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Down the Mountain, Up the River

posted: 09/13/2001
by Alex West

Michael Lund was one of those guys who could ski with his legs pointing in opposite directions, his body spinning and flipping over his poles -- all the while smiling at disco chicks lining the corral. He was the king of a '70s anomaly -- ballet skiing.

So why does an erstwhile knee twister find himself in this magazine 26 years after being crowned 1975 world champion in ballet skiing? History has caught up with him, and we're not talkin' tip rolls here. On April 17, 1978, Lund tried to smuggle 37 tons of marijuana from Colombia for $75 million, using a tugboat, a barge, and a racing sailboat. The deal went sour when a Coast Guard cutter intercepted the weed-packed freighter before it reached the rendezvous point off the coast of Washington.

Once Lund realized the freighter wasn't coming, he disappeared and managed to keep his head below the radar for 23 years, living a relatively normal life in California, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nevada. That ended last May, when he was arrested in Colorado under the alias Steven McCain for contempt of court in a child-support case. Lund's fingerprints matched those from the infamous bust and away he went.

Now 65, Lund faces up to 20 years in jail and $60,000 in penalties for attempting to commit what was then the biggest pot deal in the history of the Pacific Northwest. The gathering of retired federal agents needed for prosecution promises to be much less lively than that of Lund's former hot-doggin' buddies.

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