Miami became the most dangerous place to live in becoming the “Drug Capital of the world” with 100,000 persons involved in the drug trade.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, marijuana was the primary import drug into the region. During the 1970s, marijuana imports were replaced by the much more lucrative cocaine imports. Much of the economic growth which took place in Miami during this time period was a benefit of the drug trade. As members of the drug trade made immense amounts of money, this money flowed in large amounts into legitimate businesses. The amount of money produced by Miami’s coke industry in the Eighties was unlike anything ever seen in the nation’s history. In 1978 and 1979, the United States’ entire currency surplus could be ascribed to Miami-area banks. Luxury car dealerships, five-star hotels, condominium developments, swanky nightclubs, major commercial developments and other signs of prosperity began rising all over the city. As the money arrived, so did a violent crime wave that lasted through the early 1990s.
The video below details the 1979 drug-related shooting spree during Miami’s “cocaine cowboy” era. In broad daylight, two gunmen exited a paneled truck, entered a liquor store and gunned down two men, wounding the store clerk. The dead men were eventually identified as a Colombia-based cocaine trafficker and his bodyguard. Crazy stuff!