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Old 04-06-2016, 12:55 AM
Draken Draken is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Exclamation Major Medellin and Cali Cartel Pilot and Barry Seal Employer Publishes Memoirs


Roger Reaves was central to the Medellin and Cali Cartel transportation system and has a lot to say about who was doing what to whom.

There are many historical facts contained within the book. Roger was the first to land at the Nicaraguan airbase that Barry Seal ultimately used to ensnare Pablo Escobar and Jorge Ochoa. Roger talks about the Sandinista's being involved in the drug trade. Roger was also present at the meeting that started the Medellin Cartel - a party held on the West coast of Colombia.

James Cameron expressed an interest in the book for a movie deal in 2008. His representative stated that they should be informed when the book came out - it has taken a further 8 years for this to happen. Don't ask why. Thats another book in itself. Roger is being held in Acacia prison, Perth, Western Australia. He is serving a sentence of 18 to life for the importation of one ton of cocaine into Australia

It's a great read.

15 years coming.

Many interesting tit bits about the trade - especially Mena, Arkansas. Hillary and Bill will not like what Roger has to say - especially the $50,000 per week he was paying through Barry Seal for the landing rights there - "All the way to the top".


Please, order your copy of the book, spread the word to your friends on Facebook and write a review on Amazon!

Amazon Books
http://amzn.com/0692630538

Kindle eBook
http://amzn.com/B01DH7M7QM

CreateSpace
https://www.createspace.com/6140086

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Smuggler-Ro...homepage_panel

Twitter
https://twitter.com/SmugglerReaves?lang=sv




> 1. INTRODUCTION
>
>
>
> Today is January 26, 2016, my birthday. I am seventy three years old. I’m serving a life sentence in Australia for importing cocaine. I read a lovely card from my wife, seems everyone else forgot. I also received a warrant for my arrest in the United States, stating that U.S. marshals are to arrest me and take me to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles for a parole violation. I owe them seven-thousand nine hundred and thirty-five days, or twenty-one years, nine months, for the possession of two hundred kilos of marijuana in 1976, thirty-seven years ago. I have served fifteen years of a non-parole period of eighteen years. In three years I go up for parole, I have never seen a lifer get parole on the first application; they always say ‘come back in three years'.
>
> I was probably the most prolific smuggler of the last century, flying in well over a hundred loads of marijuana, hashish and cocaine into the United States, plus sailing twenty-ton shiploads from Pakistan to Thailand. I made untold millions and lived a life few can believe; and I have paid dearly, with interest, for the privilege. This begins the twenty-eighth year, out of the last thirty four, that I have been in prison for non-violent drug offences. I don’t consider myself much of a criminal. I don’t lie, cheat or steal and I always take up for the underdog. Violence makes me sick. Yet I know I am an outlaw and those that break the law must be punished. We can’t live in a lawless society, but why change the laws so drastically? Before Ronald Regan the maximum sentence for marijuana was five years in prison. My crimes pale next to those of presidents in office.
>
> Real crime? The Clintons were up to their eyeballs in cocaine. You can search the internet for “Mena Arkansas” the full story. George W. and his brother Jeb, who was governor of Florida, stole the election from Al Gore by not allowing the citizens of Broward County Florida’s votes to be counted. Then he and Dick Cheney went after the oil in Iraq using “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, a blatant lie, to bomb everything in Baghdad except the oil ministry. Two hundred thousand were killed and countless maimed. Ruthless politicians, bought by big business, voted to ship millions of American jobs to China. Congressmen are bribed to vote against clean energy. Cheap land mines are manufactured in the United States and sold to impoverished countries in the third world where children are killed, mutilated and blinded every day. Yes, my crimes pale next to these scoundrels.
>
> When I received the life sentence in Australia I was in a special housing unit, a maximum-security jail within a maximum-security prison, a bad place, reserved for the worst of the worst. I knew that I would never go home, never again dance with my lovely wife or sit with my family around the dining table and bounce my grandchildren on my knee. I had already been in prison so long that my children hardly knew me, and my grandchildren never would. I thought of my own grandfather who had served time a hundred years ago in Reedsville, a maximum-security prison in Georgia. I thought how wonderful it would be if I could read about his life, of where he grew up, who he loved and why he killed a man in the courtroom. With that, I decided to tell my story.
>
> At night I would lie on my bunk and as I thought something was interesting I would write it on a scrap of paper. The next morning I would take it to the computer room, a small glassed in room directly in front of the control box. Guards would keep watch through a one way mirror. I knew how to type, but how do I turn the computer on? There wasn’t a program on it, so I typed a continuous line that must have gone on for miles. Sometimes tears streamed down my face as I remembered events from my life and got them down. Often, another prisoner would turn off the electricity at the breaker box and I would lose what I had written for the last ten minutes. It was difficult, but after three months the stories were told.
>
> Two years later I was able to enter it into a Word format and was surprised to learn there were over a thousand pages. I bound all that and sent ten copies to my family and began cutting. I cut out the stories where I was not directly involved, or anything I was not sure of. I wrote the truth as best I remembered. I left nothing out though I've changed a few names to protect the guilty. Statute of limitations means the law will not be bothering friends and associates though the law of karma may.
>
> You may ask, ‘What did you learn?’ I have learned that it wasn’t worth all these years in prison, that you cannot trust your fellow man when he is facing a long prison term and the prosecutors tell him he will go free if he tells on his friend. I learned to read men like you read a book. Give me one minute with someone and allow me to hear the sound of his voice and I know volumes. But most of all I learned that love is the essence of happiness in this life; that the love of just one person can lift you from the deepest despair and make life worth living.
>
> Regrets? Of course there are many. I regret that I did not apply myself when I was in school. I would have liked to have been a medical doctor helping the poor and sick. I regret all the nights I have been away from my dear wife. We were married fifty two years ago and I have been in prison for half of that time. She has waited all these years for me to return and it breaks my heart that I cannot go to her. I regret that my children never really got to know me, the true Daddy that I am in my heart, and the happy farm boy that lives within.
>
> By reading the first part of this book you will get to know me and realize how easy it is for a good man to go astray and end up in places, maybe he just shouldn't be. With that in mind, some say a man's destiny is 'written' and free choice is an illusion. Some say life is all about choice, in which case, I wish I'd made different ones.
>
> The second part of my book tells of high adventure, of numerous escapes from serious injury and death and comedic routines out of a Laurel and Hardy episode. Of time spent in fantastic isolation in the most beautiful landscapes imaginable and of time spent with family, sailing the high seas and landing at exotic island ports; to flying my personal aircraft over the Arctic Circle and the South American jungle. I've lived a life.
>
> You can see me on YouTube on National Geographic’s documentary “Australia’s Hardest Prison.” I still run five miles a day.
>
>
>
> I hope you enjoy my story.




