteen seventy-one richard nixon had established a commission to study the question of marijuana's legalization the following year the commission unanimously recommended that possession and distribution of marijuana for personal use should be decriminalized. The conservative nixon ignored the commission's recommendations. A number of states followed their advice and began to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession by nineteen seventy. Seven eleven states had passed such laws public opinion polls showed that the majority of americans supported awarded this when jimmy carter had taken the oath of office in january he'd run on a platform that had included the decriminalization of marijuana possession then bobby and his partners had every reason to believe that they were getting in on the ground floor of what was sure to become a booming legal trade in the nineteen seventies drug smuggling wasn't associated with the violence and murder that would characterize it a decade later in nineteen seventy eighty seven. Nobody had ever heard of miami vice. Bobby and robbie were just a couple of stone owners looking to make easy money in a business that they fully expected acted to eventually be legal as bobby's business grew more lucrative. He and robbie transferred their operation down to florida where they could have more direct involvement in the process. Get enable them to find more consistent sources for the customer base. They had begun to build in miami. They were also in a better position to transition into the smuggling business itself. After bobby successfully got his partner big gene and his biker bodyguards in and out of columbia without passports. He remained in the country for another week as a hostage of his newfound suppliers. He'd be free to go home. Only after the load was successfully paid for by robbie who was working at the office in miami bobby found that life has a hostage on the colombian coast of the caribbean sea wasn't so bad when he wasn't being wined and dined at posh josh local restaurants or sitting poolside with a fruity drink his suppliers would take him out for a day of fishing and water skiing in the end. His supplier was only able to come up with twelve hundred pounds of marijuana instead of the two thousand he'd promised explaining it was the best he could do on such short short-notice as far as bobby was concerned. Anything was better than nothing. The load was picked up on saturday as planned and flown without a hitch tamiami then it was a waiting game for robbie to send the payment. It took a day and a half but by monday morning. Robbie's payment had hit the bank thank within hours. Bobby was on a plane back to miami where he was given a hero's. Welcome but the join elation of completing their first successful smuggling run overshadowed a bigger problem after all their expenses were accounted for they were in the whole by about fifty thousand dollars. They were quickly learning the hard reality of colombian drug smuggling glenn i the load brought in by bobby's suppliers had sat on the little jungle airfield for several hours awaiting the arrival of bobby's chartered the plane during the interval the local police had arrived and had taken their customary cut which amounted to three hundred and fifty pounds that left only eight hundred and fifty pounds of marijuana for robbie to sell once it arrived in miami far less than the two thousand eight originally been in hoping for in addition to the expenses of the plane pilots and unloading crews three of their customers had gathered their resources together and loan them one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to get them started between these expenses the loss of the police confiscation in the relatively high price per pound around they'd had to pay to the colombians. They couldn't completely pay off their customers loan fortunately for bobby and his colleagues. This was an era when drug smuggling was largely a family business. His partners and customers were his friends his neighbors and is stone her buddies. They knew they could trust him. Platt shorn would later state. It was the hippie era you tell a guy. You'll pay a million dollars you pay him. They knew that to finish paying off the money they owed they'd have to make another smuggling run and soon within two weeks they arranged arranged for another plane and bobby was on his way back to bahrain kia to purchase spy thousand pounds of high in santa marta gold <music> this time bobby was able to enter the scene in columbia as an established miami connection. All the suppliers in the area. Were eager to deal with him. He decided to stick with the same man he'd already done business with and was able to get a much better price on a larger load of with premium marijuana at that time cuban marijuana smugglers were flooding the market with low quality product packed poorly and with stems and seeds seeds still in place. This was run of the mill ditch weed bobby and robbie preferred instead to deal with the good stuff. The high quality herb that caused more hill was also more profitable bobby had agreed to sixty dollars per pound for the previous load now with more bargaining power on his side he he was able to negotiate a five thousand pound load for thirty five dollars a pound they'd sell it in miami for two hundred eighty dollars per pound and significantly more than the one hundred eighty that the lower quality product cost once again bobby agreed to remain in columbia <hes> as a pampered hostage until the payment came through when the load was ready it was sailed up the magdelena river and loaded onto trucks these trucks in turn delivered the load out the hidden jungle airfield that doubled as a cow pasture by this time bobby's bobby's magnetic pitchman personality had won over his new colombian friends their relationship had grown warm and trusting like the family business snus back home. It was a good thing because when bobby ran short of cash to get his pilot's down to columbia his supplier chino came through for him. Chino took him to his family. Home and chino's father loaned bobby the five thousand dollars he needed to get