Curtis Warren's history was described during the Royal Court trial
One of six men accused over an alleged £1m drug smuggling plot was of "substantial wealth and influence", jurors at Jersey's Royal Court heard.
Defence Advocate Stephen Baker revealed Curtis Warren, 46, of Liverpool, had also been Interpol's most wanted man.
John Welsh, 43, also from Liverpool, James O'Brien, 45, of Glasgow and Jason Woodward, 22, of Dartford, deny conspiracy to import drugs.
Paul Hunt, 27, and Oliver Lucas, 23, from Jersey, also denied the charge.
The men are accused of plotting to smuggle drugs from Amsterdam by boat to a cove near St Catherine's Breakwater in Jersey.
The jury previously heard how much of the evidence against the men stemmed from covert surveillance by the States of Jersey Police, working with police in Britain and Holland.
Mr Warren's history was revealed during the cross-examination by Mr Baker of Det Sgt Paul Kennea, who led the investigation for Jersey police.
He told the court how weeks before the alleged drugs plot began, Mr Warren was released from a Dutch prison where he had served 10 years of a 17-year term for drug trafficking.
He has been convicted of smuggling cocaine, heroin, cannabis and ecstasy and he had also been convicted of possession of firearms and jailed for 13 years.
In 1999, he was convicted of the manslaughter of a fellow inmate and four years added to his term.
Addressing the police officer, the lawyer said: "There must have been great excitement that day in the drugs squad, you were getting the chance to observe Curtis Warren.
"Every drugs squad officer in the country and the UK knows who Curtis Warren is."
Det Sgt Kennea said: "Most of the (surveillance) team were not drug squad officers and had not heard of him."
Mr Baker then asked if the officer had read a best-selling book about Mr Warren's career.
Mr Kennea replied: "About 10 years ago on the beach, yes."
Mr Baker said: "Warren is a man who, by reputation, is a drug dealer of substantial wealth and influence isn't he?"
The drugs squad officer said: "To me, that day, he was a job."
Mr Baker asked: "He is the only alleged drug trafficker to have appeared in the Sunday Times Rich List and, did you know, in Liverpool and London, you buy T-shirts with his photograph on them?"
The witness replied: "There are a lot of myths about Mr Warren which I don't think are true."
The trial continues.