> 2. CRASHED IN COLOMBIA
>
> Three Tons Of Pot -- Fighter Jets And Thunderstorms -- Tangled DC-3 -- The Road Block -- On My Own -- Missionary Aviation -- So Much Trouble For A Simple Stamp
>
>
>
>
>
> I bought November Nine Eight Hotel, an immaculate DC-3- from Union Oil Company. There was not a ding on her anywhere. Blue and white leather seats, white leather ceiling and plush blue carpet gave the interior a stately appearance. The luxurious seats had pull down tables with inlaid wooden maps. Each country was carved in a different colored exotic wood. Marrie and I proudly flew friends all around California in this nostalgic aircraft. Everywhere we landed people wanted to look it over, inside and out.
>
> I hired Al Shines from Tyler, Texas as full time co-pilot and gave him a monthly salary with a promise of a big bonus on each marijuana run we made. He visited our home in Santa Barbara, met my wife Marrie and the girls and was impressed. This was the lifestyle he was after.
>
> Dan came with a sample of some sticky buds worth 400 dollars a pound. He had three tons secured in Colombia and was anxious to get it out. However, he had two obstacles; one, he had no money, two, he had no airplane. He showed me exactly where the strip was located in Colombia and said it was five thousand feet long and all was ready to go. We soon struck a deal. For a certain percentage I put up sixty-thousand dollars and flew the pot to the United States. I refused to give Dan the money. I would give it to the Colombian owner directly as I had done business with Dan previously and was not willing to trust him completely.
>
> Dan left for Colombia to tell his people that transportation was on the way. Al and I flew from Santa Barbara to San Antonio, Texas where we filled twenty 55-gallon drums inside the cabin with aviation fuel. The wing tanks held another thousand gallons. The old workhorse felt rather loaded as she took off and climbed out on a flight plan for San Jose, Costa Rica.
>
> Stretching across our path from Cuba to Guatemala was a line of severe thunderstorms. As we approached, all we could see was lightning and black towering, boiling weather, stretching from horizon to horizon. There was no way to go through on the Caribbean side, so I turned right and followed the squall line west across Central America and on out over the Pacific and then turned south. It wasn’t long before my mistake almost jarred my eyeteeth out and the wings off the aircraft. The turbulence was horrendous. We turned back as best we could and headed for Tapachula, on the very southern tip of Mexico. The weather was clear and we flew on, a little relieved.
>
> No one bothered us that night after we landed, however, the next morning there were inquiries. A customs inspector got in the plane and looked over the shiny new green drums. He asked what was in them and I replied that it was medicine for bees and went on to explain that a virus had infected the honeybees in Central America and was heading north. This medicine was to help stop the plague. He seemed satisfied and didn't ask to have one opened. Phew!
>
> We filed a flight plan to San Jose, Costa Rica and departed. Fifty miles out I turned east and went to the isolated strip near Tikalin, Guatemala. It was deep in the jungle, built back in the 1930’s by Shell Oil Company for oil exploration in the area. The runway was smooth but badly grown over in weeds and scrubs and I could never find a trail leading to it. Some weeks earlier I flew down a planeload of Mexicans and cleared it in a day with chain saws, machetes and mowers. We landed, unloaded the drums, rolled them in the bushes, laid cut foliage over them and departed for San Jose to wait for Dan. After waiting a couple of days he showed up and told me that the Colombians had to have eighty-thousand dollars or no deal. He had a stash of fresh marijuana buds to wet my greed. I knew the extra twenty was probably for Dan. He had me committed and now he was squeezing. OK asshole, it was no more than expected. Marrie flew down with the twenty thousand.
>
> Early next morning Dan was anxious to get started. In fact, he got rather ugly about getting an early start, getting there on time, and checking out the load.
>
> I said, “Listen, I don’t know what your problem is, but it is nothing you can’t work out in the twelve hours we will be on the ground. From here to your airstrip is nine hundred miles. The DC-3 flies at 150mph which means it will take us six hours to get there, give or take a few minutes, depending on the winds. We will touch down thirty minutes before dark. Is there anything about that you can’t understand?”
>
> We departed at noon the following day and flew directly to his five-thousand-foot strip that had shrunk to half that length. I circled in light rain and I knew there was no way to get off that strip with three tons. It was dusk and I had two hours fuel remaining in the tanks. I had to land.
>
> I taxied up to a red tiled roof house near the end of the strip where we were met by a charming Colombian gentleman of around sixty years of age with white hair and a stately appearance. He could have played the part in a Colombian coffee advertisement without any prep. My anger subsided somewhat. Perhaps not all was lost.
>
> Dan said this was a staging stop. The real airstrip was four hundred miles further south and that was the reason he had wanted to get here earlier. I exploded, “You lying, sniveling piece of shit. I should have known better than to ever have anything to do with you. You’re shiftier than a shit-house rat!”
>
> He took the cussin’ with stoical grace. In fact he knew it was coming and was just waiting for it to be over. He had been planning the deception for a month. He showed me new hoses with clamps to attach them to the wing. He had a drill to make a hole in the fuselage for the hose to go through and he had two DC-3 fuel tank caps with holes drilled in them and a nipple to connect to the hose. There was also an ample supply of gasoline for the extra eight hundred miles. His plan was to lighten the load by a ton and bring out two tons, the other ton being the extra fuel in drums. He would stand in the cabin and pump into the wing tanks as they burned off.
