Its been six hundred and
twenty-two days since an American-registered DC9 airliner,
to look like an airplane from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, took off from
the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Int'l Airport (left) and was busted in
Mexico carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine.
It reads like a Hollywood
pitch that gets rejected for not being believable enough.
But it all really happened.
airplanes associated with the CIA— a DC9 airliner (N900SA) and a
Gulfstream business jet (N987SA)—each underwent a rapid-fire series of ownership
changes before taking off a final time from St-Petersburg-Clearwater Int’l
The planes were on their way to
being busted in Mexico eighteen months apart. Between them, they
were carrying more than ten tons of cocaine.
People do hard time
for a little coke dust on their lapel. Somebody here owned
10 tons of cocaine. Yet they’ve been able—so far—to walk away from it.
The reason? Ask the DEA: “America
doesn't have any Drug Lords.”
No American as yet been charged with any crime.
The $400 million dollar man
person with the most to lose in the revivified CIA drug plane scandal may have
nothing at all to
do with the CIA and DEA-connected Gulfstream II business jet whose crash-landing
in the Yucatan two months ago re-opened the case.
of Skyway Aircraft and Royal Sons Inc., was the last registered owner of
Yet just when Geffon had probably begun to
breathe a little easier, with everything seemingly well-in-hand vis-a-vis
the little “incident” with his plane 18
plane, this second plane, a Gulfstream, goes and gets itself
And now even the Tampa
Tribune is looking for him. And do they find him? No sir...
"Making themselves unavailable" is one of the things these guys do best.
Spokesman Fork-in-Tongue Explains it all
The Tampa Tribune took a polite stab at identifying the problem...
"Cartels are searching for aircraft because Caribbean trade routes from South
America, via Mexico, to Florida are gaining in popularity among drug
traffickers, according to one expert in Latin American drug trafficking."
increasingly looking for airplanes such as the ones sold at St.
Petersburg-Clearwater Airport, where both planes were sold. "These
aircraft seem to be linked to a growing trend," a source said."
'The cocaine found on the
two jets represents "a huge seizure," DEA spokesman Steve Robertson said. The
connection between the Sinaloa cartel and the sales of the planes is being
scrutinized, he said.'
'“We are working closely
with our Mexican counterparts. These are significant seizures of
cocaine. I do know that there are leads that lead to Florida and your specific
area, but I am not at liberty to discuss what those are. There are many aspects
to this case, and it is still active."
Translation: Don't hold your
Taking off on bingo night
Not since the 1986 downing
over in Nicaragua of a C-123 military cargo plane with CIA asset Eugene Hasenfus
aboard to kick off the Iran Contra Scandal has there been aviation news
potentially this disasterous to the party in the White House.
The story is huge...
How many bank robberies ever
get away with loot worth $400 million?
And they cover bank robberies with
There's Live CNN team coverage...
"That's right, Bob. Looks
like that's one bank robber who's finished his last package of
Ho-Ho's as a free man.”
But the only major American newspaper covering
the busted CIA drug planes—other than the
McClatchy newspapers, which admirably broke the story but then quickly tip-toed
away from it—is the Tampa Tribune, which has done several stories.
Maybe they're just rubbing a little sand in the eye of their local rival across
The St. Petersburg
Times, hometown paper in the scandal’s hometown, has remained almost
completely silent, except for
a story defending the honor of two companies in Chicago which both
appear to have played a witting and significant role in the operation.
Maybe the flights all take
off on Bingo Night in St Petersburg. That could certainly present a conflict.
There are “wonderful
similarities,” Mexican newspaper Por Esto reported drolly, “between the
Gulfstream which crash-landed in the tiny hamlet of Tixkokob and the DC9 busted
in Ciudad del Carmen which help explain why, despite the fact that almost 18
months has passed, the American owner of the DC9 has not been charged with any
Surprisingly, two weeks ago
the Mexican Attorney General agreed, announcing that the planes had both
purchased by the same people, Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, with money laundered
through a series of Cambio de Change stores in Mexican airports owned by the
cartel’s just-arrested chief money man.
But what the Mexican
Attorney General tactfully neglected to mention, was that the big bad Sinaloa
Cartel hadn’t been buying American planes off of EBAY... Or from dentists
piloting their way through a mid-life crisis on a private plane to Vegas every
The Sinaloa Cartel bought
planes from the people they did business with in the U.S.: Their client,
partner, and employer.
The American Drug
Fun Things to do in Aviation
two CIA drug planes caught in Mexico recently both exhibit the classic hallmark
of a CIA job. The plane's ownership, as shown in FAA reg docs, leads the unwary directly into a
dizzying hall of mirrors, designed to disorient the observer, and effectively
mask the number of missions CIA aircraft are flying everyday.
The FAA’s records of CIA
planes are usually filled with regular ownership changes, or a series of
rapid-fire lease-backs to charter and air leasing companies. One thing about CIA
planes. None of them seem to ever form comfortable relationships with
The same plane gets flipped
back and forth endlessly between brass plate firms and dummy front companies,
from Pacific Rim International to Rim Pacific,
Rim-Pac, Pac-Rim, and Rim-Yo-Mama LLC.
