In this exclusive clip from Showtime’s new true crime documentary Operation Odessa, a Russian mobster named Tarzan, a Miami gadabout named Juan Almeida, and a Cuban spy named Tony Yestor describe how it came to be that Almeida—admittedly, a dead ringer for the Colombian drug kingpin—flew to Moscow and posed as Pablo Escobar. (It must’ve gone reasonably well: He made it out alive.)
“I was naive. I was stupid,” Almeida admits in the clip, with the benefit of hindsight. “Call me what you want, but I actually boarded a flight as if I was Pablo.”
In her review, Paste’s Amy Glynn describes Operation Odessa, which recounts Tarzan, Almeida, and Yestor’s scheme to sell a $35 million Soviet submarine to the Cali cartel, as “The kind of improbable heist caper where you walk out shaking your head and saying, ‘Who green-lit that?’” On the basis of this clip, she pretty much nailed it.
Operation Odessa premieres Saturday, March 31 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.