>
> “You thoroughbred, asshole! Why didn’t you tell me all this in Santa Barbara?” Even though Dan was almost seven feet tall and a body builder, I could have whipped him at that time.
>
> “I knew that if I told you it was fourteen hundred miles from your strip in Guatemala you would never have come. We can still bring out two million dollars’ worth of good pot if you will just listen to me.” He whined.
>
> My greed got the best of me. What the heck, I was already down here; there was good pot and plenty of gasoline. Why not? We made tents of the tarpaulins which were over the drums of gasoline to protect them from the rain. Men began pumping in fuel. There was sufficient to fill the tanks and another five hundred gallons loaded in the cargo area. We drilled holes in each side of the fuselage, ran the hoses through and attached them to the wings with numerous clamps.
>
> The grey-headed gentleman was the owner or broker of the pot and I gave him the eighty thousand dollars. He introduced a young man as a local crop duster who was to fly with us as a guide to the next landing spot. He didn’t strike me as a crop duster but perhaps he had ridden in an airplane. Dan wanted to leave right away, said his people were waiting with fires along their strip. However, there was no way I was going to take off in rain and fly through the night over unknown jungle without a radio beacon or any navigation aids. Dan accepted the logic.
>
> We took off at four a.m. and headed south. The grey haired gentleman had marked roughly where the strip was located on a chart. The 'crop duster' stood between Al and me and it soon became plain he was as 'lost as a loon'. Everything looked the same and I could only dead-reckon my position. When I figured we were in the vicinity I flew a twenty-mile grid trying to get our location.
>
> Around eight o’clock I found the convergence of two rivers that matched the description and from there the 'crop duster’ directed us on to what one might call a strip, if you used a lot of imagination. Termite nests stood blood red like twenty foot sentinels along both sides of the track. There were light impressions of tracks in the wiregrass where other planes had landed but they were barely visible and not recent..
>
> A dozen irate white Colombians met us. Some had red hair and beards. Some were blonde with no beards. However, they all had one thing in common; they were armed to the teeth with AK-47’s, pistols and shotguns with banana clips and they were yelling most emphatically for us to get the hell out of there. Seemed the marijuana had been there the evening before and they had waited all night for us then at daybreak moved it out. This was a guerilla group fighting government soldiers and the area was frequently flown over by military aircraft. We were to come back just before dark. Dan knew all this. How easy it would have been had I known.
>
> We took off in a hurry and returned to the ranch we departed from early that morning. When we landed the grey haired gentleman seemed quite disturbed. However, he had a woman prepare lunch, if you could call it such. I got enough down to kill hunger, walked under a big mango tree and crawled into a hammock and went to sleep. I was dreaming peacefully when an awful noise like an explosion blasted me awake. I rolled out of the hammock, hit the ground running and stumbled out from under the tree. I hit the ground and as I looked up I saw the ass end of two military jets climbing straight up with their engine afterburners aglow.
>
> All the Colombians ran for a flatbed truck, piled on and took off with the gentleman driving away with my eighty thousand dollars. I didn’t think of that at the time as I was running for the plane followed closely by Al, Dan and the silent Mexican American who had flown with us earlier that morning.
>
> I fired her up and took off without warming the engines for even a second. As soon as we were airborne the two military jets swarmed on us shooting a string of tracers across the windshield. I stayed low, probably around three hundred feet above the jungle and headed north. The jets dropped their gear and flaps and flew right on my wingtips, one on the left and one on the right. I could see the pilot's faces clearly. They kept pointing for me to turn toward their airbase at Villavicencio. "No thank you gentlemen." I waved and gave the hippy peace signal and began to slow down. The jet’s nose rose higher and higher, black smoke poured from their jet exhausts. I knew they were sucking up fuel fast at this low altitude in a stall position. When they couldn’t fly any slower they began circling, shooting tracers all the way down the left wing until it looked as if they would hit the propeller. On another pass one filled the tail section with fifty caliber holes. My throat ran dry. I didn’t think they would really shoot us. If they shot the fuselage or wing tanks with tracers the aviation fuel would explode and we would go down in a ball of flames. We flew on. Tracers began coming from beneath and skimming up from just under my feet. They looked like they were curving upward from our perspective. Twenty-millimeter cannons jarred the aircraft with their explosions so near.
>
> To keep them from getting underneath me I pushed the nose over and flew at treetop level. I heard later they thought I was trying to crash into them as one almost hit the jungle trying to get out of the way. Finally, one jet left, I presumed for fuel.
>
> Stout metal pins with a red plastic flag attached are stuck through the struts each time one lands to prevent the gear collapsing in case of hydraulic failure. In the frantic rush to get airborne, I had forgotten to pull the pins in the struts and with the gear hanging down the performance of the aircraft was greatly diminished. I couldn’t retract the gear. I needed to land for a few seconds and take them out. I saw a pasture ahead and put her down. It was rougher than it looked and fuel caps popped off as we pitched and bucked to a stop. I ran out and collected the pins, got back in and took off.
