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Cocaine King Pablo Escobar’s Miami Beach Mansion Bites the Dust

Image: Miami mansion once owned by Pablo Escobar demolished

The demolition of the mansion once owned by Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in Miami Beach, Fla. CRISTOBAL HERRERA / EPA

The rose-colored Miami Beach mansion once owned by Colombian cocaine king Pablo Escobar will soon be reduced to powder.

Demolition on waterfront estate got underway Tuesday morning and it couldn't happen soon enough for property owner Christian de Berdouare.

"I'm very excited to see the house of the devil disappearing right before our eyes," he told the Associated Press. "This was the biggest criminal in the history of the world. I would like to be associated with something more uplifting, but nevertheless, it is a part of the city."

It's not clear if Escobar, who died in a shootout with Colombian National Police in 1993, ever set foot in the four-bedroom mansion that was built in 1948 on the shores of Biscayne Bay and seized by the feds in 1987.

Image: US COLOMBIA NARCTOICS
One room of a house that used to belong to notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, as seen on Jan. 13, 2016. DIEGO URDANETA / AFP - Getty Images, file

De Berdouare and his wife, former NBC Miami anchor Jennifer Valoppi, bought the four-bedroom home in 2014, which at 6,500 square feet is one of the most modest houses in a palm tree-lined neighborhood that is home to celebrities like Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb and former tennis pro Anna Kournikova.

De Berdouare said he was not aware of the house's history when he bought it for $9.65 million from a private owner and when they found out Valoppi insisted on having a Catholic priest bless the property.

"A lot of people forget what life was like in Miami in the 1980s, when people were literally doing cocaine out in the open in bars and no one wanted go to South Beach at all and there were shootouts in the street," Valoppi told the AP.

Image:
Pablo Escobar AP, file

Before they brought in a demolition crew, the couple hired professional treasure hunters to search the structure for anything that could trace back to Escobar's days and brought in a film crew to do a documentary.

But in a mysterious twist, a handyman discovered on Jan. 12. that thieves had also stolen a 10-inch round metal safe that was hidden under a marble staircase — and which the new owners didn't even know about.

Valoppi said former federal law enforcement officials warned them that people who knew Escobar's crew might return to the house to steal whatever might remain from the heyday of the cartel, which was responsible for much of the cocaine imported into the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s.

"In a sense it's kind of the end of an era," former federal prosecutor Mark Schnapp told the AP as he watched the demolition. "But there's still a lot of drugs that come through Miami."

Image: Miami mansion once owned by Pablo Escobar demolished
Christian de Berdouare, current owner of the mansion once owned by Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, looks on as the property is demolished, in Miami Beach, Fla. on Jan. 19. CRISTOBAL HERRERA / EPA