Every time I went to Columbia it was business. I went to the jungles where they have the actual laboratories maybe twenty miles into the jungle. The only way you can get there is by horseback.
AllHipHop.com: It must have been a surreal sight to see workers with shirts covering their mouths mixing the product up?
Charles Cosby: I would say it was surreal but it just let me see what a position I was in. A cat from the hood has no idea how the process goes into bringing cocaine from the coca leaf into the hood. And I actually saw these people stepping on leaves and eating them twenty miles in the middle of a dense jungle. They go for thirty six hours straight, no sleep or nothing. The way they are able to manage is they take the coco leaf and put it in their jaw; it keeps them going.
AllHipHop.com: Its like caffeine in coffee.
Charles Cosby: Exactly.
AllHipHop.com: Since you were Black and you were dating The Godmother, did you feel any tension towards you when you visited Columbia?
Charles Cosby: I felt tension from day one I started dealing with The Godmother but you must understand, The Godmother she is a person of last resort. Whatever she says goes. So regardless what they felt about me, they know Im The Godmothers right hand. A punch against me was a punch against her. So they werent going to cross the line regardless of how they felt. She brought me in so they would have hell to pay.
AllHipHop.com: They rolled out the red carpet for you?
Charles Cosby: Without a doubt as much as they hated to do it, they had no choice.
AllHipHop.com: So you were dealing with the Ochoas during your visits to Columbia?
Charles Cosby: I was dealing with the Griseldas people. She had people she would deal with exclusively. She fell out with the Ochoas many years ago.
AllHipHop.com: When did the moral guilt hit you about what you were doing to the urban communities?
Charles Cosby: That was some years later. This is post Griselda Blanco. This is after the relationship dissolved. I really sat down and thought about the effects of my so called entrepreneurship. Although I wasnt selling directly to the streets, I had a hand in that sh*t.
AllHipHop.com: At your peak how much money were you seeing?
Charles Cosby: At my peak I probably had twenty five million dollars.
AllHipHop.com: Never getting high off your own supply was a cliché statement with in the game during your run. Did you ever touch the stuff?
Charles Cosby: Until this day Im forty years old I have never tasted alcohol, I never smoked a cigarette. I never smoked a joint. I never snorted cocaine. Ive been drug free my entire life. Some say you can never say never, I will never get high period and this is a forty year old man saying this sh*t.
AllHipHop.com: When does the relationship with Griselda start to deteriorate?
Charles Cosby: Griselda was scheduled to get out of federal prison in the mid 90s like 96. It was a guy named Rivi [Jorge ‘Rivi’ Ayala] her main hit man; he killed forty or fifty people. So Griselda is about to get out of jail, and the authorities dont want her to get out of jail because they think she is a very dangerous person. So Rivi approaches the prosecutions office and said okay well Godmother is about to get out of prison and I have information on various murders I committed for Godmother, can you give me some type of deal? So they gave Rivi a deal.
AllHipHop.com: So he snitched on Griselda?
Charles Cosby: Yeah, he snitched on Griselda. They indicted her for first degree murders which were death penalty charges. Of course she went through a wide range of emotions during that time. So she an idea of kidnapping John Kennedy Junior in New York, holding him for ransom until she is released, they going to hold his ass. When she is released and flown to Columbia the kidnappers would release him. So of course FBI got wind of it of her hair brained scheme. FBI kicked my door down but the thing of it is, I told Griselda from the start she mentioned the idea to me and I was against it. I told her Im a drug dealer and dont force me to something I dont want to do.
So she said, If youre not with me, then you must be against me Charles. I said Im not against you, but at the same time there are other ways to go about this. Youre a billionaire; lets spend millions on your defense. We can body slam Rivi in court, who is going to believe a convicted killer who is fighting to get a deal? Griselda is very stubborn so she is going to do things her way. Thats what basically dissolved the relationship.
AllHipHop.com: How did the FBI know that you were her guy to kick your door down?
Charles Cosby: Well most phone calls in federal prisons are recorded. So Griselda and I were on the phone and I asked her something on the Kennedy plan and she readily admitted it on the phone and of course they heard what we were talking about. The FBI alerted Kennedys family and thats how they were able to come to my house.
AllHipHop.com: Can I ask you something man to man?
Charles Cosby: Oh yeah.
AllHipHop.com: Obviously Griselda was older than you.
Charles Cosby: Thats right.
AllHipHop.com: Where you genuinely physically attracted to her? Or was it more the allure of whom she was.
Charles Cosby: At the beginning it was the allure, this larger than life person, this Godmother of cocaine. But when I met Griselda Blanco, I got a chance to sit down and talk to her in person. Aside from that Griselda Blanco was a really beautiful person. Pretty eyes, nice round face like a doll, deep dimples; Griselda was not an ugly woman, she was beautiful. I eventually fell in love with Griselda Blanco. I didnt plan it out, it just did.
AllHipHop.com: After your refusal to take part in the Kennedy kidnapping everything with Griselda stops.
Charles Cosby: After they kicked my door down, the relationship dissolved. At that time I was on probation for a machine gun conviction; I got caught with a Mac 10 in my car I got subpoenaed from the Florida County Generals Office. As much as I didnt want to go I had to. I wasnt going to give them anything relevant because what good would it do me to send Griselda who is already distressed. I had already walked away from the game at that point. So I wasnt looking back. I wasnt going to sh*t on this woman even though we didnt see eye to eye anymore, she did a hell of a lot for me. So I still had respect for her. I wasn’t going to be the n****r who sat on the witness stand and put her in the joint for life. I let Rivi do some sh*t like that. I would have dam near gave my life to prevent any harm to come her way and she knew that. This lady is a billionaire, with a b. Her story you will never see again, and I was just honored to be apart of it.
AllHipHop.com: So you stopped running her operation.
Charles Cosby: I stopped running it around 97. The money was still good but I had become unhappy at that point. The money didnt matter because all the sh*t people say if they were millionaire I wouldnt have any problems. The thing is Ive been there. Ive been a millionaire many times over. So if you a jealous n****r, hiding behind bushes and sh*t, you going to be the same n****r when you get money. Aint sh*t going to change. Money only allows you a bigger house, more expensive house. Money cant make every wish and dream come true. I learned that from first hand experience.
AllHipHop.com: With all the money you made, did the feds ever come to you accusing you of this and that?
Charles Cosby: No the feds never came to me with anything because I could cover it. I had businesses and sh*t; real estate and what not. I can speak freely on the sh*t now. For one the statute of limitations has run out. And two if they want to come and take what I have, fine come and take it. Material sh*t comes and goes, but thats if they can find it.
AllHipHop.com: What was the hardest part of leaving the game for you? Did you miss the action, the status?
Charles Cosby: You know what? I can say this with absolute certainty. I didnt miss sh*t about the game. Until this day I dont even think about it. No matter how much money you make, these streets are a lie.
AllHipHop.com: As a guy who was at the top of drug game, what is the number one mistake this current generation makes to get them selves notice by the law? Is it being too flashy?
Charles Cosby: The biggest mistake any organization can commit is committing murders because that brings unwanted attention. The DEA know, the ATF know, the FBI know they can never ever stop drug dealing but once you bring the murder into things, it becomes a public outcry and they have no choice but to become more aggressive thats how they create conspiracy laws, they connect the dots. But if they sold dope in peace and left the murders alone, you could have a ten or fifteen year run as long as you are under the radar.
As far as being flashy and sh*t, thats another thing. Thats just as worse as committing murders because its one thing for the police to know you a major drug dealer but its an entire different thing to thumb your nose at the police like yeah motherf***er, we doing this sh*t and there isnt a dam thing you can do about it. That a lie, they can take your ass down whenever they feel like it. So for these upcoming cats that want to be more flashy than smart, its a jail cell waiting for them too.
AllHipHop.com: After you stopped working for Griselda, were you still doing your own separate thing in the drug game?
Charles Cosby: When I broke off from Griselda Blanco, I had Columbians ringing my phone off the hook. They knew I knew how to get the job done. They knew if they laid five thousand kilograms on me, that I would move them relatively quickly and they are going to be paid. I passed it up though, I never looked back. Thats a part of my life I didnt want to revisit some eleven years later. Im still living good, I travel, go wherever I want to go, buy any car from any showroom floor. Im doing well for myself. I got a beautiful family, what else can a man ask for?
Cocaine Cowboys 2 is available now.