>
> Meanwhile, back in the US, the World Series baseball game was in full swing. The announcer said, “We interrupt this broadcast with a special news bulletin. Colombian jets have just shot down an American DC-3 believed to be on a drug smuggling run. This is the first aircraft shot down in the new war on drugs."
>
> With the wheels retracted I climbed to get over the approaching mountains. The jet stayed with us firing a string of tracers sporadically. Black clouds reaching to the heavens were boiling straight ahead. I thought, ‘We can get away in there' and I flew straight in. A wall of water met me and the updraft had my ears popping as I watched the altimeter spin. I had no way of knowing how near the mountains were and I knew these tropical thunderstorms hang close to them. I was afraid to continue further in so I spiraled up to twenty-thousand feet; too high to be safe without oxygen. However, it would have to do for now. I stuck the nose out and there was the jet. Boom, boom, boom, the cannons thundered. Right back into another crash of thunder and lightning I dove.
>
> At that altitude she was icing up. There were inches of ice on the windshield and leading edges and she began to respond sluggishly. I was starting to feel the effects of oxygen deprivation and realized I had to think fast. Deducing he had us on his radar screen and we were not going to get rid of him without more drastic measures, I pulled it up into a stall, kicked the right rudder and went into a tight spin, spiraling eighteen thousand feet in a very short time. At five thousand feet the clouds began to break up. At two thousand a layer of puffy white clouds stretched to infinity.
>
> I pushed the nose over and dove under this fluffy blanket. What a glorious peaceful world underneath as we flew over the lush green jungle spotted with sunlight. Dan was begging me to go to Costa Rica but the adrenalin had made me bulletproof and there was no way I was going to toss in the towel now. What we needed was a quiet place to set her down and rest for a couple of hours then go visit the guerillas.
>
> As we flew along the south bank of the Rio Guaviare I saw a level area of tall grass on a bluff above the river. It looked perfectly smooth from our height and I figured it should be as I could see that it was formed by the river during flood stage, but was now ten or fifteen feet above the level of the river. I circled low, had a good look and touched the wheels down, skimmed along for a half mile, pulled up, and repeated the process several times putting more and more pressure on the tires each time. After several passes it resembled a landing strip.
>
> “OK Al, this is it, we’re stopping this time. Hey Al, take your foot off the brakes!” I shouted.
>
> “I’m not touching the brakes!” He screamed back.
>
> I knew instantly we were in trouble and I instinctively jammed the throttles forward. The engines roared to life and the whole aircraft shuddered with the sudden burst of power, but it was too late. The tires had broken through the six-inch crust and we were in the soupy mud underneath. Thirty thousand pounds of weight was on less than a square foot of tires and digging in. The forward thrust dug a deeper and deeper ditch for a hundred yards as the aircraft started doing a headstand. I saw what was happening, undid my seatbelt and yelled for Al to get out of his seat. I fell on the floor between the seats and pulled Al down with me. As the tail rose we changed from the horizontal to the vertical position. I watched as the nose caved in and crushed the instrument panel toward us. The radial engines held the weight as they plowed through the mud. It came to a stop in a perfectly vertical position with the fuselage ninety degrees to the ground. Gasoline was pouring out of the wing tanks, sizzling and fuming as it hit the hot engines. What had once been overhead was now a wall in front of me and there was the emergency hatch! I quickly undid the wing nuts, it swung open, and I jumped out into the grass, Al followed.
>
> I yelled to the men in the cargo area and watched as the door opened and Dan’s face appeared, looking a little dazed. He was forty feet above the ground. They threw out a length of fuel hose and shimmed down, bruised and shaken, but in good health. The risk of an explosion was still great as fuel continued to spill from the ruptured tanks but we ventured back in regardless and collected our suitcases and an aerial map of the area. The fuel continued to sizzle as we beat a hasty retreat to the edge of the jungle. All I could think of was Marrie waiting back home, worried sick and wondering where the hell I was. As we walked along I kept repeating to myself "Marrie I'm OK."
>
>
>
> ***
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> There was a village ten or twelve miles to the north. We could get there before dark if we hurried. I picked up my suitcase and started off. Dan just stood there; I saw that he was crying. He said he couldn’t carry his suitcase. Such a huge strong man completely undone by fear was pathetic. I picked up his case and the three of us took turns carrying it.
>
> The grass along the trail was as high as our heads. It was hot and muggy and our clothes were soon soaked through. Biting insects covered us so thick that we inhaled them. We were in serious danger; over and above the usual. We were deep in guerilla territory with a war raging between leftist rebels and the Colombian army. The guerillas were kidnapping foreigners at will. If the soldiers saw us they would most likely shoot us down rather than arrest us. Warplanes were circling just above the clouds. As we hurried along the trail the thought came to me with crystal clear clarity, 'We're 500 miles from the coast and I'm 5000 miles from home, deep in the southern Colombian jungle. If I don't think very clearly and plan very carefully, I am not going to get home to Marrie and the children.
...