his pilot's out of aruba where they'd been stationed asian awaiting instructions they landed on the little jungle airfield and a crew of hired. Locals got to work it quickly. Bobby suppliers already learned their lesson about what would happen if they hung around too long in the police showed up the local men worked efficiently efficiently and the job was completed in fifteen minutes and that's when the army showed up at the sound of trunk kilo hombres everyone. Everyone put their hands into the air. The soldiers began to disarm the colombians while the lieutenant went through the plane and casually took everything thing of value he could find in their luggage. He eventually began interrogating bobby and the pilots he assumed bobby was the boss but bobby bobby denied it figuring the man was looking for a valuable hostage. The lieutenant began arguing in spanish with the colombians discussing passing a financial arrangement. It eventually became apparent that he was demanding the outrageous some of two million dollars which bobby couldn't even tree him pang and not only was it a ridiculously high demand but bobby's suppliers had already paid a large bribe to use the airfield that bribe it was supposed to have gone to pay off rogues like this one within a few minutes bobby's colombian comrades had gotten in their small plane and flown off leaving bobby babi. The pilots and the work crew there to win it out on the sweltering colombian heat. The lieutenant apparently enjoying his position of power demanded ended since bobby was claiming to be a mere laborer. He should begin unloading the plane by himself. He went to work moving bales while the lieutenant and his entourage waited for the colombians to return with the bribe money after winning for more than an hour in the oven like conditions of late summer and columbia. The lieutenant finally decided he'd had enough bobby had long since quit unloading bales of marijuana in instead he and several of the soldiers were busy smoking joints bobby. It even passed up business cards for the auto auction promising to sell them all cars at the ever came to miami but his bravado was all for show inside. He was wondering if he'd ever get home alive. If the lieutenant had his way it wasn't likely rousing the men from their lethargy the lieutenant herded bobby the pilots and the laborers at gunpoint down a trail away away from the landing strip they reached a large van and the lieutenant informed bobby and the others that he intended to take them to the nearby village of canada negga and execute them their deaths would serve as warning to future smugglers who couldn't pay necessary fees when the van dan refuse to start in the humid subtropical air the lieutenant instructed bobby and the others to push the van down the trail to get it started hoping mean to stall for time and refusing to bet his own pending murder bobby flop down on the grass and encouraged the others to do the same he flatly refused was to push the van since he'd already spent over an hour smoking weed and schmoozing with the soldiers they weren't eager to enforce the lieutenants instructions. The lieutenant ranted and raved but there was little he could do to get the stubborn gringos to their feet. The gamble paid off within just a few minutes. A vehicle carrying bobby's colombian comrades came speeding up the jungle trail. They had several bags full of cash. It only only amounted to forty thousand dollars far less than the lieutenants initial demand but in the end he took the money and left forty thousand dollars was better than no money at all and a bunch of dead smugglers to dispose of because of the delay. The plane was forced to stay grounded for another other night as they couldn't possibly meet their offloading window for that evening in miami. This led to a whole new round of problems in colombian began the nineteen seventies. Everyone wanted their cut. The longer the plane sat on the airfield the more people would show up and take their own portion of the load food the lieutenant i rate at having been cheated out of more loot informed both the navy and the police of the plane's location and cargo. Oh bobby was forced to hide for half the night in a broom closet in a hotel while the pilots hid in the woods as the police searched for them in the middle of the night sailors from a nearby naval ship arrived at the airfield and took charge of the plane offloading. Even more of the bales of marijuana yeah another thirty five thousand dollars plus. Several hundred pounds of product was required to get them to leave. The pilots were finally finally able to take off only moments before the police arrived in a small plane intending to confiscate even more of the load bobby bobby left that morning to taking a commercial flight back to miami even though he'd agreed to remain as a hostage his close call with the police and army armie convinced him he needed to get back home to safety in the end the plane arrived without a hitch in miami and was offloaded successfully successfully despite losing several hundred pounds of their five thousand pounds shipment extortion their sales more than made up for it they they were finally solve it they could pay off the outstanding debts both to their customers stateside as well as chino's father back in colombia who so generously loaned bobby five thousand dollars. The partnership was now really coming into its own at that point in late nineteen in seventy seven. It must've seemed like the future was golden. Still they'd already decided that they couldn't keep this up forever. Once all three reporters bobby robbie and big gene head pulled in a million dollars each. They vowed to get out of the business and go back to their legitimate companies. Unfortunately that would prove easier said than done coming up. We'll see how the men in who would become known as the black tuna gang so the seeds of their own destruction by making one partnership too many now now back to the story despite all the drama in columbia in one thousand nine hundred seventy seven bobby robbie and big gene were now becoming coming well established smugglers doing increasingly steady