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MENA: Russell Welch on Barry SealRe: Russell Welch on Barry Seal

As far as Barry Seal bringing cocaine to Mena.... There were a 
couple of good informant statements that Barry brought cocaine 
into Mena a couple of different times.  The informants could not 
be corroborated, but it didn't make any difference.

If Barry did bring any dope into Mena, it was an exception to the 
way he did things.  Barry's method of smuggling was almost flawless.
When the airplane carrying the dope got over the main land, the pilot
(whoever it would be, at the time) would pick a random spot to kick
the bags out.  All communications were in code.  Coded Loran
coordinates, of the drop spot, would be radioed to a ground crew, which
would go in, with a helicopter, and pick up the cocaine.  Barry didn't 
fly cocaine into any airports. According to Barry, he learned this system 
from the Ochoa's.  It didn't make any difference where the dope was 
kicked, whether Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma,... anywhere. This method
made it more difficult to catch them, but everybody involved in Seal's 
organization was just as guilty of involvement in the Conspiracy, and 
were taking part in a Continuing Criminal Interprize.

There was plenty of reason to believe that Seal was making some of his
drops close to Mena, because the helicopters were here for several
months, and a fictitious business was developed around them, and the
smuggling planes were making regular trips.  The helicopters are short
range.  The fictitious business was taking a fuel truck to other
airports and buying aviation fuel, under false pretenses, to fuel Seal's
helicopters.  Everything was done in secret.  The day that Seal rolled
over and started snitching, his entire operation changed.  On a chart, 
the difference between March 23, 1984, and March 24, 1984, are like black 
and white. Seal started using larger aircraft and did it in the open.  No
more going to other airports and clandestinely purchasing aviation fuel.
Seal would pull his larger aircraft up to the FBO, fill up with 600+
gallons and go on his way.  I got the before-and-after fuel tickets.
They would secretly tell friends and associates at the airport that they
were working on secret stuff for the government.

Barry Seal's "grace period," as we called it, started on March 24, 1984.
That was the date typed on his first "Plea Agreement," in Florida.  That
was the day that he became a snitch for the DEA.  It would have been
fruitless for me to try to make a case on anybody in his organization
after that date, because he was working on stings for the DEA.
Unfortunately, he was, also, being allowed to travel freely in Arkansas,
without any controls.  The DEA, in Florida, later argued that they had

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Subject: NEW LIST: CHOMSKY - Discussions on Politics and Linguistics