> 23. MY NAME IS BARRY SEAL
>
> Cocaine Smuggler -- Jorge Ochoa And Pablo Escobar -- Fogged In, Pucker Factor High -- Barry And The Boys -- Roger The Banker -- Gentleman Cuban Smuggler
>
>
>
> An hour's climbing drive from the east coast of Honduras and nestled amongst mountains hanging with tropical vegetation, lies a lake with some of the biggest Large Mouth Bass in the world. The lake was discovered after a particularly strong earth quake which left twenty-pound plus fish were floating by the shore. The shock only killed the larger ones. On the shore of this hidden lake was a well-guarded greenhouse containing ferns with a mold on the spores that was thought to cure cancer and tumors. A German pharmaceutical firm set up a laboratory and was doing research. A mile on down the road was a 1000-acre farm on the river that fed the lake. The farm was for sale; this is what brought my family and I to this tropical paradise.
>
> The soil was rich volcanic ash, hundreds of feet deep. A seed dropped was all that was needed to grow. Papaya stalks twelve feet tall were loaded with fruit as big as watermelons. Giant mango trees with fruit bending the branches shaded the house. A narrow, fast running river cut through the property with sleek cattle grazing in lush pastures on both sides. I have never seen a more ideal spot to spend one’s life.
>
> Unfortunately we couldn’t work out a deal and we sadly returned to San Pedro Sula - a city that was to become in later years the murder capital of the world.
>
> Our suitcases were full of dirty clothes. We took the clothes to the laundry and asked the proprietor if they could be ready Tuesday evening because we had to catch the flight to New Orleans Wednesday morning and he assured us they would be ready. Late Tuesday afternoon I went to get the clothes, they were wet and I was told to return at eight o’clock the following morning. This was cutting it too close for comfort but I had no choice. The next morning I sent Marrie and the children to the airport with instructions to go on without me if I didn’t make it as it was easier for one to catch a later flight than five.
>
> I had a taxi waiting at the curb while I paced around the laundry as the clothes were collected. On the way to the airport the taxi driver drove slowly with the flow so I offered him a hundred dollars to make a dash for the airport. He began blowing his horn but the speed remained about the same. When I got to the gate the 727 was taxiing out. I ran on through the gate and out onto the apron with a big pile of clothes in plastic draped over my shoulder. I waved to the pilot who had no intention of stopping and then I saw Marrie’s face appear in the cockpit and the plane’s nose dipped as he put on the brakes. The ladder was partially extended and then retracted. I saw the pilot smiling as he let the ladder down and the door opened. I ran up the ladder. When I entered the plane I received a round of applause from all the passengers.
>
> My seat was by the aisle with Miriam in the middle seat. Sitting by the window was a handsome man that I thought had to be CIA and was most likely working with the Contra’s fighting the Communist Sandinistas in the area.
>
> We took off, the wheels retracted with a thud, shortly thereafter there was another smaller jerk. Miriam asked, “What was that Dad?”
>
> I said, “The pilot just engaged his auto pilot and the plane’s altitude was different from when he turned it off.”
>
> The CIA man leaned over and said, “So you also fly these?”
>
> “Yeah, I’ve logged a few hours.”
>
> “My name is Barry Seal.” He reached across Miriam and we shook hands.
>
> On the two-hour trip to New Orleans I learned he had been released from prison that morning, having spent over a year in prison for landing with a hundred kilos of cocaine in his plane. He was now on his way home. He said he was once a Captain for TWA Airlines - the youngest ever. His career was blossoming at the time and he very quickly moved up to instructing other pilots on the Boeing 747. He lost that job after being indicted for flying a DC6 load of arms to anti-Castro forces in Cuba. I thought, 'If this guy is for real, then I have found my man.' We exchanged addresses and phone numbers and I watched a jubilant family meet him as he walked through customs. He introduced us to his wife Debbie, three little children that were hanging all over him, and to an older son. My lingering suspicions about him soon withered as it became obvious he was telling the truth about being released from prison that morning. You couldn't fake the tears, smiles and hugs.
>
>
>
>
>
> He checked out to be all he claimed and a lot more. In a few weeks I called and invited him to Santa Barbara. I told him I was a smuggler and needed some help from time to time. We met for a coffee and then headed over to my hanger for a chat and a walk around. We went for a flight in my favorite Aero Commander with Barry in the left seat. He handled the plane like he had been flying it for years and I saw right off that he was a pro. When we got to 5,000ft he leveled off and said, "Let's check this sweetheart out. Mind if I do a few maneuvers?"
>
> Well, that was a pretty big plane to be doing aerobatics in, but of course I had to say, "Show me what you got."
>
> I immediately began to ever so slightly regret having given the green light for Barry to stress my airframe! He rolled it onto her side and did two 360's and it looked like the altimeter was welded in place. Then he pushed the nose down, picked up airspeed and performed a smooth loop and a half. At the top of the second he rolled it upright and then pulled it up into a tight spin. At about two thousand feet he stalled it and did what aerobatic pilots call a 'falling leaf' and we stalled from side to side until he was almost on the runway. Within seconds the gear was down and we landed like a feather hits the pavement with the barest 'jolt' as the undercarriage touched the tarmac. We stopped within a few feet. The only other person that I had ever seen do this was Bob Hoover, the aerobatic champion of the world. I wondered, 'who is this guy? He must have been a member of the Blue Angels when he was in the air force?' I had no further doubts about his flying ability. In fact, Barry had been flying since he was 16 years old and took to it like a duck to water. Only much later did I find out that Barry had served in special forces in Vietnam; had hundreds of parachute jumps under his belt (starting at age 16 in Air force Cadets) including combat jumps; and some said, served in Army Intelligence.
>
> The plane needed modifications to the fuel tanks and Barry said he knew a mechanic in Mena, Arkansas who did good work and kept his mouth shut. I gave him ten thousand dollars and off he went with the plane. Some days later I flew to Baton Rouge, went to Barry's house and spent time with him, his wife Debbie and his three children where I had a most enjoyable time. In a short time of getting to know Barry, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he didn't drink, smoke or swear and his children were polite and well behaved.
>
> We went to the hanger and inspected the new fuel tanks recently installed in the Aero Commander. There were four of them in the fuselage and three in the baggage compartment; all professionally hooked up to transfer pumps. That was enough fuel to fly from Colombia to Canada with plenty to spare. I flew to Montego Bay where I hid her in a hanger until needed.
...

