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Ricky Ross was once a drug kingpin who made $2 to $3 million a day and is now out of jail and rebuilding at-risk communities.
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But court costs and lawyer fees during his time in prison had made Ross short on funds. Tumbling into bankruptcy, Ross also sold his remaining properties. To pay the debts on his building, he had borrowed $30,000 from a friend and local crack dealer, Leroy "Chico" Brown. The dealer wanted his money back, and Ross was having a difficult time finding the funds from his low-paying job as part of a cleaning crew for a development corporation.
Looking for ways to make a quick buck,
Ross called Blandón. Ross' boss at the development company had a Mercedes that had been rebuilt, but was disatisfied with the end result. Ross wanted Blandón to help him sell the car in Nicaragua for a good price. While on the phone, Blandón tried to cajole Ross into one final moneymaking drug deal, citing their friendship and his own lack of funds as the reason behind this last criminal act. Ross refused the deal, until Blandón threatened to kill one of Ross' former partners who he claimed owed Blandón money.
Ross finally agreed to introduce his friend, Chico, to Blandón. The two could do business together, and Ross' debt would be forgiven on both sides. Ross would have no part in selling the drugs, which he had promised he would never do again, and everyone would leave happy. Unfortunately for Ross, the deal was a setup. On March 2, 1995, as Ross approached the Chevy Blazer packed with 100 kilos of cocaine to finalize the deal, police apprehended him. Ross returned to jail.
Although he was initially sentenced to life in prison, the term was reduced to 20 years. While serving his time, Ross formally educated himself and began laying the groundwork for legitimate media efforts. In May of 2009, Ross completed his sentence and was released from prison.
In addition to establishing his social networking site FreewayEnterprise.com, he is in the process of authoring a book, hashing out the terms of a film deal, creating a modeling agency, developing a reality television show and founding a record label. The former drug runner is also interested in bolstering at-risk communities, and is working to create a non-profit foundation to help underprivileged youth.
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