Drug queenpin Griselda Blanco ruled Miami, Florida, in the 1970s and 1980s thanks to her cocaine empire, with her crew dominating the streets and the sales. Her violent reputation and hundreds of transgressions didn’t stop her net worth from dramatically increasing, and her money shot into the billions – at a cost. 

What Was Griselda Blanco’s Net Worth? 

The drug lord had an estimated net worth of $2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. She remains the only female to make it into the top 10 richest drug dealers of all time. 

How Did Griselda Blanco Make Money? 

The “Godmother of Cocaine” started dealing in New York alongside her second husband, Alberto Bravo, who was a smuggler for Pablo Escobar’s Medellín cartel. After establishing herself as a dealer in New York and Colombia, Griselda moved to Miami, where her sphere of influence began to grow in the 1980s. 

Griselda’s use of violence to snub out the competition was infamous, and the brutal murders of area competitors allowed her enterprise to dominate. It was reported that Griselda not only brought in about $80 million per month thanks to her cocaine dealings, but was behind about 200 murders personally. She was only convicted for three killings.

The drug queenpin was arrested in 1985 on cocaine smuggling and distribution charges – by that point in time, she had accrued a real estate value of $500 million. 

Griselda’s wealth is a major player in Griselda, the Netflix series inspired by her life. Played by Sofía Vergara, the fictional Griselda is pictured ruling the streets, sitting under piles of money and embracing a lavish lifestyle. “She didn’t walk like a woman who’s a girlfriend,” a female witness is shown telling authorities. “Well, how did she walk?” the witness is asked, before responding, “Like a boss.” 

Griselda Blanco’s Money Was Seized 

After Griselda was arrested in the mid-1980s, a substantial part of her wealth – including four of her properties – was seized by the Drug Enforcement Agency’s CENTAC (Central Tactical Program). Robert Palombo, the arresting agent, stated that despite Griselda’s fortune being handed over to authorities, she had plenty of money stashed away. 

“She has tons of money squirreled away in different bank accounts that were never recovered,” Agent Palombo admitted to Maxim at the time. 

Griselda was sentenced to 15 years for cocaine smuggling and distribution, but only ended up serving 10. In 1994, she was able to cut a deal with prosecutors in Miami as she faced three murder charges, and was handed down an additional 10-year sentence. It has been maintained that Griselda kept her cocaine empire running at full speed while behind bars, thanks to the help of her son.

Did Griselda Blanco Have Money After Being in Prison? 

Though she spent years behind bars, Griselda walked out of prison with access to money. After her release in 2004, she was deported to Colombia and lived a relatively lowkey life. However, a police officer on the ground told El Pais that she certainly wasn’t scraping by. 

“Poor? Listen to this: you and I are poor,” the officer said. “She went around driving her mazdita [a black Mazda 6] and collecting the money from the leases on the properties she still owned. She was also selling a building for 1,500 million pesos.”

Griselda was killed in 2012 by assassins riding a motorcycle. It was a poetic end to her life, as she coined the drive-by killing style while ruling Miami.

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