Miami Vice Wiki
Trust Fund Pirates


21 (43rd Overall)
May 2, 1986
Repeat Airdate
September 5, 1986
TV Rating
TV-14 V
Guest Stars
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"Trust Fund Pirates" is the twenty-first and penultimate episode of Miami Vice's second season. It premiered on May 2, 1986, and was rerun on September 5, 1986.


Crockett and Tubbs team up with a semi-retired smuggler to help solve a rash of smuggler killings off-shore.


Captain Hook runs an outlaw radio station on his boat off the Florida coast, joined by Noogie Lamont. While his music goes across the ocean, a smuggling boat out of Cartagena, the Mas O Menos, manned by a dealer named Moralez, is waiting for a pilot named Jackson to pick up a load of cocaine. During this time, a U.S. Customs boat appears and begins opening fire on the boat, killing everyone aboard.

The Customs boat is manned not by agents, but by "pirates", led by Skip Mueller, who board the boat, pour rum on the dead bodies, and steal the cocaine located in a hidden compartment. The smuggler Jackson Crane then arrives on the boat, finds the carnage left behind, that the drugs were taken, and then takes the ship's SONAR device. Castillo said the Customs boat was hotwired and abandoned in the Florida Keys, and wants Crockett and Tubbs to check out Switek and Zito's sting operation in Broward and see if the stolen SONAR equipment turns up. It turns out it did, sold by a former B&E specialist named T. R. "Jumbo" Collins. Crockett and Tubbs (as Burnett and Cooper) go to check him out at his trailer located in an aviation junkyard. Both Jumbo and his wife, Fluffy think that the duo are with Mueller. After a weapon showdown, Crockett and Tubbs find out Jumbo got his SONAR equipment from a pilot through an intermediary - Captain Hook. Crockett and Tubbs then go to see Hook on his boat, he said he arranged delivery with Jackson, the pilot Jumbo mentioned.

When Crockett and Tubbs (as Burnett and Cooper) arrive at the hangar to meet Jackson, the smuggler doesn't want to do business with "Burnett and Cooper" after being told of them by Jimmy, the smuggler pilot who used to own the hangar. Mueller arrives with his gang of pirates at Jumbo's place and wants to sell the cocaine stolen from the boat to Jumbo. But it's a rip-off, and the Collins escape in a hail of gunfire, then the pirates find out the money in the bag above them was counterfeit. Crockett and Tubbs want Jackson to introduce them to the pirates they are looking for to arrange transport of MAC-10 weapons to South America. Jackson introduces Lani, his fiancee and asks Crockett and Tubbs to show her a good time at a video arcade and a restaurant. They find Lani is a trust fund baby and that Jackson is aware of the millions she will inherit when she is 22. Meanwhile, Jackson goes to a rundown building to meet the pirates, but is confronted by Moralez's brother and gang, who blame Jackson for his brother's death. Mueller and the pirates arrive to dispose of Moralez's brother's gang. The pirates are also trust fund babies who are bored with the aristocratic lifestyle and can't stand the South American drug dealers that arrive to "ruin the place for real Americans like you and me". Jackson is hesitant to arrange the meet with Crockett and Tubbs, but the pirates want it to happen, and so do Crockett and Tubbs, so they finalize everything in the hangar: Jackson will fly Crockett and Tubbs to the pirate boat with the money and weapons, then the boat will be used to transport the arms to South America.

Castillo doesn't like the idea (no backup once Crockett and Tubbs are on the plane) but they go ahead with their plan. At Lani's place, Jackson is worried about "Cooper and Burnett" and Lani is worried about the wedding dress she will be wearing in six weeks. At the hangar, Jackson brought Lani with him and he wants to back out of the deal, but Lani pulls a gun and wants the deal to go through, saying her brother Skip warned her that Jackson "would flake out", takes Crockett and Tubbs' guns, and board the plane. They arrive at the Mueller mansion and the pirates open the box of arms and find it's a fake, in the melee Crockett and Tubbs shoot all the pirates except Mueller, who Jackson shoots with a flare gun, and they arrest Lani. Jackson is disgusted with "trust fund babies", unhappy he helped cops, but he will get back to Crockett's offer about a clean slate since he did help them. Captain Hook signs off for the day on his radio show.