> Lito and Ache were devastated when I told them I was quitting and asked if I knew of anyone who would fly? They had all been exceptionally nice to me and it was only fair I should help them. I called Barry and he flew down to Miami. We met in the Omni Hotel. I offered to buy the planes and pay him two-thousand dollars per kilo to fly for me.
>
> Barry agreed to the deal but didn’t want to fly without a copilot. I argued that he could load another 100 kilos without a copilot. However, he insisted. He had a friend named Emil Camp who was in prison in Honduras and for $20,000 he could have him released in a couple of days. He also wanted a Panther to fly the loads. These were Piper Navahos converted from the firewall forward with new 450 horse power motors and four blade props with q-tip ends to cut down on noise. One equipped with radar, storm scope and a new gyro navigation system cost between $350,000 and $400,000. I ended up buying seven of these haulers.
>
> Barry flew to Honduras and returned a few days later with Emil who wasn’t near the pilot Barry was. I suspect they had become good friends while in prison and Barry wanted to help him. Most men prefer to have a partner or co-pilot, I don’t. Whenever he becomes scared his fear radiates and contaminates me.
>
> My favorite landing strip was a little airport way out in the pines of Southern Louisiana where I paid the owner ten thousand dollars per landing. My other choice was on interstate 10 anywhere in Louisiana or Texas where it was closed for construction. Barry didn't even want to hear of my places. He would only land at Mena, Arkansas where Governor William Jefferson Clinton ruled with wife Hillary. Barry said he was covered one hundred percent, right to the very top; that is was impossible for him to be arrested. I balked at his bravado and wondered how you could guarantee 'one hundred percent'? Even with bribes, which were the norm at this level of operation, you could never guarantee 'one hundred percent'. I was soon to learn that when Barry said he was having, "lunch with the Gov," he wasn't joking.
>
> The landing fee there was $50,000, or $125,000 in today's money. I can guess it was spread around through the Sherriff, on up the chain. I never bothered asking, I knew how things worked. It was no secret Bill and Hillary Clinton were up to their necks in mischief in the state of Arkansas. In any case, I had to cough up the money every time Barry landed at Mena and he must have done that at least thirty times on my watch. I found out much later he was doing far more than that. While I languished in prison, Barry kept flying and began operations in a much larger aircraft that was registered to the DEA and CIA. At times he was carrying over one and a half tons of cocaine in a single trip on a C-126 military transport aircraft dubbed, 'The Fat Lady'. Before loading the cocaine, he would drop off a load of arms for the Contra Rebels based in Nicaragua. Barry was right in the center of one of the greatest political scandals of the last century - Iran/Contra. Illegal arms shipments came out of the USA to anti-Communist forces in Nicaragua and cocaine flew right back into the USA in return, on the same plane - tons and tons of it. No one said, "Just say no." No one in the White House anyway. Nor Mena, Arkansas. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the name 'Barry Seal' and 'Mena' would soar to such notoriety in the years to come.
>
> But for now, early in his career with the Medellin Cartel, Barry went to work for me and flew just as fast as I paid him. This doubled my risk as I was paying out cash for the cartel before I was paid. Nevertheless, I had to pay him before he would fly. Barry bitched and moaned about this and that. In one box containing a million dollars I placed a package of Stay Free Mini-Pads with a big pink bow. He thought it was so funny that he made a special place for it.
>
> Barry was a likeable fellow. We met one night at the Omni Hotel. Marrie, Miriam and baby Rhett were there and we all went to dinner at the Festival Restaurant in Coral Gables. When we returned all the rooms were sold out, Barry spent the night with us. There were two double beds in the room and Barry stripped down to his striped shorts and T-shirt and made himself at home. During the night Rhett wanted a bottle. Barry laid him on his big belly and gave him the bottle, smacking and carrying on saying, “It’s sooo good, ain’t it Rhett?”
>
> Before Barry was fully up and running and I was fully retired, I would have to work with him for a while, flying the southern Colombian end while Barry flew the northern end of operations into Mena. I'd arrange to meet 'halfway' at the Carver ranch in Belize and transfer the quarter ton of coke on the clay airstrip.
>
> This weekly trip began with me flying my Aero Commander turbo prop out of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and meeting a Cessna 180 over the Colombian jungle. I would descend from 30,000ft and slow down to 150mph at tree top level and follow the little 180 right into the jungle airstrip. Quickly loaded, I would have my windshield wiped, a coffee, then be right out of there.
>
> At a climb rate of 5000ft per minute I was soon up at 30,000 ft and able to reach Barry via radio, 2000 miles away, 12,000ft over Louisiana. Barry flew in his favorite 'Panther' converted Piper Navajo that he had flown in Vietnam and we would speak in code to time our arrival at the Carter ranch. "One hundred out," would crackle sharply over the radio. "Seventy five out, descending," I'd reply. We'd land within minutes of each other and pull up outside the home of Mr Cotter. We'd greet each other and I'd help refuel and transport the load into Barry's Panther.
>
> At times when I landed the clay strip was wet and not being used to prop pitch and the idiosyncrasies of the Aero Commander, I'd end up sideways down the run way with Barry laughing at me sloshing this way and that in the mud.
>
> With the load transferred, I would fly back to Montego Bay while Barry would fly on to Mena, Arkansas, and on into infamy.
>
>
>
>
>
> ***
>
>
>
> I had made some complaints to Pablo about the jungle airstrips and the dangers for my engines as they were sensitive turbo props - essentially a jet engine driving a propeller. Typical of the Medellin Cartel, no expense was spared and a thousand feet of runway were added and smoothed to perfection with hard clay. Later I heard that particular place was as busy as JFK airport with some extra large aircraft landing.
>
> At times, Pablo himself would fly in on his Jet Ranger helicopter and talk with me about procedures and plans. On one particular trip he landed with his entourage and three hundred kilo's of produce looking very happy with himself. Both he and Jorge Ochoa had organized with the Sandinista Communist government of Nicaragua for me to land at a military airbase with a large concrete runway and modern facilities. I was extremely happy with this as both Barry and I were growing increasingly nervous about landing at the Carver ranch in Belize with fifteen million dollars worth of cocaine every week. It was only a matter of time before local bandits twigged as to what was happening and ambushed us. Barry had become so concerned he had taken to buzzing low over the jungle around the ranch landing site looking for suspicious activity. As he was empty at that time, carrying no produce until the exchange took place, he had started landing first and scouting the area out on foot. His special forces training and time in Vietnam came in very useful and with both of us getting increasingly nervous about the transfer Barry was over the moon when I told him about the new arrangement. "No shit!" he said, beaming. He was impressed.
>
> Pablo arranged for me to meet "Ben", an American, tall with blonde hair and blue eyes on my next trip down south. A helicopter pilot by trade, he flew right seat with me and directed me to the large military airfield in the east of Nicaragua. On landing, we were taken to see the Commandante' in the officers mess and served a meal of steak with an egg on top as well as beans and rice. It sounds simple but it was delicious.
>
> The commander was a very dignified and gracious man and assured us we were welcome at any time. His only instruction was that we maintain radio silence on approach to the base. Ben and I exited the officers mess well pleased with the new arrangement and I noted my beloved Aero-Commander was sparkling, washed, refueled and ready to go. Now, I was protected one hundred percent in Colombia and Barry was protected one hundred percent in Mena, Arkansas. It was too good to be true.
>
> As we climbed aboard my plane, Ben quipped that it seemed all sides of politics were up to their necks in the drug trade. Whether supposed right wing capitalist Contra's or left wing Communist revolutionaries, coconuts and banana's were taking a serious second place to the cocaine flooding out of South America into the nasal passages of millions of Americans at fifty thousand dollars a kilo.
>
> Ronald Reagan was later to make much of the expose of Sandinista government officials photographed unloading Barry in Nicaragua. Commentators claimed that it was a "set up" and the Iran/Contra affair was an almost purely Bush SNR, Oliver North/Contra operation, run by a virtual private intelligence group from within the CIA and State Department. Not so, the Sandinistas were playing their own part in the cocaine trade. Who wasn't? The Bush and Clinton clan included.
>
> Sadly, I learned Ben was killed in the Andes mountains a week after meeting him. It was in bad weather. I was quite disappointed as he was a professional and decent young man. As time flies by, the tomb stones grow in number.




> EPILOGUE
>
>
>
> The manuscript that has now been turned into the book you are reading was first begun in early 2001. For reasons I cannot entirely explain, it has taken over fifteen years to get this memoir to you. But here it is, rough and ready. Take it or leave it. This is my life – or at least a large part of it.
>
> As I write this epilogue, Hollywood star Tom Cruise is playing the character of my friend and colleague Barry Seal in a movie called “Mena”. A chronicle of the life and death of a complicated and mysterious man linked in with Colonel Oliver North, Iran/Contra, Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr. – to name a few.
>
> Alot of people in alot of high places are going to be worried about what dirt gets re-hashed about that very, very, very ugly period in US history. Hillary is running for president - it could get nasty. She and husband Bill are heavily implicated in "Mena" and drug trafficking. There's already been a plane crash with two dead on the set of filming in Colombia. Some say the line of dead bodies surrounding the Clintons and their rise to power is very, very long. I'll leave it for others to probe into, many already have. Why the producers decided they simply "must" film in Colombia is anyone's guess. The company that operates the aircraft are said to have intelligence connections. Not long after the plane crash on set, Jorge Ochoa's brother died of a heart attack in a Bogota hospital in December 2015. Maybe he got a copy of the script?
>
> I remember so clearly the distinct periods of time in Colombia where landing strips were busier than JFK Airport. There were times where I feared a mid air collision there were so many big CIA planes flying with their lights out after dusk. People seem to accept government direct involvement in the drug trade as almost normal now - expected.
>
> Now, with Hollywood producing several new high budget movies exposing government involvement in the drug trade, it's high time we all looked at ending drug prohibition once and for all. Right now over one million men sit incarcerated in prisons at great cost to the American tax payer as it is for similar countries all over the world. For many, violence played no part in their ‘crime’ and if it did, it was rooted not in the drug they chose to consume, but in the drugs prohibition and high cost.
>
> Prohibition is, and always has been, a failure that has ripped societies apart - not protected them. The war on drugs is not a war on drugs. It is a war on people – your sons, daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, next-door neighbors. While alcohol, tobacco, poorly tested pharmaceuticals, McDonalds and candy manufacturers decimate the population with their direct and indirect costs to health and community well being - cocaine and marijuana do not even feature as a blip in the statistics.
>
> Now marijuana is legal in several states in the US but I have spent many years in prison because of the law at the time.
>
> It seems we are particular and discerning about what substances raise our ire and demands for retributive justice even if we will shove indiscriminately, any old bit of overly processed garbage food down our gullets for our hearts, livers and bowels to pay for later – not to mention the tax payer. One man’s poison is another man’s pleasure. One day legal, then, with the stroke of a pen, it is illegal and worthy of public hatred and derision. All the while, large numbers of the public from all corners of life drive the demand, the price, and the accompanying violence. They are not 'conscious consumers', they are 'victims' - according to the law. Maybe they just know what they like? I like Chivas Regal on the rocks. I hope they don’t make that illegal. Apparently, I’m safe – for now. Though there is no 'bar' in the prison it’s the thought that counts and I would hate to think I will die without one last taste of my favorite indolent pleasure.
>
> We are fast approaching the end of an era. Drug prohibition is moving from a criminal matter to a medical and educational one. The experiment in Portugal has been a huge success. Three grams of any “drug” is now treated with an on the spot fine. The prisons have emptied; crime rates have plummeted; police and prison officers, lawyers and judges look for other employment. So why hasn’t this self-evident success story been followed by others? Is it just blind adherence to ideology? It would seem there is much more to the issue than that. The advanced industrial societies cannot admit (openly), that not only is a vast swathe of their respective populations addicted too, and happily consuming drugs – their economies and in particular their banking and financial sectors are completely addicted to the vast rivers of liquid drug money that flow into their coffers. No bankers are in jail, but I am, and so are tens of thousands of others. I hope you’re happy. I’ll wear a suit next time and get an MBA and handle the cash – perhaps equally profitable with far less chance of punishment.
>
> To move the drug trade to where it should be – manufactured and distributed by approved government agencies (as they are now doing with marijuana in certain US states) - would see a vast change in certain segments of the economy. Hotels, luxury car manufacturers, construction and real estate would take a hit as it often did in Miami when drug interdiction efforts pushed smuggling routes elsewhere for a spell. They say Sydney Australia in its modern form was built on the heroin trade of the 1970’s and early eighties from just the activities of one large mafia don (Abe Saffron) and the myriad of respectable suits that supported him in the background; usually bankers and financial advisers. Not to mention the police and state politicians he had in his pocket. It’s the same all over the world. All the while policing agencies stand mute, unable to stem the tide or as some would say, perhaps unwilling? Their jobs depend on the trade and the vast profits ensure corruption is rife amongst nearly all policing and intelligence agencies throughout the world. Without police and intelligence agency co-operation, the drug trade simply cannot flourish. But you keep telling yourself law enforcement will solve the problem with more laws that take away more of your basic civil rights. You just keep telling yourself that. We will be in tyranny before we know it. Perhaps we already are.
>
> The time has come: end the war. Take it from someone who knows – you are destroying society with this war on drugs madness. As long as vast profits are possible, with government agencies taking part in the drug trade and human greed prevailing; no amount of new laws and “tough on drugs” public relations stunts will save your community and your public institutions.
>
> I take full responsibility for my actions. Actions that have cost myself and my family dearly. It’s time for society as a whole to take responsibility for their actions and their addictions that drive demand. No more “whipping boys”. Enough said.
>
>
>
> ***
>
>
>
> I hope you enjoyed this book. It's an account of my life - in part. My journey is not yet over, there is much more to come. I hope you were entertained. I’ve seen many wonderful things, flown over countless lush landscapes and sailed the vast oceans with my beautiful wife and children and met many wonderful people, living a life few can imagine. But also reflect and rejoice on the opportunity to end this mad war that makes retired generals and police chiefs rich, pays for lawyers and judges new Mercedes and keeps prisons full of your sons and daughters.
>
>
>
> Sincerely,
>
>
>
> William ‘Roger’ Reaves
>
> January 2016,
>
> Acacia Prison,
>
> Perth, Western Australia

