Saturday, September 17, 2022

Billy Blackledge - oldest most wanted fugitive on Interpol - revisited

Fugitive Scottish drug baron William Blackledge, now 87, has been let off by US drug cops after evading capture for more than 30 years. Blackledge was put on Interpol’s most wanted list in 2005 – which made him the world’s most wanted pensioner. Blackledge is believed to be living in Cyprus.
Blackledge defied cops to fly huge loads of cocaine to North America from Colombia for the Cali Cartel in the 1980s. The group was a rival to Pablo Escobar’s Medellin empire and once raked in $5 billion a year. Blackledge played a key role in the drug trade after moving to Fort Lauderdale in the 1970s. His crime career echoes the hit Netflix series Narcos.

Miguel Angel Rodríguez Orejuela
He met Angel Sanchez, one of the Cali Cartel’s leaders, in 1981 and delivered his first shipment of cocaine to the US the following year. After becoming a trusted ally, Blackledge was introduced in 1986 to Allan ‘The Weasel’ Ross — boss of the West End Gang. Blackledge negotiated for the Montreal group to buy large shipments of cocaine from Sanchez twice a week. The Weasel introduced Blackledge to the Hell’s Angels and used his Colombian links to connect the bikers with cocaine. RCMP believed they finally had Blackledge in their sights in 1991 when The Weasel was caught trying to smuggle ten tons of cocaine in Florida. Blackledge dodged them. Fake identities included Bill Brenstein, Bill Souper and Bobby Blackledge.
Allan ‘The Weasel’ Ross
The Cali Cartel’s co-founder Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela was arrested and extradited to the US from Colombia in 2005, triggering the group’s downfall. Decades have passed since Blackledge was last positively sighted and there are only two grainy photos of him. The DEA has given up because Blackledge has outlived their agents and witnesses. According to Interpol, Blackledge is 5ft 8in with blue eyes and red hair .