MIAMI -- Carl Jerry London, former member of the Black Tuna gang and one of the most wanted drug smugglers in the country, has been captured and returned to the United States after eluding agents for two years.
London, 41, one-time mayor of Clarksville, Ga., had been living in style and continuing to ply his trade in South America and the Caribbean since he jumped bail in 1979 during the Black Tuna trial, according to drug agents.
He was convicted in absentia Feb. 4, 1980, of five counts of drug smuggling and conspiracy, and later sentenced to 40 years in prison.
London was arrested Sunday in the Netherlands protectorate of Aruba, in the Caribbean north of Venezuela. The Drug Enforcement Agency said London had been living on a friend's yacht in a harbor in Aruba and was arrested by police there for carrying false documents.
He was expelled from the country and arrested by DEA agents aboard an airplane bound for Miami.
The arrest was the culmination of several attempts to capture London, who continued smuggling drugs while eluding agents after jumping bail, said DEA agent Brent Eaton.
'He's been responsible for millions of Quaaludes coming into Georgia and south Florida,' said Eaton. 'As well, he's been arranging mother-ship loads of marijuana and airplanes of marijuana out of Santa Marta (Colombia).'
'He was more important, much bigger (as a fugitive) than he ever was in the Black Tuna Gang,' said Eaton.
London was one of eight defendants convicted and sentenced in the highly publicized Black Tuna trial. The defendants had been indicted for operating a $300 million drug smuggling operation the government claimed once supplied 5 percent of the nation's illegal narcotics.
The gang was named for the nickname of one of its leaders, a Colombian who has not been prosecuted, and wore medallions around their neck with replicas of a black tuna on them.