Mexico & U.S. Ruling Parties Ties to Blow Bust
On April 10th an American-registered DC9 was caught carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine
destined for the U.S., the Mexican military announced, at an airport in Ciudad
del Carmen. In the more than two months since, the incident has slipped into
a black hole.
Beyond a few half-hearted stabs at pinning blame for the crime on scapegoats
du jour like the FARC in Colombia or Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, authorities
in both Mexico and the U.S. have had little or nothing to say about the case.
has learned new details in what is becoming a growing drug trafficking scandal
implicating elements in the ruling parties in both Mexico and the US:
Released FAA registration records from the American-registered DC9 (N900SA)
airline show that documents
informing the FAA the plane had been exported to new owners in Venezuela
were not submitted until after
its seizure in Mexico.
Several top executives of SkyWays Aircraft, the American
firm which owned the DC9 in partnership with Royal Sons Inc. of St Petersburg,
FL. including the company’s President, James Kent,
are former members of U.S. military intelligence, stated one of SkyWay’s
original employees, who contacted us after seeing a previous story.
Mexican newspapers last week began openly speculating last week on the role
of high officials in the ruling party of President Vicente Fox in the huge
They are also reporting that the DC9's flight from Caracas to an airport
in the western Yucatan was not a one-of-a-kind occurrence, but that the airliner
had made at least seven previous flights along the same route.
The DEA has made a deliberate effort to downplay the importance of the seizure,
underestimating its value by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Crime doesn't pay... At least, not as well as politics
The DC9, which we have dubbed “Cocaine One,”
had an identical sister ship. In the most unusual detail of the case released
so far, both airliners had been painted by their registered owners, SkyWay Aircraft
and a partner with an interest in the company, Frederic Geffon
of Royal Sons, Inc of St. Petersburg, Fl., to impersonate official U.S. Government
aircraft from the Dept of Homeland Security, complete with an official-looking
We reported previously
on close connections between the management of SkyWay and the Republican Party,
including U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, who toured the company's facilities, praised
its (non-existent) products designed for sale to U.S. Homeland Security, and
flew a SkyWay plane in his barnstorming finish in his successful 2004 campaign.
Recently we were contacted by one of SkyWay's original employees who passed
on more intriguing details of top SkyWay executive's government and political
“James Kent (President of SkyWay) is a real strong Republican with a
lot of connections in Washington, like U.S. Senator Mel Martinez,”
the former SkyWay employee told us. “And he’s also in tight with
a lot of politicians in Tallahassee, like (Republican gubernatorial candidate)
“He was a mole for military intelligence during the Vietnam war. He was
with Air America over there, and I guess he told some people he worked for the
According to SkyWay
SEC filings, Kent “served in various government contract management
positions supporting projects of the Department of Defense, National Security
Agency, and Department of the Navy.”
Kent also runs a company, Online Satellite Communication, which uses an address
in Las Vegas which also houses Voters
Outreach of America, a Republican Party operation accused
of illegal activity and electoral dirty tricks, including destroying thousands
of Democratic registration forms, during the 2004 Presidential election.
Closing the barn door after the horse is gone
More than ten weeks after the seizure in Mexico of a DC9 carrying 5.5 tons of
cocaine the FAA finally released the ownership records of the plane.
Immediately reasons for the FAA foot-dragging became clear. Documents informing
the FAA the plane had been exported to new owners in Venezuela were not submitted
until the day after its seizure in Mexico.
FAA spokesman Roland Herwig told Howard Altman of the Tampa
Tribune that the FAA received a copy of a
letter from Royal Sons dated April 7, asking that the plane be exported
to Venezuela, and that the FAA officially took Royal Sons' name off the books
three days after the cocaine bust.
While this statement appears on its surface to support Geffon’s protestation
that he no longer owned the airliner at the time it was busted, a closer look
at the FAA official's statement indicate he carefully avoided stating when
the FAA received the change of ownership documents.
Instead, he cites the date typed on the letter, as if that provided some sort
of definitive proof. He also makes clear that the documents the FAA received
A day late and 5.5 tons of cocaine short
The significance of this statement became obvious as we studied the documents.
Fax numbers at the bottom
of the letter indicate it was faxed to Geffon and Corrales just minutes
after being submitted to the FAA.
An FAA spokesman stated they hadn't faxed the document to anyone, indicating
it was submitted by a title insurance company, a common practice, and then faxed
by them to the principals, probably as proof it had been delivered.
Thus one possible Geffon defense, that the letter dated April 7 was in
the mail for four days before reaching the FAA, is eliminated. And
the only apparent conclusion is that the documents submitted by Geffon have
The FAA’s stamp
indicated they received the documents on April 11th.
However, the plane was busted April
The wages of sin... frequently go unreported
Another striking irregularity in the released FAA records is that the bill
of sale indicates Geffon and his SkyWay partners bought the airliner in
May of 2004.
