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I mean, what do we know about Gustavo Fring, huh? This whole friend of law enforcement thing? Could be a case of keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. I mean, he's got the money to finance this operation, maybe he's got the connections, too. Maybe – just maybe – he's our guy.
Hank Schrader correctly suspecting Gustavo Fring is a drug kingpin.[src]

Gustavo Fring's Drug Empire, also known simply as Gus' Drug Empire, or the Fring Drug Ring, was an American drug organization based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and run by drug kingpin Gustavo Fring. It was the second most powerful drug organization in United States history, being surpassed only by Walter White's Drug Empire.

Using a fried chicken fast-food restaurant chain Los Pollos Hermanos as a cover organization, Gus' empire controlled one of the primary transportation routes for billions of dollars worth of illegal crystal methamphetamine shipments annually in the Southwestern United States. The meth, given the street name "blue sky" for its blue color, was manufactured by Walter White and Gale Boetticher, who was later replaced by Jesse Pinkman.

Gus's empire was a ruthless and dangerous drug trafficking organization, but remained under the radar of the DEA due to Gus' friendship with George Merkert and Gus' public image as an anti-drug booster of law enforcement. The empire completely crumbled following Gus' assassination at the hands of Hector Salamanca. Gus' death created a power vacuum which was eventually filled by Walt.

History[]

Early History[]

4x8 Gus and Max

Gus and Max pitch their product to the cartel in "Hermanos".

Soon after Gus moved to Santiago, he met Max Arciniega, a gifted chemist. Gus paid for Max' chemistry education in the University of Santiago. In 1988, Gus and Max moved to Mexico. Gus likely erased all records of his life prior to their arrival at Mexico, possibly because of war crimes he may have committed while serving the Chilean army during the Pinochet regime. By 1989, Gus and Max had started a successful fast food restaurant chain, Los Pollos Hermanos. Using Pollos Hermanos as a front and cover business, they would plan to manufacture and distribute crystal methamphetamine through the Mexican cartel, as the cartel was dependent on Colombia for cocaine and switching to meth would effectively cut the need for Colombian sellers and would be profitable for both sides. To pitch this idea to the cartel, Gus gave samples of the meth to several Cartel foot soldiers, and was eventually granted a meeting with the Cartel's boss, Don Eladio Vuente. Alongside him at the meeting where his two most trusted men, Juan Bolsa and Hector Salamanca. Though Gus and Max tried to convince them with their idea, Eladio saw meth as a "poor man's cocaine". He was also offended by the underhanded way Gus obtained the meeting, and ordered Hector to murder Max. Hector killed Max, and Gus tried to attack Hector. He was brought down and forced to look at the corpse of Max. Eladio told Gus that the only reason he's alive is because he knows who he is. ("Hermanos")

Breaking Bad[]

By 2008, Gus had arranged a financial partnership with Peter Schuler and Madrigal Electromotive GmbH to finance the meth trade as well as their cover business, fast food restaurant Los Pollos Hermanos. A large superlab was constructed under a laundromat owned by Madrigal where large quantities of crystal meth -- known on the street as Blue Sky -- could be produced on a weekly basis. Gale Boetticher was hired by Gus to design and oversee the construction and Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were later brought in to run the lab.

In 2009, a vengeful power play by Gus eradicated the cartel and left Gus as the sole producer of meth in the American Southwest. ("Salud")

Downfall and aftermath[]

Gus' control over the meth distribution network did not last long as Gus was killed by Hector Salamanca, with the assistance of Walter White ("Face Off"). Many of his henchmen and other people involved were killed in the fallout. The cartel's absence and Gus' death left an empty market for other meth manufacturers to vie for control over. ("Madrigal")

Distribution[]

Los_Pollos_Hermanos_TV_Commercial

Los Pollos Hermanos TV Commercial

Gus' distribution system from "Kafkaesque".

"[Gustavo Fring] spent twenty years building his own distribution. He had sixteen refrigerator trucks running its product."
Mike Ehrmantraut[src]


After the cooks would complete a shipment of Blue Sky the product would be weighed and bagged at the Los Pollos Hermanos Factory Farm outside of Albuquerque. The bags would then be submerged in Los Pollos ingredient tubs and marked with ultraviolet stamps. Los Pollos trucks would then deliver the tubs to different Los Pollos restaurants around the American Southwest where the drugs would be distributed to local dealers and sold to consumers. ("Kafkaesque")

Occasionally these trucks would be attacked by the rival cartel so guards were added to prevent loss. ("Bullet Points") Dead drops were made as an effort to keep ties severed between members of the organization. ("Shotgun")

DEA investigation[]

5x4 Fifty-One (07)

Hank and Gomez looking at the map of the extent of Gus' network ("Fifty-One")

The DEA's investigation of Gus' drug empire started as a witch hunt by Hank Schrader to find "Heisenberg", the man producing a high-quality blue-colored methamphetamine. When Walt began cooking for Gus, Hank's investigation led him to the apartment of Gale Boetticher which provided evidence that Los Pollos Hermanos, Gus Fring, and Madrigal Electromotive GmbH may somehow have been involved. ("Problem Dog") Hank's hunt eventually led him to the Los Pollos farm and Gomez to the laundromat. ("End Times")

Neither Hank's partner Steven Gomez nor supervisor George Merkert believed that Fring could be involved. ("Hermanos") Gus, however, was not happy with Hank's investigation so he ordered a hit on him, leading to Walter White's decision to murder Gus. ("Crawl Space") After Fring's death, Hank was vindicated after the discovery of the superlab. ("Live Free or Die") Although Gus' drug ring was shut down, Hank and Gomez continued to tie up the loose ends and were startled when Blue Sky made its way back on to the streets. Hank was ordered to abandon the investigation when he was offered the position of his office's ASAC. ("Fifty-One") Instead, Hank pursued Mike Ehrmantraut and eventually caught a lucky break when they caught Dan Wachsberger, the man delivering the cash for Fring's incarcerated men's families. ("Say My Name") Before any of the ten inmates could reveal the identity of Heisenberg, they were all murdered, effectively putting a final nail in the coffin for the Fring Empire. ("Gliding Over All")

Empire figures[]

"You don't think Gus Fring built his distribution network all by himself?"
Lydia Rodarte-Quayle[src]


Management & Finance[]

Episode-8-Gus-760

Gus Fring in "Hermanos".

Enforcement[]

Episode-1-Mike

Mike Ehrmantraut in "Box Cutter".

Distribution[]

Manufacturing[]

Episode-1-Gus-Gale

Gale Botticher in "Box Cutter".

Construction[]

  • Werner Ziegler, engineer hired to excavate the Superlab
    • Casper, member of Werner's construction team
    • Kai, member of Werner's construction team
    • Udo, member of Werner's construction team
    • Sebastian, member of Werner's construction team
    • Adrian, member of Werner's construction team
    • Renke, member of Werner's construction team

Fronts and Properties[]

Empire's Victims[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 September 1, 2012. DEA Evidence Board. AMC.
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