Lou Villar was a high school teacher. He quit teaching, started working with a former student to sell drugs, and went on to run one of the largest and most sophisticated drug rings in America. Sound Familiar?
Villar taught Spanish and was a swim coach at Coronado High School in the 1960’s, and he went on to run the Coronado Company — a smuggling empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars. His story is outlined beautifully in a GQ article by Argo author Joshuah Bearman.
When Villar was approached by former student
Jesse Pinkman Lance Weber it was because he wanted his old Spanish teacher to help him translate drug deals he was making in Mexico. As demand for marijuana spiked in the summer of ’69, their venture took off and grew to the point of them arranging clandestine shipments of Thai-stick worth millions of dollars.
Villar isn’t quite the villain Walter White is, although after reading the story I’m not sure everyone would agree. There are obvious similarities, so I think it’s a safe assumption that if you like Breaking Bad you’d enjoy reading the full story over on GQ.com. At 11 pages, it’s a little longer than most Internet-things, so you might want to schedule yourself some time to read through it all. It’s worth it.
Bearman’s account is riveting and takes you through the rise and eventual fall of the Coronado Company. The story has already been optioned by George Clooney, so we can expect a movie at some point, and if it’s anything like Argo — yes please.
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