Category Archives: Gangsters

Barry Seal – DEA Informant : Life & Death

Adler Berrima Adler Berriman “Barry” Seal

Barry Seal

Adler Berriman “Barry” Seal (July 16, 1939 – February 19, 1986) was a Trans World Airlines (TWA) pilot who became a major drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel. When Seal was convicted of smuggling charges, he became an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration and testified in several major drug trials. He was murdered in 1986 by contract killers hired by Pablo Escobar, head of the Medellín Cartel.

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The Rise & Fall of Pablo Escobar El Patron Medellin Cartel Documentary

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Early life

Seal, born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the son of Mary Lou (née Delcambre) and Benjamin Kurtis Seal, a candy wholesaler. Seal began flying as a teenager. According to his flight instructor, he was a naturally gifted pilot. He earned his student pilot certificate at 16 and a private pilot’s certificate at 17.

In 1961, Seal enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard for six years, serving with the 20th Special Forces Group. He graduated from United States Army Airborne School but never completed United States Army Special Forces selection and training. Seal later served in the 245th Engineer Battalion with his MOS being radio telephone operator.

Early career

Barry Seal In his TWA uniform

Seal joined TWA as a flight engineer in 1964 and was soon promoted to first officer, then captain, flying a Boeing 707 on a regular Western Europe route. He was one of the youngest 707 command pilots in the TWA fleet.

Seal’s career with TWA ended in July 1972, when he was arrested for involvement in a conspiracy to smuggle a shipment of plastic explosives to Mexico using a DC-4. The case was eventually dismissed in 1974 for prosecutorial misconduct, but TWA in the meantime fired Seal, who had falsely taken medical leave to participate in the scheme.

Drug smuggling career

According to statements Seal made after becoming a DEA informant, he began smuggling small quantities of cannabis . By 1978, he had begun flying significant loads of cocaine, because pound-for-pound it was more profitable.

In December 1979, Seal was arrested in Honduras after returning from a drug smuggling trip to Ecuador. Although the Honduran police did not find any cocaine, they did find an M-1 rifle, and Seal was imprisoned until July 1980.

Undeterred by his arrest, Seal expanded his operations upon returning to the United States. He hired William Bottoms, his ex-brother-in-law, as a pilot, and from 1980 on Bottoms was the main pilot in Seal’s smuggling enterprise, while Seal oversaw planning and operations.

Seal later began working for the Medellín Cartel as a pilot and drug smuggler. He transported numerous shipments of cocaine from Colombia and Panama to the United States, and earned as much as $1,300,000 per flight.

After successful runs at his home base in Louisiana he moved operations to Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport, in Mena, Arkansas. There he bought, sold and operated many planes.

Undercover informant and operative

Seal was eventually arrested in connection with his drug smuggling activities. In a Florida federal court, he was indicted, tried, convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. After his sentencing, Seal approached the DEA and offered to cooperate with the government as an informant.

Federal officials agreed to use him in that capacity and mentioned his cooperation during hearings in which Seal sought a reduction of his sentence. With an agreement reached, Seal began working as a federal informant in March 1984.

According to the FrontlineGodfather of Cocaine investigation, Ernst “Jake” Jacobson was Seal’s DEA handler during this period. Jacobson claims he still has the high-tech message encrypter which he gave Seal.

“We made sure all of his aircraft were equipped with the most expensive cryptic radio communications we had ever seen at that time,”

said Jacobson.

In order to mitigate his 1984 arrest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for money laundering and Quaalude smuggling, Seal agreed to testify against his former employers and associates in the drug trade, and thereby contributed to putting several of them in jail. Among those against whom Seal testified were Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands Norman Saunders and members of the Medellín Cartel. Seal also testified before the President’s Commission on Organized Crime in October 1985.

Jacobson, testifying in 1988, told a House Judiciary Committee that Seal had flown to an airstrip in Nicaragua in an airplane that had cameras installed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Seal took pictures during the Nicaragua sting operation that showed Pablo EscobarJorge Luis Ochoa Vásquez, and other members of the Medellín Cartel loading kilos of cocaine onto a C-123 transport plane. Federico Vaughan, the Sandinista Minister of the Interior, who Seal claimed was a top aide of Tomas Borge‘s, was also photographed with Sandinista soldiers helping load the plane.

Pablo Escobar

Seal was both a smuggler and a DEA informant/operative in this sting operation against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. In 1984, Seal flew from Nicaragua to Homestead Air Force Base in Florida with a shipment of cocaine that had been allegedly brokered through the Sandinista government.

This cocaine was seized by the DEA and was never received by the cartel’s distribution handlers in Florida, which in Medellín caused suspicion to fall upon Seal as the person responsible for this lost shipment.

Edmond Jacoby’s report in the July 17, 1984 issue of the Washington Times linked officials in the Sandinista government to the Medellín cartel and discussed Seal’s mission to Nicaragua. The public disclosures jeopardized Seal’s life and quickly brought an end to the sting operation designed to capture the cartel’s leaders.

