The Crimes of Mena:

Barry Seal set up for murder.

The following text is from a photocopy of a letter that
was originally hand-delivered to U.S. Attorney General
Edwin Meese III by Louisiana Attorney General William
J. Guste, Jr., on March 3, 1986. 

                             STATE OF LOUISIANA
                           Department of Justice

WILLIAM J. GUSTE, JR.          March 3, 1986                 7TH FLOOR
  Attorney General                                       234 Loyola Building
                                                       New Orleans 70122-2096

     Honorable Ed Meese
     Attorney General of the United States
     U.S. Department of Justice
     Washington, D.C.
     Dear Attorney General Meese:

                This is to formally request that the United States
     Justice Department undertake a complete investigation with
     respect to the government's relationship and handling of
     informant Adler B. "Barry" Seal, who was murdered gangland

     style in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, February 19, 1986.

                "Barry" Seal, as he was know in life, was a former

     TWA pilot checked out to fly 747 jets. He went into the

     drug smuggling business in the 1970's illegally bringing

     first marijuana and then cocaine into the United States -

     in ever increasing quantities.

               When arrested in 1983 and subsequently convicted,

     he was probably one of the biggest drug smugglers ever brought

     before a court in the history of our country. By his own

     admission, he had flown over 100 flights each bringing in

     between 600 and 1200 pounds of cocaine. At a wholesale
     volume of an average of $50,000 a pound, he had smuggled

     between $3 billion and $5 billion of drugs into the United


                 His smuggling brought dope to thousands whose

     lives have been adversely affected by it. He had brought

     enough cocaine into this country to give a "high" to almost

     one hundred million users.

                 And he earned between $60 million and $100 million

     by criminal activity.

                 I, for one, was shocked when I learned of his
     death. In October, as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Nar-

     cotics and Drug Interdiction of the President's Commission

     on Organized Crime, I had presided over a seminar at which

     Barry Seal had testified.

                 His purpose there was to inform the Commission
     and top United States officials of the methods and equipment

     used by drug smugglers. Present at that seminar and question-

     ing him in closed session afterwards were: Jack Lawn, Admin-

     istrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration; William

     Van Raab, Commander of U.S. Customs; Admiral James Gracey,

     Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard; Howard B. Gehring, Director

     of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System; Lt.
     General R. Dean Tice, Director of the Defense Department's

     Task Force on Drug Enforcement; Paul Gorman, former U.S.

     Army General and military commander in the Caribbean; and

     U.S. Congressman Glen English, D-Oklahoma.

                 I give this information to establish that he was

     a heinous criminal. At the same time, for his own purposes,

     he had made himself an extremely valuable witness and infor-

     mant in the country's fight against illegal drugs. He had

     cooperated with the government in testifying before federal

     grand juries, the President's Commission and was scheduled

     to be a key witness in the government's case against Jorge

     Ochoa-Vasques, the head of one of the largest drug cartels

     in the world.

                 Barry Seal's murder suggests the need for an indepth

     but rapid investigation into a number of areas.


     TION WHETHER HE WANTED IT OR NOT? Barry Seal refused to

     go into the Federal Witness Protection Program. But he

     could have been imprisoned in some town in America under

     an assumed identity.

                 Instead he was given sentences in cases against
     him in Florida and in Louisiana that permitted him to live

     in a Halfway House in Baton Rouge and required him to report

     daily to the Salvation Army there. Why did the government

     permit this after it was made aware of the fact that Ochoa

     investigators had been following Seal and that these inves-

     tigators were actually in court at the time his sentence

     was announced.

                 Prior to his death, Seal said that having to report

     to the Salvation Army everyday at the same time made him

     a "clay pidgeon".

                 He virtually predicted his assassination.

                 After he was sentenced to 10 years, why was Seal
     given a reduction of sentence under Rule 35 in Florida

     cases and set free prior to his completing his agreed upon

     task which was to testify against the Jorge Ochoa cartel?

                 Why did the government expose its main witness

     to extermination?

                 Despite the enormity of his crimes, he actually

     served 3 or 4 months in jail and a month in a Halfway House.


                 During the time that Seal was cooperating with

     the DEA and the Justice Department and acting as an informant,

     how was he supervised, regulated and controlled? Was it

     done according to the DEA Agents' Manual for dealing with


                 Was Seal allowed to travel extensively in the

     company of potential violators without surveillance?

                 Was Seal allowed to work in an undercover capacity

     in Arkansas and Louisiana without notification to Louisiana

     and Arkansas officials?

                 How were the contraband drugs he brought into
     the United States while cooperating with the DEA regulated

     and controlled?

                 Was Seal's drug smuggling organization allowed
     to remain in tact during and after the time of his cooperation

     with the government? If so, why?

                 Was he permitted to keep hundreds of thousands

     of dollars which he made while working for the DEA by actually

     smuggling drugs into the United States? How was such money

     accounted for?

                 What effort was made under the RICO Statute to

     recover the profits and equipment Seal had acquired from

     illegal smuggling?

                 What was the nature of the cooperation between

     the state and federal law enforcement agencies in Louisiana

     and those in Florida?

                 The transcript of the testimony in connection

     with the Rule 35 hearing before Judge Roettger in Florida

     has been held in camera. Now that Seal is dead, cannot

     this transcript be made public?

                 All of these questions, and others that will undoubt-

     edly develop, cry for investigation.

                 And law enforcement agencies and the public have

     a right to know the answers.

                 The answers could very likely tell us how the

     government might better protect future valuable witnesses

     whether they want protection or not.

                 The answers might very likely tell us how the

     country could better deal with a heinous criminal, despite

     his cooperation with the government after he got caught.

                 I trust this request will receive a positive response.


                                  W I L L I A M  J .  G U S T E  J R .

                                  WILLIAM J. GUSTE, JR.
                                  Attorney General of Louisiana

     WJG, Jr/sl

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