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July 29, 2015
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This Day In Miami History – July 28 – The Miami Cocaine Pony

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Miami and cocaine are inextricably linked. (Refer to Cocaine Cowboys if you’re unsure why). And on this day in Miami history, the two appeared in a news story that was indelibly inked.

On July 28, 1990 (*some reports show July 26, but History.com shows July 28), Maximo Menendez fell into a coma (and later died) after consuming excessive amounts of cocaine. But it shows he consumed the cocaine that is noteworthy. Maximo was drinking a non-alcoholic malt– Pony Malta de Bavaria, to be specific–his mother had purchased at a local Sedanos. After drinking half a bottle, Maximo left for work where, shortly before convulsing, he remarked aloud that he thought his malt was poisoned. As it turned out, he was right.

Tests conducted later revealed that his bottle of Pony had lethal doses of liquid cocaine in it. What’s more, after pulling every other bottle off of local stores’ (and lunch trucks’) shelves, it was discovered that nearly another 50 bottles contained the same. Evidently, these Pony Malta beverages — manufactured in Columbia — were part of a botched cocaine smuggling operation. The plan was to retrieve those bottles out of the 1,000 bottle shipment once they hit USA soil and transform the cocaine from its liquid form back into powder.

Somewhat ironically, the two men who were later indicted for concocting this scheme were referred to in the federal grand jury’s indictment as “masterminds.” (One was awaiting a cocaine smuggling trial in New York at the time the Miami indictment was returned, unsurprisingly). Such is the story of the Miami Cocaine Pony on this day in Miami history.

This day in Miami history is brought to you by the Miami Criminal Defense lawyers at Fischer Redavid PLLC. If you or someone you care about is being investigated or has been arrested or indicted, don’t hesitate to call our team of lawyers. At our firm, the defense never rests–so you can. Call us 24/7, 365.

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