And all this subterfuge is
just for one plane. One of what may be thousands.
That's a huge number of dummy front companies to keep track of...
No wonder planes get lost.
"When first we practice to
Occasionally the anonymous
paper shuffler behind the curtain seems to get tired of it all. Then the
plane gets exported, and no more is heard from it for at least several years,
when it can safely be brought back to the U.S. and issued another “N” number.
And no one is the wiser.
But the system isn’t perfect.
They don’t walk on water. And in cases like this one sometimes we get lucky
and can clearly see
the plane’s interlocking ownership... without even having to squint.
Before being flipped around,
the Gulfstream was “parked” in
the name of a New York real estate developer who has close ties to top Russian
Mobsters and makes frequent flights to the Ukraine in his brand spanking new G-5
ultra-sweet corporate jet.
it was owned by a major Republican fund-raiser, a
secretive Midwestern media baron who personally paid for over $1 million of
billboard ads for George W. Bush during the 2000 Presidential election.
Probably just a coincidence.
Bush Rangers, Russian Mobsters, Adnan Khashoggi
But what proves that its
no coincidence, and reveals the unified command structure of the
operation, is the fact that Stephan Adams was partners in a business with
the guy who owned the other plane.
Then there's Bush
Ranger extraordinaire Stephen Adams, who owned the Gulfstream (N987SA)
in 1999 and 2000, while at the same time personally paying for over
$1 million of billboards for George W. Bush during his 2000 Presidential
Adams was in business in another company with Miami
attorney Michael Farkas, who doubles as the American
representative of an ultra-nationalist settler party in Israel. And now we've
come full circle...
Because Farkas founded the company
that owned the DC9.
elaborate stock fraud scheme that came to called Stockwalk,
Stephan Smith and
Michael Farkas owned
two of three companies which was so hugely
successful that it was used to suck out over $300 million from
unwary stockholders before getting caught.
They had a third partner
masterminding the scam. He controlled the third corporation being used in the scheme.
This third guy? You may have heard of him.
His name is Adnan Khashoggi.
Top fundraisers know where to go to get cash
Getting busted in Mexico
carrying a multi-ton load of cocaine may be an occupational hazard to pilots,
but not—as we’ve seen demonstrated over and over—to the well-connected
owners of the planes, and their nearest and dearest.
the No.1 lifetime Texas Republican Bush-backer, owns the hangar at DFW
International where the DC9 from
SkyWay Communications of St Petersburg, FL. came for "repairs."
News accounts during Bush’s
first Presidential campaign called Rainwater “George W. Bush’s biggest
supporter” as well as “the power behind the throne.”
For more than $20,000 a
month, SkyWay Aircraft "leased" this “repair” facility from
Richard Rainwater at DFW
Airport in Dallas... even though the company had nothing to repair.
And let’s not forget
U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, who visited SkyWay just before it went
bankrupt, and pronounced the firm’s non-existent technology to be "awesome."
For that bit of deliberate
disinformation, Mel should have gone to jail.
The 'boys' returned the favor:
Martinez was running for the Senate, and Martinez flew a SkyWay drug smuggling
plane--presumably vacuumed out first--in his barnstorming finish in his
successful 2004 campaign… for free.
"Martinez traversed the
state, including a trip to a nighttime rally with several hundred people in
downtown Delray Beach in luxury, on a DC-9 owned by Skyway Global, a
Clearwater security company whose owners are Martinez supporters,” reported
the Nov 2 2004 St. Petersburg Times.
A story in the Miami Herald
labeled Martinez "the national Republican Party's new top fundraiser."
Well, no wonder.
More of the usual suspects
Texas Republicans are by no means the only group of people implicated in the
scandal... just the most fun to kick.
There’s also Ramy El-Batrawi,
the former President of a CIA proprietary airline, crooked San Diego Defense
contractor Titan Corp, and, oh, yeah…
The lads from the CIA
were having a ‘go’ as well.
Deserving special mention is
an investment bank located in tiny Boerne, Texas, and La Jolla, Ca.
Argyll Equities LLC has the distinction of having participated in this
operation in at least two separate ways.
Argyll was the
second-largest shareholder in SkyWay, according to bankruptcy filings, owning
nearly 21 million shares of totally worthless stock, which might be considered
something of an investment black eye, unless other undisclosed considerations
And Argyll also raised funds
for a Mexican industrialist who’s in business with the very people
whose dope keeps getting busted in the Yucatan.
According to documents filed
with the SEC in 2005, Argyll Equities LLC was paid to raise a $17.0 million loan
for Mexican industrialist Jose Serrano Segovia’s shipping line,
Segovia turned around and,
according to an English language newspaper in Chile, The Santiago Times, on May
5, 1998, “provided significant capital” to a “Chilean narcotics trafficker"
named Manuel Vicente Losada, arrested in the Chilean capital of Santiago after
being “linked to a shipment of five tons of cocaine which U.S. drug enforcement
officials in Miami intercepted over six years ago on the vessel Harbour, as it
headed toward Guantanamo Bay.”
Hey, wait a minute...
The Gulfstream used to fly
to Guantanamo, didn't it?
Probably just a coincidence.