On This Date: Johnny Cash Was Released From Jail After Being Arrested At The Mexican Border

Johnny Cash looking at another man
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Although never sentenced to prison, Johnny Cash had more than a few experiences in a jail cell…

Throughout his life, Johnny was arrested 7 times, most for drunken misbehaviors, including his first for trespassing in a local resident’s garden after a show to pick some flowers.

But on October 5th, 1965, the Man In Black was released after being caught with a over a thousand pills at the El Paso border. He had traveled down to Juarez, Mexico for the discounted pricing, but customs found the stash in his guitar case.

According to their records, he had 668 Dexadrine and 475 Equanil on him. He was arrested on Monday, October 4th, spent the night in jail, but was released the next day.

It was no secret that Johnny struggled heavily with pills for much of his adult life. He even had the famous quote “I was taking pills for awhile, and then the pills started taking me.”

In fact, on an appearance on David Letterman in the ’80s, he detailed his drug use with Waylon Jennings, who at one point, was spending $1,000 a day on drugs.

The pills plus his rampant alcohol use plagued Johnny through both his marriages, though he went through many periods of sobriety, including a 7 year stint after the birth of his and June’s child, John Carter. He finally entered rehab for the last time in 1992.

The Man In Black was larger than life, while alive for sure, but more so after his death. It’s sad to hear the struggles he faced throughout his life, but these run-ins with the law and mugshots only added to his appeal as a rebel against the man.

Rest easy, Johnny.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock