To: New Paradigms discussion List <>
Subject: Starr Investigation Targets Ak Law Enforcement

Starr Investigation Targets Law-Enforcement Complicity
By Jamie Dettmer and  Paul M. Rodriguez
INSIGHT magazine: May 29 1995

An ongoing money-laundering probe, led by independent
counsel Kenneth W. Starr, is churning up details of possible
state and law-enforcement ties to criminal misconduct in

In the late 1980s during the swirl of Iran-Contra
allegations about narcotics trafficking and weapons
shipments, senior officer in the Arkansas State Police began
a methodical operation to destroy sensitive documents
linking some of the state's most prominent political and
business figures to illegal activities - spin-offs from
Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North's cover arms for hostages

Arkansas connection to Iran-Contra were, at the time,
obscured nationally.  Attention was riveted on Washington,
Ronald Reagan and North's manic shredding of files detailing
the "enterprise" that provided arms for the release of
American hostages in the Middle East and guns for the
Nicaraguan Contras.  Arkansas seemed a long way from the
action in the nation's capital.

Until Bill Clinton ran for president, an Arkansas dimension
to Iran-Contra remained ignored by mainstream news
organizations and federal officials.  Now though, what in
the 1980s has moved to center stage.  It's not just shady
land deals surfacing, but widespread wrongdoing by the state
politico-business establishment that behaved as though it
was above the law - and with the help of police officers,
was allowed to be.

The conspiracy theorist, of course, have run riot and
attempted to pin all the blame for misdeeds in Arkansas on
Clinton.  But what slowly  is unfolding is a far more
complicated story of negligence, opportunism and rank
exploitation by a one-party political system that bent the
rules and turned a blind eye to alleged criminal activity
when it was carried out by some of its own.

Enter KWS.  As the independent counsel pursues the money
trail of Clinton and his wife, Hillary, in a land deal
called Whitewater, the inner workings of Arkansas government
and law enforcement are coming under the spotlight.  What
KWS is finding, according to a former senior federal
official familiar with the probe, is a good-ole-boy network
of "corruption and obstruction" in a state seemingly awash
in narcotics money - some almost certainly of Iran-Contra
origin and some from more home-grown enterprises.

INSIGHT now has learned that Starr's team of more than 125
FBI and IRS agents and U.S. attorneys are investigating what
appears, on the surface, to be unrelated aspects of the
Whitewater deal.  His investigators are delving heavily into
Arkansas narcotics and homicide cases, some of which have
remained unsolved for years.  And what is being uncovered,
according to federal and state officials who agreed to be
interviewed, is layer upon layer of complicity by state and
local law-enforcement agencies and a maze of allegations
that has investigators widening their inquiries at every

One of the most startling discoveries so far is an extensive
and regular pattern of document shredding in the late 1980s
on the orders of senior state police officials.  According
to law-enforcement sources in Little Rock, the shredded
documents were federal and state intelligence records and
police investigators' files on prominent Arkansans.  Some,
such as businessman Dan Lasater, were significant
contributors to Clinton's gubernatorial campaigns.  Also
shredded was material on the murky drug-running and arms-
smuggling operation based at the Mena Intermountain Regional
Airport (see INSIGHT, Jan. 30, 1995).

The shredding, which was conducted in a tiny office in the
office in the state police headquarters, was furtive and
known only by a handful of officers at the highest levels in
the Arkansas State Police - that is, until Starr's
investigator (missing) nessmen with close ties to Clinton
personally.  The destruction of documents was at its most
intense in 1988 and 1989.

Col. Tommy Goodwin, former Arkansas State Police commander,
says, "I am not aware of any documents that were shredded."

Former state troopers, who in the 1980s attempted to
investigate prominent Arkansas allegedly involved in the
cocaine parties and drug sales, are not surprised by the
disclosures of the shredding. Julius "Doc" Delaughter claims
he resigned from the state police in 1988 after his
superiors blocked the mounting of certain inquiries.  He
recalls how documents concerning other cases, such as the
Lasater investigation, would turn up missing.  "A deposition
I took from a friend of Lasater was stolen off my desk and
was never seen again," says Delaughter.

