Who are the Cocaine Cowboys? Meet Augusto ‘Willy’ Falcon and Salvador ‘Sal’ Magluta

From boat races to the slammer, everything you need to know about the Cocaine Cowboys.

cocaine cowboys

If you are anything like us then you will hit play on the latest Netflix true-crime documentary even if you originally signed into the streamer to watch something else entirely – they are some of the most addictive offerings on TV.


From The Staircase to Tiger King to The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, the streamer shows no signs of slowing down its original documentary, and Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami is the latest join the long list.

The show tracks the story of two men who went on to become the biggest drug kingpins in Miami in the ’70s and ’80s, a time where drugs were rifer than ever – and the story only gets wilder and more intense from there.

But who are the Cowboy Kings and why are they such a big deal? Here is all you need to know.

Who are the Cocaine Cowboys?

Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta were two men who managed the biggest cocaine trafficking organisations that Florida has ever seen. Not only that, but the pair are said to be two of the most successful drug kingpins that the world has ever seen. They distributed at least a staggering 75 tons of cocaine in their time – that equates to millions and millions of pounds worth of money.

Willy Falcon

willy falcon

Willy, real name Augusto Willy Falcon, was born in Cuba and moved to the US where he became quite the local name due to his love of speedboat racing. Willy met Sal Magluta in high school and the pair obviously remained close – and soon became infamous.

But with a life of crime once he entered the drug world came heartbreak. After marrying Alina Rossique, his long-time girlfriend, he had to deal with her loss when she was shot and killed while walking out of a beauty parlour at just 33 years old.

He formed a construction business alongside Sal, a means to keep his drug money hidden. He has been described as a likeable person which served him in good stead for making and keeping the connections that he needed to make his empire the success it became.

He was released from prison on bail in 2017 before being deported to the Dominican Republic but his current whereabouts remain unknown.

Sal Magluta


Salvador ‘Sal’ Magluta met Willy in school and the pair became friends. They went on to form many an enterprise together and both shared the same love of speedboat racing – Magluta even became a well-known member of the American Power Boat Association.

His personal life has somehow managed to stay largely out of the public eye but we do know that he was married to a woman named Isabel and he is usually regarded as the brains behind the drug business, with Willy being the charismatic face of it.

Sal’s current home is in a Colorado prison, and he will likely never see the outside of it again as he was sentenced to 197 years behind bars for all of his crimes – he was accused of murdering many who spoke out against him so a hefty sentence is no surprise.


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