After the Dallas show, Cash flew to El Paso, one of his favorite drug supply points, where he asked a cab driver to take him to Juárez and get him some pills. The driver assured him that it would be no problem, so Cash waited — feeling like an outlaw, he said — as the driver went into a Juárez bar to buy the drugs. “I slid down a little lower in the back seat each time someone looked my way,” he wrote in “Man in Black,” his 1975 autobiography. “I had never done it this way before.” Back at his hotel, Cash popped a few pills and killed time before the evening flight to Los Angeles by searching for antique guns in some pawnshops. He was looking at a Colt .44 Army pistol, long one of his favorites, when he was approached by a man he suspected was a plainclothes policeman. Cash assumed he was curious about the gun in his hand. “I collect antique pistols,” Cash volunteered. “It’s a nice one,” the man replied, in what Cash described as a friendly manner.
After some more small talk, the man asked Cash what time his plane was leaving, and Cash told him.
On the way back to the hotel, he started worrying even though he had hidden all his pills in two socks, one of which he’d put inside his guitar and one in the lining of his suitcase.
By the time Cash got to his seat on the plane, he figured he was home free. Then he saw two men walking down the aisle toward him. One was the man from the pawnshop.
The man asked Cash if he had a gun, and when he nodded that he did, he was ordered off the plane. In an empty room in the terminal, the men went through his luggage and guitar case. They found the pills, but they still didn’t seem satisfied.
Finally, one asked, “Where’s the heroin?” Cash became angry. He told them he had never taken heroin. The men explained they had assumed he was into heroin because they had seen the cab driver huddling with a known heroin dealer in the Juárez bar.
Cash was relieved, but the officers pointed out that he had still broken the law. He was taken to the county jail until a bond hearing the next day. 👉Continued in comments👉