__________________
Three things are sacred to me: first Truth, and then, in its tracks, primordial prayer; Then virtue–nobility of soul which, in God walks on the path of beauty. Frithjof Schuon

Last edited by Draken : 04-06-2016 at 12:57 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2016, 03:37 AM
Draken Draken is offline
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Posts: 899
Default Re: Major Medellin and Cali Cartel Pilot and Barry Seal Employer Publishes Memoirs

Another 5 Star Review of "Smuggler" on Amazon!

as a narrative of a man engaged in criminal activities and taking great risks to 'earn' money
By peter godden on April 6, 2016

Format: Paperback

I too could not put this book down, as an adventure story it is up there in spirit with Clemens/Twain's Huckleberry Finn. What makes this book special, as a narrative of a man engaged in criminal activities and taking great risks to 'earn' money, is the character and integrity of the author and his life. Given his numerous, even continuous, let downs, abuses and treacheries from 'colleagues' and police enforcement alike he has to the end (at least to date) maintained his soul maintenance department (in old fashionied terms, a true Christian, sounding a lot like Defoe's somewhat regretful but also appreciative Robinson Crusoe). The book is also a well informed and genuine plea for drug law and penal colony reform. Unfortunately with roadside and mobile testing now in NSW Australia for cannabis at levels acquired 9 days previously possibly resulting in fines and loss of license, things are not getting better in the UPS (United Police State).
Aviation enthusiasts will also like this book from this magnificent man and his flying machines, most of which seemed to have crashed in their call of duty. Reaves does not make excuses for his ways and the consequences to him and his family, but he has a sense of proportion and he knows that the biggest criminals are free to kill at will and they wear the most expensive suits. He believes in God, was called "the Prayer" in prison and I don't doubt that he will a fair hearing on his way through those pearly gates without needing to be smuggled in.
For the conspiracy researchers and politically savvy , there information in here that in a better world would see at least one current US Presidential candidate behind bars, for a lot longer than Reaves has served, if not hung out to dry as the real criminals and hypocrites that they are.
__________________
Three things are sacred to me: first Truth, and then, in its tracks, primordial prayer; Then virtue–nobility of soul which, in God walks on the path of beauty. Frithjof Schuon
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2016, 05:44 PM
Draken Draken is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Default Re: Major Medellin and Cali Cartel Pilot and Barry Seal Employer Publishes Memoirs

We're trying to organise a radio interview with Roger Reaves by a syndicated radio host in America. We'll see how it goes but if it happens it should be a real treat! I'll keep you guys posted.

Also, I heard through the grapevine that a certain Hollywood insider has shown interest in making the book into a movie. I'm not surprised but we'll see. It's certainly not the first time interest has been shown to turn such a book into movie material...
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Three things are sacred to me: first Truth, and then, in its tracks, primordial prayer; Then virtue–nobility of soul which, in God walks on the path of beauty. Frithjof Schuon
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