Guest Stars



  • Richard Belzer would go on to spend 20 years playing the role of Detective John Munch in Homicide: Life on the Street (1993-1999) and on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-2013), tying him with James Arness' 20-year portrayal of Matt Dillon on the series Gunsmoke and Kelsey Grammer's 20-year portrayal of Dr. Frasier Crane in the series' Cheers and Frasier for second place behind Mariska Hargitay's 23 (1999-present) years of playing Detective (now Captain) Olivia Benson (in Belzer's previous series SVU) for the longest continuous portrayal of a single character in a TV series.
  • The song "Heaven" played by Captain Hook on his radio show, although covered by Simply Red, was originally written and recorded by Talking Heads in 1979.
  • This is Charlie Barnett's only season 2 appearance as "Noogie" Lamont, though he was mentioned in passing in "Buddies" when his wife, "Ample" Annie, speaks to Crockett and Tubbs. Allegedly, Don Johnson refused to do scenes with Barnett following a drug-fueled rage, essentially banning him from the set. Barnett would appear one final time in the season 4 episode "Missing Hours".
  • This episode was originally supposed to be a sequel to season 1's "Smuggler's Blues" featuring Glenn Frey reprising his character Jimmy Cole. However, when Frey was unavailable for filming (most likely touring for his album The Allnighter) the script was changed to feature a smuggler friend of his who had taken over Cole's hangar and knew all about "Burnett and Cooper".
  • The opening sequence of the episode (set to Randy Newman's "Miami") looks like a mini-music video, showing various stock shots of Miami.
  • Tommy Chong's long time partner, Cheech Marin, would co-star with Don Johnson on the 1996-2001 cop show Nash Bridges. Chong and Philip Michael Thomas would guest star on the show.
  • Lani is playing the classic Nintendo game Mario Bros. in the arcade, which was the first in the classic Mario Bros. series and which also introduced Mario's brother, Luigi.
  • Gary Cole (Jackson) would go on to play the possibly possessed, demoniacal sheriff in the short-lived series American Gothic.
  • During the arcade, if you listen closely, you can hear some background music from Sega's 1983 game Up n' Down.


  • While Mueller is descending the stairs inside the boat, he says, "Buenos dias, you're dead!" to the woman lying on the floor. However, when he jumps over her body, the woman's left arm can be seen moving.
  • Jumbos' wife "Fluffy" introduces herself to Crockett and Tubbs as Mrs."T.M. Collins" instead of "T.R. Collins."
  • After flipping a thug off the dock in the final shootout, Crockett tries to grab a MAC-10 lying on the deck as rolls behind the bar for cover, but he clearly fumbles the weapon and drops it. A few moments later, he emerges from behind the bar firing another MAC-10 that has appeared from nowhere (it cannot be the one he just tried to grab, because that is still visible lying on the dock where he dropped it).

Production Notes

  • Working Title: "Pirates"
  • Filmed: March 5, 1986 - March 13, 1986
  • Production Code: 60027
  • Production Order: 43

Filming Locations

  • North Perry Airport, Pembroke Pines (Hangar scenes)
  • Biscaya House, West Avenue in South Beach (Junkie house)
  • Harbor Point, Key Biscayne (Pirates shootout with Vice)


Jan Hammer Music

  • "Night Talk" (Capt. Hook on air)


  • "What do you guys think of my new TV show, Stolen Goodies? -- Switek to Crockett and Tubbs
  • "Switek, America's not ready!" -- Tubbs
  • "Is a frog's butt watertight?" -- Jumbo Collins to purchaser of stolen SONAR equipment
  • "Turn off your lights man. What do you think this is, a spy movie?" -- Jumbo to Skip
  • "Trust fund babies just wanna have fun!" -- Skip to Jackson
  • "I want 60 upfront!" "Yeah, and Gaddafi wants Reagan to visit him in his tent!" -- Skip and Crockett
Season 2 Episodes:

"The Prodigal Son" "Whatever Works" "Out Where the Buses Don't Run" "The Dutch Oven" "Buddies" "Junk Love" "Tale of the Goat" "Bushido" "Bought and Paid For" "Back in the World" "Phil the Shill" "Definitely Miami" "Yankee Dollar" "One Way Ticket" "Little Miss Dangerous" "Florence Italy" "French Twist" "The Fix" "Payback" "Free Verse" "Trust Fund Pirates" "Sons and Lovers"