business throughout florida and beyond it was around this time that they set up shop in the phantom onto blue hotel a perfect spot to impress potential customers. The gang rented out. One of the hotels presidential swedes to wine and dying their guests. They're sweet was two floors with walls of polished wood paneling plush carpets and a winding staircase contained a grand piano and a pool table a huge oh conference table in a view of the beach and ocean though bobby would later claim name that after expenses he only personally taken in twenty five or thirty thousand dollars by this point in time he was already living in an opulent million million dollar home along the intercoastal waterway in miami beach from there he had easy access along collins avenue to the fontham blue back in colombia. Bobby's reputation was now more stellar than ever the original plan for their second shipment called for him to stay behind again as a hostage but as he had needed to flee from the police bobby went back to miami shortly after the plane departed when he and robbie lobby still paid for the load on time as expected any lingering doubts the colombians might have had about their loyalty and trustworthiness were swept away within two weeks. Both bobby and robbie were back in colombia to talk about the next shipment gene stayed behind to run things things in the fountain blue with renewed faith in their abilities. The gang suppliers wanted to start shipping larger loads planes traveled quickly quickly but they were expensive and had limited cargo space instead the colombians wanted to start shipping boatloads of santa marta gold thirty thousand pounds at a time bobby robbie had a friend and business associate named mark phillips whose family owned a local yacht company in miami. Mark could supply them with yachts to carry the colombian. We'd these yachts were sleek boats for wealthy sport fishermen capable of carrying up to twenty thousand pounds of marijuana. Thus a thirty thousand pound load could easily be covered by two yachts. The columbians would send the shipment northward on a large fishing trawler. Bobby's yachts would meet them at a prearranged location near the bahamas to transfer the cargo so then the yachts would sail into miami and offload separately at two different locations. These so-called stash houses were large homes on the waterfront with with deep water anchorages where yacht could easily be moored the gang partnered with several local real estate agents to rent empty houses for offloading their product trucks disguised as delivery and home repair vehicles within arrive to be loaded up for shipment to the customers bobby and his partners attempted to cover all their possible basis they came up with code words and phrases to use over the phone in order to quickly arrange shipments for instance a phone call to the auto auction from columbia asking for thirty tires to be delivered in three weeks time meant that another thirty thousand pound shipment was on its way and would arrive in three weeks in addition the painted water lines of the yachts were raised so that when they were loaded down with fifteen or sixteen thousand pounds of marijuana they wouldn't look low in the water. The odds were also more on a regular basis at the stash houses so that their appearance their later when filled with bales of pod wouldn't seem unusual they also use the yards for their actual purpose sport fishing since sport fishing would be their excuse for traveling to the bahamas to rendezvous with the colombian trawler using the boats regularly for real sport fishing would keep anyone from becoming suspicious it was actually bobby and his partners proclivity clergy for sport fishing that ultimately earned them the black tuna gang moniker during the weeks between smuggling runs the gang would enter fishing tournaments with their got after a particularly successful tournament they all bought matching medallions emblazoned with a jumping fish to commemorate their victory government sources have maintained that the gang used the phrase lack tuna as a code during their smuggling activities bobby has denied this this insisting that the d._a. Investigators invented the idea. He believes they saw a picture of bobby robbie with one of their bluefin tuna catches ages from a tournament and mistook the large bluefin for the much smaller black fin tuna. He says they then assumed the medallions were related and we're used by the gang as symbols for members to recognize one another bobby would later write the government's contention that we used black tuna medallions ends and radio codes as recognition signs is simply ridiculous. Whatever the real truth behind the matter is the black tuna gang was was in full operation by late nineteen seventy seven and they were ready to run their first boatload of marijuana up to miami bobby met again with his colombian suppliers and inspected the seventy foot trawler that would be bringing their fifteen tons of marijuana the agreed to off load in an area of the ocean shen off of great avocado island in the bahamas a few days before the appointed time the yachts and cruise made their way <music> out of the bahamas to do some legitimate sport fishing and await the signal to make a final night run to the rendezvous location big gene supplied the crews from his biker club dressing them in matching outfits to make them look like a sport fishing team while the boats were on their way to the bahamas. Bobby abby received a call at his office at the auto auction. Someone in columbia was in need of two or three ford trucks for a farm near santa marta body audie hung up the phone knowing the message meant that the trawler would be at the rendezvous point in two or three days bobby who could pilots small planes himself. I flew out to meet the trawler by air. Two days later he flew under the guise of fish spotting for his yachts finding the trawler where he expected needed to be they radioed and told him they'd be ready to fish at midnight. He then met up with the two yacht cruise in the bahamas and briefed them on the situation nation they would rendezvous with the appointed time load fifteen