But he did not record the sale with the FAA until
August of 2005, over a year later.
Had the plane received the attention of U.S. law enforcement during the interim
(for, say, having a tail light missing, or for smuggling tons of cocaine) SkyWay
and Geffon’s name would have appeared nowhere on the plane’s registration.
The FAA has given no indication that it intends to frown on this, or that the
Agency even views it as a legal faux pas.
Geffon came into sole possession of the DC9 after SkyWay Aircraft went bankrupt.
But his claim to have paid for the plane is in doubt.
“At the time of the bankruptcy, Fred Geffon wanted to buy one of the
planes. He had a charter pilot, a Venezuelan guy who lived in Venice, and they
were going to use it for charters,” said our source.
And that was how we learned that the plane's pilot, a slippery fellow who.
as we earlier reported,
managed to slip through the clutches of the Mexican military the day the DC9
was busted, may live in--of all places!--Venice, Fl. Of course,
Geffon's company maintained
an address at the Venice Airport in a hangar owned by terror flight school
Huffman Aviation, as we've
already seen, so if the DC9 pilot turns out to live in tiny bewildered Venice,
the news will not be as much of a shock as it might otherwise.
"This life of ours, this is a wonderful life."
Apparently on his own authority, Geffon transferred the plane
into the name of his company, Royal Sons Inc. This is certainly a plucky move,
and at least potentially a neat trick. Like the pilot of the DC9, said to have
escaped the clutches of Mexican justice at the airport in Mexico.
Maybe he didn't escape. Maybe he just "Released himself on his own recognizance."
A spokesman for a lawyer working closely with the Bankruptcy Trustee for bankrupt
SkyWay states they can find no record that Geffon paid SkyWay for the plane.
Investors, of course, are crying fraud. (Perhaps they just lack pluck.)
The transaction is currently the subject of litigation in Federal Bankruptcy
Court in Tampa. “The bankruptcy trustee said, ‘these planes are
grounded,’” the former SkyWay employee told us.
“But they’re not there now. Strange, isn’t it?”
7 X 5.5 tons = A lotta lotta blow
Among the major developments which came to light last week, one of the most
interesting is the speculation in Mexico’s feisty free press (so unlike
our own!) on the role of high officials in the ruling party of President Vicente
Fox in the huge drug load.
It had been learned almost immediately that two pilots, arrested in a corporate
jet waiting for the DC9 to land, were employees of the Mexican federal government.
But the fact that both pilots previously spent time in prison for drug trafficking
was new and startling information...
That they were apparently not hampered by their drug cartel connections when
landing jobs flying for Mexico’s National Water Commission was also startling.
The Mexican Agency they work for is headed by a personal friend of President
Fox, a man who had also served with Fox as a director of Coca-Cola in Mexico.
Although the Mexican press pretended to be startled, it must
have been difficult... Because this is just business as usual.
Citing sources in the Mexican Dept. of Civil Aeronautics, Mexican newspapers
reported last week that the “Cocaine One” DC9 made at least
seven previous flights along the same route before being caught.
If crime didn't pay....there'd be no crime.
Both the DC9, dubbed “Cocaine One,” and its sister
ship, an identical DC9, had been painted by SkyWay Aircraft to resemble U.S.
Government aircraft from the Dept of Homeland Security, complete with official-looking
Masquerading as official aircraft from U.S. Homeland Security would
provide excellent ‘cover’ for a drug trafficking operation.
“I read what you wrote about having two planes tricked out to look like
they belonged to Homeland Security,” stated the longtime SkyWay employee.
“Everyone working there thought, there ain’t no way they’re
going to get away with that. We couldn’t believe it. How in the hell is
the government letting us get away with that?”
“They also had a half-dozen black hummers tricked out the same way,”
“Big seal on the side, lights and sirens on the top. Finally some local
cops pulled the hummers over, and made them take the seals and lights off.”
“But nobody ever said anything about the planes.”
"Homeland Security been berry berry good to me."
The former SkyWay employee also indicated that government officials went out
of their way to assist the company. “I was one of Skyways’ first
ten employees, there from the start in the communications division, and I participated
in the installation at the FDOT (Florida Department Of Transportation)
mentioned in your article,” he said.
“The guy in charge there told us that airports in Florida were all told
that the state of Florida would reimburse them 100% for any airport upgrades
that had to do with security.”
The State of Florida created a ready-made market for SkyWay’s
non-existent “Homeland Security” products by subsidizing their
purchase by local governments.
Why would they want to do that?
“They got the first plane in the middle of 2003, and it was sent up to
an airport in Chicago to get turned into an executive jet, with a marble bar
and leather couches,” our SkyWay source explained.
“They had it in Chicago 8-9 months before it came back. Then they got
the second plane in mid-2004.”