Questioned about the identity of the source, Jacobson replied, “I heard that the leak came from an aide in the White House”. He stated that Iran–Contra figure Oliver North had attended two meetings about the sting operation and had motivation to release the information. UPI reported: “By linking the Sandinistas with drug traffic … aid to the rebels accused of human rights violations might seem more palatable”.

Subcommittee chairman William J. Hughes strongly suggested that North was the source of the leak, but Representative Bill McCollum said,

“…we don’t know who leaked this. No one has been able to tell us”.

 Citing testimony of DEA Administrator John C. Lawn, the report of the Kerry Committee released in December 1988 pinned the leak on North stating he “decided to play politics with the issue”. In an interview with Frontline, North said he was told by his superiors on the National Security Council to brief Senator Paula Hawkins about the operation, but he denied leaking the report.

Hawkins told Frontline that neither she nor her staff leaked the information after the briefing.Jacoby later denied that North was the source of his story and attributed it to a deceased staff member for Representative Dan Daniel.

The Wall Street Journal also printed the story, contributing to media coverage that indirectly exposed Seal’s involvement in the operation. The articles also exposed the Colombian cartel leaders and Nicaraguan Interior Minister who had been photographed moving cocaine onto Seal’s aircraft. Despite these pressures, Seal went ahead and testified with the pictures taken during the trip showing Sandinista officials in Nicaragua brokering a cocaine deal with members of Colombia’s Medellín Cartel.

Murder

Seal was sentenced to work in public service at the Salvation Army facility on Airline Highway (U.S. 61), in Baton Rouge, as a modification by the judge to Seal’s original plea deal. On February 19, 1986, Seal was shot to death in front of the site. His murder abruptly brought the DEA’s investigation to an end.

 Barry Seal | American Dope

Colombian assassins sent by the Medellín Cartel were apprehended while trying to leave Louisiana, soon after Seal’s murder. Authorities thus concluded Seal’s murderers were hired by Ochoa. The killers were indicted by a state grand jury on March 27, 1986.

In May 1987, Luis Carlos Quintero-Cruz, Miguel Vélez (died in custody 2015) and Bernardo Antonio Vásquez were convicted of first degree murder in Seal’s death, and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Barry Seal’s Grave

Louisiana Attorney General William Guste wrote to United States Attorney General Edwin Meese criticizing the government’s failure to protect Seal as a witness. At Guste’s request, Meese launched an investigation to determine whether or not attorneys in Louisiana, Miami, and Washington had mishandled the case, and to determine whether or not Seal should have been forced into protective custody. Government attorneys stated that Seal placed himself in danger by refusing to move his family and enter a witness protection program.

In 1991, cartel member Max Mermelstein testified that he had been instructed in December 1984 either to kidnap Seal and return him to Colombia, or to murder him. The reward to kidnap Seal was $1 million, and the reward to kill him was $500,000.

Personal life

Deborah DuBois his third wife and children

Seal married three times; the first to Barbara Dodson from 1963 to 1971 and to Lynn Ross from 1971 to 1972 – ended in divorce. His marriage to Deborah DuBois, in 1973, ended with his death in 1986. Seal had 6 children, 2 from his first wife, one child from a relationship he had in between marriages and three more with Debbie. 

Media depictions

Films

  • Seal is portrayed by Dennis Hopper in the docudrama Doublecrossed (1991), which prominently features Seal’s co-pilot and collaborator Emile Camp[27][28] (portrayed by G. W. Bailey), although some of the Camp plotlines stand in for actual events involving William Roger Reeves, who met Seal in jail and introduced him to the Medellín Cartel.
  • Seal is portrayed by Michael Paré in the American crime drama film The Infiltrator (2016), in two brief, historically inaccurate scenes that exercise dramatic license to depict the film’s title character, Robert Mazur, as a passenger in a car being driven by Seal who is killed in a motorcycle drive-by shooting.
  • Seal is portrayed by Tom Cruise in the crime drama-comedy film American Made (2017), loosely based on Seal’s life, produced by Imagine Entertainment. Little of the film is historically accurate; most of the plot, such as the assassination of Seal’s brother-in-law, were invented for purposes of the film.

Television

  • Seal is portrayed by theater director Thaddeus Phillips in the 2013 TV series Alias El Mexicano.
  • Seal is portrayed by Dylan Bruno in Season 1, Episode 4, of the Netflix series Narcos (2015).

Inside the Colombian Cartels

Other drug stories

See: Kiki Camarena – The Brutal Torture & Death of a Narc

See : Gangster Warlords – Amado Carrillo Fuentes – Lord of the Skies

Gangster Warlords – Amado Carrillo Fuentes – Lord of the Skies

Gangster Warlords

Amado Carrillo Fuentes

Lord of the Skies

Image result for Amado Carrillo Fuentes

Amado Carrillo Fuentes  December 17, 1956 – July 4, 1997) was a Mexican drug lord who seized control of the Juárez Cartel after assassinating his boss Rafael Aguilar Guajardo.

Related image

Amado Carrillo became known as “El Señor de Los Cielos” (“The Lord of the Skies”), because of the large fleet of jets he used to transport drugs. He was also known for laundering money via Colombia to finance his large fleet of airplanes.

