Upon their return from a drug run to Ecuador in May 1976, Escobar and a number of his men were arrested on charges of drug possession: cocaine.
Initially Escobar tried to bribe the judge to drop the charges but this had no effect. His lawyers then entered into several months of legal argument, to no avail. Escobar put an end to the matter by having two of the arresting officers killed and the case was duly dropped.
On 18 November 1986, Escobar was once more arrested on charges of drug smuggling and racketeering, and once more through use of terror, the charges were dropped. As this became Escobar’s standard way of obliterating any opposition, he was never arrested again.