“They wrote it up in a press release, touting how they’d just received
a big investment from the DuPont foundation. Which turned out
to be bogus, just some guy at a desk in Costa Rica.”
Twin airliners give you that crucial margin for error
DC9’s cost money. But the twin airliners weren’t being used to demonstrate
SkyWay’s products, for the simple reason that the company never had a
product to demonstrate.
The fact is both inescapable and mind-boggling at the same time.
Two DC9’s painted to impersonate U.S. Government planes were being used
for an as-yet unknown purpose… for almost two years.
Like the FAA, the attitude of the DEA toward a drug trafficking case involving
5.5 tons of cocaine seems remarkably laissez faire. A call to the DEA to inquire
whether the Agency had mounted an investigation of an American-owned airliner
busted with 5.5 tons of cocaine elicited a terse “no comment.”
The duty officer at the Tampa Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration
revealed no indication that the DEA has taken any interest in the case. Two
days of phone calls to the Agency’s Public Information Officer in Miami
yielded nothing but busy signals.
Without Asa, the DEA just hasn't been the same
Moreover, the DEA, in an apparent effort to downplay its importance, has deliberately
underestimated the value of the massive cocaine seizure…
Initial wire reports quoted the
DEA as estimating the value of the 5.5 tons of cocaine at $100 million.
But news accounts of a seizure of the same amount of cocaine two weeks earlier
stated that 5.5 tons of cocaine is worth in excess of a half billion
In a press release March 16, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
congratulated Ecuador on the seizure of more than 5.5 tons of cocaine in the
port of Guayaquil, Ecuador. The UN said the load had a street value
of $556 million.
Street value is how the DEA figures the worth of a load in its own press releases…except
in those rare cases when its trying to minimize things.
The DEA’s estimation is low by a whopping $446 million.
The Miami Herald owes us all an explanation
Mexican newspapers have been clamoring for officials to come forward to explain
their curious silence.
“Where are the results of the investigations of the airplane seized with
cocaine?” asked Expreso.com.mx
on June 28. “Why is there nothing but silence?”
“How is it possible that this confiscation, as important as it is, has
not been explained? When will there be information about this?
Sharp questioning in the Mexican press is in marked contrast to the tepid response
of the mainstream media in the U.S.
In news accounts of the massive cocaine bust, The Miami Herald sounded like
Pravda during the height of the Cold War. They dealt with the facts of the case
by completely ignoring them... Perhaps they found it inconvenient to mention--because
of space limitations?--that the busted DC9 airliner was American-owned
Their story on the massive cocaine bust imaginatively placed the blame for
the flight on Venezuela. They no doubt miss not having the Medellin Cartel to
kick around anymore. The paper quotes an anonymous senior U.S. government official,
perhaps too embarrassed to give his real name...
“The more traditional traffickers have discovered, from an interdiction
and law-enforcement perspective, that Venezuela has now become a giant black
hole where they have the least amount of resistance, the least amount of problems,
the cheapest route to get their product to market.”
America's Drug Lord Gap
So…what’s going on? The Herald has a bit of experience in stories
about the movement of illegal substances across interstate lines, do they not?
In fact, The Miami Herald is to news of narcotics trafficking what The Sporting
News is to box scores in baseball. The paper cannot be said to be unaware of
the absurdity of the statement they offer to their readers with such a straight
So, the answer must be something else. Something, no doubt, worse.
For several decades it has been the considered and unchallenged opinion of
American drug enforcement officials that there are no American Drug Lords.
Drug trafficking into the U.S. is the province of unsavory “foreign elements,"
according to the DEA.
If this were true, it would be major bad news for our balance of payments deficit.
We would see Senators take to the floor of the Senate, decrying the fact that
America has a “Drug Lord Gap.”
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
NOTHING TO SEE HERE FOLKS. MOVE ALONG.
This same nonsense has kept Americans from holding elements in the American
government responsible for trading guns-for-heroin with Osama bin Laden before
The answer, both here in the U.S. as well as in Mexico, appears to be: Damage
Control, for what clearly appears to have been officially-sanctioned drug trafficking.
The silence in the U.S. and Mexico is a tell-tale sign of clandestine activity
gone horribly awry. The bust was a mistake.
Once again, low-level personnel just hadn't been "clued-in" to the
protected nature of the trade. Because of the sensitivity, everything is on
a need to know basis. This creates a continuing problem.
You can't tell just anyone.
Read from Looking Glass News
Release of "Cocaine One" Records
Cocaine Bust Reveals New Details of 9.11 Attack
Owners in 5.5 Ton Cocaine Bust Include Tom DeLay Appointee, "Royal Sons
of 5.5 Ton Coke Flight Deepens
Defense Firm Titan Corp. Link to 5.5 Ton Cocaine Bust in Mexico