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He died in July 1997, in a Mexican hospital, after undergoing extensive plastic surgery to change his appearance.

In his final days Carrillo was being tracked by Mexican and U.S. authorities

BornAmado Carrillo Fuentes
December 17, 1956
Guamuchilito, SinaloaMexico
DiedJuly 4, 1997 (aged 40)
Mexico City, Mexico
Other namesEl Señor de los Cielos
OccupationDrug lord
EmployerHead of Juárez Cartel
Known forDrug trafficking and weapons
PredecessorRafael Aguilar Guajardo
SuccessorVicente Carrillo Fuentes
Spouse(s)Lesley Arriaga Carrillo
ChildrenVicente Carrillo Leyva
RelativesErnesto Fonseca CarrilloVicente Carrillo Fuentes

Early Life

Carrillo was born to Walter Vicente Carrillo Vega and Aurora Fuentes in Guamuchilito, Navolato, Sinaloa, Mexico. He had eleven siblings. Carillo was the nephew of Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, also known as “Don Neto”, the Guadalajara Cartel leader. Amado got his start in the drug business under the tutelage of his uncle Ernesto and later brought in his brothers, and eventually his son Vicente José Carrillo Leyva.

Image result for Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo,
Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo,

Carrillo’s father died in April 1986. Carillo’s brother, Cipriano Carrillo Fuentes, died in 1989 under mysterious circumstances.[

Career

Initially, Carrillo was part of the Guadalajara Cartel, sent to Ojinaga, Chihuahua to oversee the cocaine shipments of his uncle, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo (“Don Neto”), and to learn about border operations from Pablo Acosta Villarreal (“El Zorro de Ojinaga”; “The Ojinaga Fox”) and Rafael Aguilar Guajardo.

Amado Carillo Fuentes – Mexican Drug Lord Kingpin (Crime Documentary)

Later, Carrillo worked with Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartel smuggling drugs from Colombia to Mexico and the United States. He worked with El Chapo Joaquin Guzman Loera, the Arellano Felix family and the Beltran Leyva Organization. During his tenure, Carrillo reportedly built a multibillion-dollar drug empire. It was estimated that he may have made over US$25 billion in revenue in his career.[

Death

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Amado Carrillo Fuentes

The pressure to capture Carrillo intensified among U.S. and Mexican authorities, and perhaps for this reason, Carrillo underwent facial plastic surgery and abdominal liposuction to change his appearance on July 4, 1997, at Santa Mónica Hospital in Mexico City. However, during the operation, he died of complications apparently caused either by a certain medication or a malfunctioning respirator.

Two of Carrillo’s bodyguards were in the operating room during the procedure. There is also very little paper work regarding the death of Amado Carillo Fuentes. On November 7, 1997, the two physicians who performed the surgery on Fuentes were found dead, encased in concrete inside steel drums, with their bodies showing signs of torture.

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Juárez Cartel after Carrillo

On the night of August 3, 1997, at around 9:30 p.m., four drug traffickers walked into a restaurant in Ciudad Juárez, pulled out their guns, and opened fire on five diners, killing them instantly.[

Police estimated that more than 100 bullet casings were found at the crime scene. According to a report issued by the Los Angeles Times, four men went to the restaurant carrying at least two AK-47 automatic rifles while others stood at the doorstep.[

 On their way out, the gunmen claimed another victim: Armando Olague, a prison official and off-duty law enforcement officer, who was gunned down outside the restaurant after he had walked from a nearby bar to investigate the shooting. Reportedly, Olague had run into the restaurant from across the street with a gun in his hand to check out the commotion. It was later determined that Olague was also a known lieutenant of the Juarez cartel.[

Mexican authorities declined to comment on the motives behind the killing, stating the shootout was not linked to the death of Amado Carrillo Fuentes. Nonetheless, it was later stated that the perpetrators were gunmen of the Tijuana Cartel.

Underworld Tijuana Cartel Documentary

Although confrontations between narcotraficantes were commonplace in Ciudad Juárez, they rarely occurred in public places. What happened in the restaurant threatened to usher in a new era of border crime in the city.[

In Ciudad Juárez, the PGR seized warehouses they believed the cartel used to store weapons and cocaine; they also seized over 60 properties all over Mexico belonging to Carrillo, and began an investigation into his dealings with police and government officials. Officials also froze bank accounts amounting to $10 billion belonging to Carrillo.[

In April 2009, Mexican authorities arrested Carillo’s son, Vicente Carrillo Leyva.[

Funeral

Carrillo was given a large and lavish expensive funeral in Guamuchilito, Sinaloa. In 2006, Governor Eduardo Bours asked the federal government to tear down Carrillo’s mansion in HermosilloSonora.[

The mansion, dubbed “The Palace of a Thousand and One Nights”, although still standing, remains unoccupied.[c

Main Source : wikipedia Amado Carrillo Fuentes

Media Portrayals

See : Kiki Camarena – The Brutal Torture & Death of a Narc

See: Dublin’s Deadly Gang-War