The story seemed too incredible—too Hollywood—to be true: A group of twentysomething surfers and a former high school Spanish teacher form one of the most successful smuggling operations in the country. When writer Joshuah Bearman, author of the story that became Oscar-winning Argo, came upon the story, he thought it was improbable at best and, at worst, apocryphal. Then he started reporting… and reporting… making call after call, building trust with every surviving member of what would eventually be called the Coronado Company.
"It was difficult to piece together," Bearman says now. "Everyone was wary when they first talked to me, but eventually I gained their trust." Nine months later, he knew that the true, full story—its every twist and turn—was even more incredible than those first sketchy details. What started with a single surfer, swimming a few bales of crappy pot from Mexico, became a worldwide operation, specializing in trans-Oceanic smuggling and Thai Stick, the most potent, valuable stuff on Earth.
The story of the rise and fall of the Coronado Company—told in full—is available now on newsstands in the July issue of GQ. The full story will run at GQ.com in September. But why wait? Surfers, pot, evading the law—Coronado High is the perfect beach read. And if you need more convincing, check out this excerpt from Bearman’s piece, set during the Company’s most lucrative years.