thousand pounds each and sail back to their stash houses in miami arriving around five p._m. When traffic would be thick and they could easily blend in with the other returning boats bobby spent the night on chub cay in the bahamas almas intending to fly out the following day to check on the loaded yacht says they made their way to miami. Everything seemed to be perfectly on track and bobby went to bed that night with a clear head but when he awoke at dawn the next morning he got a huge shock one of his yachts. It's called the miss. Dorothy was sitting in doc on chub cay. That was most definitely not where it was supposed to be. He could see not that it had been loaded. During the night as planned it was so full it was listing at the bow sinking down below the raised waterline there was damage to the front of the boat upon close inspection bobby could actually see into the cargo hold and the bales of marijuana stack there clearly the yod dot had bumped and ground heavily against the trawler during the transfer damaging the railing in upper deck. The captain stopped at chubb key to refuel because with the excess says wade he was burning through fuel faster than expected why the boat was so overloaded was anybody's guess bobby would eventually find out it. It was because the boat's captain had turned greedy. They'd agreed to pay the two captains a per pound fee so loading i the captain of the dorothy stuffed his boat to the gills taking on far more than half the load and more than the yacht could easily handle the second yacht had taken the remaining remaining eight thousand or so pounds and was already well on its way to miami certain that an experienced i would be able to pick out the ms dorothy for a gun. Show boat bobby went into full panic mode. The dockyards weren't open yet but he dished out a thousand dollars to bribe the dog master to open these fueling services early while the boat was fueled. Bobby oversaw hasty patching job of the damage to the bow involving some plywood in duct tape within twenty minutes the was on its way again in the end. They managed to pull off the shipment with only one more hitch at the last minute. They had to abandon one of their stash houses. They told the realtor they were renting the house to use it for a movie starstruck. She'd shown up at the house hoping to catch a glimpse of a movie star with her there. They couldn't very well dock a boat full of marijuana at the last minute they were able to find a different house and the marijuana was safely offloaded and sit on its way out of florida. Thanks to a nearly thirty thirty thousand pound load. The black tuna gang made a fortune off their first big boat job. Each partner made the million dollars they'd set out from the beginning to make they decided it was time to ease their way out of the business. Using future runs to prop up their legitimate business ventures that way when they finally left it behind for good they could continue to support themselves and their families on the straight and narrow their suppliers suppliers in columbia also had legitimate businesses themselves including cotton coffee and lumber. The black tunas began discussions with them on transitioning from smuggling drugs to importing legal goods and services into the united states. It was around this time that their associate associate in the business mark phillips approached bobby and robbie about getting into the smuggling business himself. He asked for the black tunas to help him and within. I run to get him started in the business. Bobby robbie were considering turning markdown until he mentioned that he had an old friend named george urge purpose in north carolina whom he intended to partner with purvis's family owned a number of four dealerships. If bobby and robbie could help them. I'm get started and smuggling. Purvis could ensure a regular supply of used vehicles to the auto auction. This was just what bobby and robbie needed to here here. They were already looking for ways to get their legitimate businesses in the black so they could transition into an honest living. They viewed this opportunity as as a way to achieve that goal bobby would later right. We should have known better. Mark was one of those nice guys who was not very good at anything but being a good guy unfortunately for bobby and robbie good guys. Don't usually make good drug smugglers especially when the f._b._i. Comes knocking at their door for more information on robert platt shorn amongst amongst the many sources we used we found his autobiography black tuna diaries extremely helpful to our research. Thanks again for listening to kingpins next week. We'll explore how the black tuna gang's involvement with mark phillips and george purvis led to their undoing and we'll we'll see how the government's heavy handed tactics against pot smugglers like the black tuna gang ultimately opened the door for the far more organized and violent highland drug cartels of the nineteen eighty s you can find more episodes of kingpins as well as all podcasts other shows on spotify and anywhere you listen to podcasts several of you have asked how to help us if you enjoy the show. The best way to help us is to leave a five star review and don't forget to follow us on facebook and instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network. We'll see you next time. Kingpins was created by max cutler is a production of cutler media and is part of the park has network it is is produced by maxon ron cutler sound designed by andy weights with production assistance by ron shapiro and paul liebskind additional production assistance assistance by maggie admire and carly. Madden kingpins is written by scott christmas and stars kate leonard and howell target. Have you had a chance to listen to medical mysteries yet each week. It follows different patient as doctors race against the clock to diagnose the most mysterious ailments they've ever seen from the bazaar to the terrifying. How do you cure what you didn't know. Existed did follow medical mysteries for free on spotify and anywhere you listen to podcasts or visit podcast dot com slash medical mysteries to listen now.