Carlos Lehder net worth: Carlos Lehder is a German-Colombian drug dealer currently imprisoned in the United States who at one time had a net worth of $2.7 billion. Carlos Lehder is one of the most powerful Colombian drug kingpins to be successfully prosecuted in the United States. Born in Armenia, Colombia on September 7, 1948, Carlos Lehder earned massive wealth by running a highly lucrative cocaine transportation empire throughout the 70s and 80s. His major innovation was to use small airplanes to transport cocaine all over the world. To make his operation run as smoothly and unimpeded as possible, Carlos ran the drug empire from an island he purchased called "Norman's Cay" in the Bahamas.
Lehder is one of the co-founders of the notorious Medellín Cartel and worked closely with American drug trafficker George Jung. Carlos Lehder is portrayed the movie "Blow" as Diego Dalgado who is a good friend and business partner of main character George Jung. As is portrayed in "Blow" Carlos and George Jung were cellmates at a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. Lehder had been sentenced for cart theft and Jung was serving time for Marijuana possession. Jung had built a successful mini drug empire on his own by flying planes from rural farms in Mexico into the United States at low altitudes to stay below radar. Lehder was enthralled by George's success, but suggested he could make vastly more money by transporting cocaine instead.
Upon his release from prison, Carlos Lehder purchased a private island in the Bahamas called Norman's Cay in 1978. At its peak, Norman's Cay featured a luxury yacht club, over 100 private homes and of course an runway air strip. Long distance jets would load up cocaine in Colombia and fly to the tiny island where the cargo was offloaded onto smaller aircraft that could not be detected by radar to drop points on the coast of Florida and Georgia. For every four kilos of cocaine that was flown into Norman's cay, one kilo would belong to Carlos as payment for using his facilities. At the peak of operations, 300 kilos arrived and left the island every day. That meant Carlos was entitled to roughly 75 kilos per day. Assuming a single kilo of cocaine sells for $20,000, Carlos Lehder was earning roughly $1.5 million in cash per day from the island alone. Carlos' wealth ballooned so much, that on at least two occasions he offered to pay off Colombia's entire national debt in exchange for a guarantee that he would never be extradited to the United States.