As we put to rest 2018, Antonio Bascaro—the longest-serving non-violent federal cannabis prisoner—endured his last Christmas behind bars. After nearly 39 years in prison, he is finally scheduled to be released in June of 2019. Bascaro, an 84-year-old Cuban war hero, has suffered in prison since 1980 for conspiracy to import and distribute cannabis.
Prior to being incarcerated, he attended two years of medical school, but left to pursue his passion for flying. He joined the Cuban Naval Air Force and became one of their best pilots. Bascaro excelled to the point that he even had a brief stint with the CIA in an effort to overthrow Fidel Castro.
But his precision as a pilot attracted heavy hitters in the Miami drug scene. After leaving the Air Force, Bascaro began importing cannabis into the United States.
“He could fly close to the water, he could not be detected,” said Eugene Fischer, a friend Bascaro made in prison for a (you guessed it!) cannabis conviction. Fischer has…
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