Don Henry Ford Jr. is a Texas cowboy, rancher and farmer. In the late 1970s, he was foreman of his fatherís ranch and farm in West Texas along the Pecos River. The ranch was going broke. The bankers were knocking at the door. Don went to his Mexican hands, the same guys who were the connection for his own marijuana-smoking inclinations, and they directed him to their contacts on the other side of the Rio Grande. Soon he was scoring some easy money and he was hooked.
For the next seven years, he made his living as an outlaw, smuggling marijuana across the U.S./Mexico border in the Big Bend region. Millions of dollars passed through his hands. He did business with many of the big-name narcotraficantes of the era like Pablo Acosta and Amado Carrillo Fuentes. After being arrested and sent to prison, he escaped and lived for a year in rural northern Mexico raising a bumper crop of marijuana and hiding out from the federales.
In December 1986, the feds caught Don Henry Ford a second time. He was sentenced to 15 years in a maximum security federal penitentiary. He now lives in Seguin, Texas, farming, writing and raising race horses.
National Public Radio (NPR) did a special three part series with Don Ford on the show Day to Day. Don Ford talks about his experiences as a smuggler and shares stories from his memoir, Contrabando. It's a captivating listen!
Don Henry Ford is constantly posting his writing and thoughts online. Here are a few of the places you can regularly find him: