The Story Of Dixon Trujillo, The Oldest Son Of ‘Cocaine Godmother’ Griselda Blanco

Published December 18, 2023
Updated December 19, 2023

Dixon Dario Trujillo-Blanco learned the art of drug trafficking from his own mother at an early age — then he unintentionally helped authorities take his entire family down.

“Cocaine Grandmother” Griselda Blanco may have been the head of her massive drug empire, but she wasn’t a monolith. She likely wouldn’t have become nearly as powerful if it weren’t for her family — especially her eldest son, Dixon Trujillo.

Dixon Trujillo

DEAGriselda Blanco with her son, Dixon Trujillo.

While the “Black Widow” was making a name for herself — and mountains of cash along with it — in New York City (and later in Colombia), Dixon Dario Trujillo-Blanco was busy operating the family business over in San Francisco, moving around 660 pounds of cocaine every month.

Unfortunately, it was also Dixon Trujillo and his connection to Gerry Gomez, a Colombian dealer who had struck a deal with the Drug Enforcement Administration, that ultimately led to the Blanco family’s downfall.

The Rise Of Griselda Blanco’s Drug Business

Griselda Blanco wasn’t called the “Black Widow” for nothing — each of her three husbands met a brutal and untimely end. The first of these unfortunate men was Carlos Trujillo. Trujillo made a reputation for himself smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States and first met Griselda when she was just 13 years old.

Together, the couple had three sons — Dixon, Uber, and Osvaldo — all before Griselda even turned 21. By then, she was already deep into her life of crime, though she wouldn’t become involved in the cocaine trade until the 1970s.

The relationship between Griselda and Carlos didn’t last long. In fact, despite having three sons together, Griselda didn’t seem to see much reason in keeping Carlos Trujillo around at all, as she had him killed in 1970.

Griselda Blanco With Her Sons

DEAGriselda Blanco with her four sons, from left to right: Michael Corleone, Osvaldo, Uber, and Dixon.

Then, in the early 1970s, Griselda’s second husband, Alberto Bravo, moved the family to Queens, where they had a direct line to the Colombian cocaine business. Griselda, still in her 20s, quickly became embroiled in the drug trade and stole significant business from the Italian Mob.

Their operation fell apart in 1975, though, forcing them to flee to Colombia — where Griselda killed Bravo. His death left her entirely in control of their drug empire just as Griselda Blanco’s sons were entering their mid-to-late teens.

Griselda eventually married a third time and had a fourth son, Michael Corleone (named for the character from The Godfather), and she shifted her attention from New York to Miami. There, she once again quickly established herself as a top dog in the drug world, and her violent lifestyle continued.

Unfortunately for her, her prominence also put multiple targets on her back — including other drug lords and the DEA. And this is ultimately what led to her downfall.

How Dixon Trujillo Accidentally Led The DEA To His Mother’s Door

In the early 1980s, a DEA agent named Bob Palombo was transferred to Miami and became involved in a 1983 investigation titled Operation Los Niños (The Sons). The plan was to track down Griselda Blanco’s sons and get the information they needed to take down the Black Widow herself.

By now, Griselda Blanco’s sons were fully entangled in the family drug business, with each of them spread across the United States peddling their wares. The DEA learned that Uber had been staying in a Miami apartment while Dixon Trujillo was across the country in San Francisco.

Despite discovering where the brothers were living, however, authorities had no other information on them. Someone had tipped the Trujillo-Blanco boys off, and they knew to make themselves scarce.

Bob Palombo

Bob PalomboDEA Special Agent Bob Palombo.

But in 1984, a desperate man named Gerry Gomez gave the DEA precisely what they had been hoping for. Gomez had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for a narcotics violation, but he was determined to remain in America with his son. He agreed to become a confidential informant in exchange for a lighter sentence.

Gomez was the perfect person to get information on the Trujillo-Blanco family. He had known Griselda and her sons since they were young and even serviced their vehicles for years.

The DEA coordinated with Gomez to get in contact with Dixon Trujillo. The two met in person in San Francisco, along with Osvaldo, and immediately got to business. The Blanco brothers wanted Gomez to launder money for them, but although Dixon and Osvaldo were ready to trust Gomez, Griselda was much more scrutinizing.

She wanted to put him through a test. She asked him to get $40,000 from someone in Miami, then meet her the next day in Los Angeles to receive an additional $500,000, all to see if he was actually capable of laundering the money properly.

Unbeknownst to Griselda, though, Palombo and a few other DEA agents were going to be accompanying Gomez.

Griselda Blanco

AJ Pics / Alamy Stock PhotoGriselda Blanco, the “Cocaine Godmother.”

Palombo recalled the day. It was May 30, 1984. “[W]e placed ourselves strategically in the Marriott hotel lobby so that we could watch Gomez,” he told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in 1989. “We waited and waited — and then, suddenly, Griselda appeared. She was wearing a wig, a cape, a smart dress and high heels, but she was easily recognizable because of her dimples and cleft chin.”

Gomez collected the money from Griselda and drove to meet Dixon Trujillo in San Francisco the next day to pick up another $25,000. But this sole act wasn’t enough to convince Griselda of Gomez’s trustworthiness.

It would take another several months of discrete communications and tests for Gomez to win Griselda over. She gave him another order in September 1984 but disappeared again shortly after. A month later, Gomez learned she had returned to Colombia — apparently, she was still suspicious of him.

The moment to catch Griselda Blanco finally came for Palombo in January 1985, when he and DEA agent Dan Moritz cracked down on a house rented by several Colombians just three blocks from Griselda’s last known address. There, they found electrical bills that led them straight to Blanco.

They staked out her new place and watched her youngest son, Michael Corleone, walk up to the front door. As soon as they saw Griselda open it, they called for backup — and 20 minutes later, Palombo, Moritz, and four other DEA agents were approaching Blanco’s house, weapons at the ready.

As Palombo later recalled to the Independent, he walked into Griselda Blanco’s bedroom, kissed her on the cheek, and said, “Hola, Griselda. We finally meet.”

“Griselda had a bewildered look on her face,” he said. “It was like she never believed it would ever happen to her.”

The Arrest Of The Trujillo Brothers

Griselda Blanco Mugshots

Orange County Sheriff/Miami-Dade PoliceGriselda Blanco’s mugshots.

Once the DEA agents had the “Black Widow” in custody, it was time to go after Griselda Blanco’s sons. They started with Osvaldo, whom the Secret Service had picked up on counterfeiting and automatic weapons charges. But they still had no leads on Dixon or Uber.

That is until they realized that Griselda had frequently received a visitor named Gloria while behind bars. They traced Gloria’s phone history and realized she had been regularly calling a number in Los Angeles. What’s more, the calls corresponded with updates to Griselda’s trial.

Palombo and fellow DEA agents traveled back to Los Angeles and tracked down the address where the calls were being received. It led them straight to Uber, who pulled up to the house in a BMW as Palombo and his colleagues were staking out the scene. The only son left to find was Dixon Trujillo.

“Uber asked me if he could call his lawyer,” Palombo told the Sun Sentinel. “I agreed, and the young girl who had been driving the BMW went into the house to make the call. Minutes later she came back out and said, ‘I couldn’t get your lawyer, but I called Dixon and he said he would be right over.'”

True to his word, Dixon arrived shortly after, and Palombo didn’t hesitate to cuff him.

“You’d have thought Santa Claus had just given us the biggest present of our lives,” Palombo said. And just like that, the decade-long investigation had come to an end.

After learning about Griselda Blanco’s son Dixon Trujillo, discover the shocking story of Eddie Nash, the Palestinian immigrant who became a cocaine kingpin. Or, learn about the true story of Cocaine Bear, the black bear that once ate 70 pounds of cocaine.

Austin Harvey
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
Cara Johnson
A writer and editor based in Charleston, South Carolina and an assistant editor at All That's Interesting, Cara Johnson holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Washington & Lee University and an M.A. in English from College of Charleston and has written for various publications in her six-year career.
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Cite This Article
Harvey, Austin. "The Story Of Dixon Trujillo, The Oldest Son Of ‘Cocaine Godmother’ Griselda Blanco.", December 18, 2023, Accessed June 16, 2024.