The deposition Delaughter says he secured could have proved
embarrassing for then-Gov. Clinton if it had been leaked. 
It dealt with a cocaine party allegedly organized by Lasater
in Hot Springs, Ark., hotel suite.  The party hastily ended
with the arrival of Clinton, who was scheduled to meet with
Lasater.  Lasater subsequently was convicted of cocaine
distribution and sentenced to prison.

In another case, a state police captain was apparently so
concerned by the regular destruction of potentially
embarrassing material that he maintained for safekeeping a
copy of a lengthy memorandum revealing that a Mena-based
drug-running suspect was allowed to consult investigators'
telephone records with the knowledge of Goodwin, who retired
last June.  According to the memo, a copy of which INSIGHT
has obtained, the suspect a former state narcotics officer,
learned from his search of the phone logs that state trooper
were cooperating with the FBI agents on a probe of Barry
Seal, a notorious, confessed drug trafficker who claimed,
before his assassination in 1986 at the hands of Colombian
hit men, to have been part of North's Iran-Contra

The 10-page memo provides a revealing look into the close-
knit world of Arkansas law enforcement.  Written on Jan. 9,
1987, by Lt. Doug Williams (now a captain), the memo, which
was sent to his superior officer, Capt. Doug Stevens,
related how the suspect requested help in learning the
nature of the investigations being mounted at Mena airport
and into himself and his associates.

The suspect complained to Williams that the "local sheriff's
office had started watching the airport."  He mentioned he
had visited a senior state police officer, Maj. Richard
Rail, "which he did often," and that they had talked about
how investigators charged long-distance calls to state
credit cards.  According to the Williams memo: "He [the
suspect] stated that he took most of the day at the capitol
building checking these [telephone] records and that the
gentleman that was helping him there told him he could not
copy these records; however, he could sit down with the
records and make hand notes from them and that Colonel
Goodwin had been advised of his being there and periodically
checked back to see if he was still there and each time the
colonel checked back, the man would walk in and say Mr.
Goodwin just called back to see if you were still here and
how you were doing."

Rules governing public access to state police phone records
and credit cards should have restrained the suspect. 
According to Wayne Jordan, a spokesman for the Arkansas
State Police, records connected with active intelligence
operations and ongoing probes are strictly off-limits.  Only
when cases are closed, according to Jordan, are records
available for public inspection; then any inspection
requires a Freedom of Information Act request and approval
by the head of the Arkansas State Police.

The complex events surrounding Mena-the clandestine flights
of guns and drugs in the dead of night; the peculiar
stifling of local investigations as well as probes mounted
by federal and even less to do with
Clinton.  But Starr's investigators seem to be convinced,
based on their questions to witnesses and requests for
documents, that the flow of drug profits and the alleged
diversion of that money into businesses in Arkansas and even
into Clinton's campaign finances warrant major

In his bid to trace donations to the then governor's
election coffers, the independent counsel's FBI agents have
reviewed thousands of pages of case files connected to
suspected narcotics operations and money laundering by
reputed criminals in Arkansas and surrounding jurisdictions. 
Starr's investigators also begun question the Mena pilots
responsible for air-dropping sturdy duffel bags full of
Central American cocaine and cash at pre-arranged sites in

"The Feds are primarily interested in money-laundering
activities," says Joe Evans, one of the pilots interrogated
recently.  "The questioning had to do with where the money
was coming from, where the money was going.  They asked me
from which banks in the U.S.. or internationally the money
originated.  They asked me how frequent were the flights and
how large were the shipments."

During the interview with Evans, Starr's investigators also
were interested in a mysterious and as-yet-unsolved double
homicide near Little Rock in 1987 that has been the subject
of considerable local controversy.  Again, it is money
laundering that seems to be foremost in the minds of Starr's
investigators as they review the cold-case files concerning
the murders of teenagers Don Henry and Kevin Ives, who were
found stabbed and bludgeoned on railroad tracks along the
Pulaski-Saline county line on the outskirts of Little Rock.

INSIGHT has learned that the double homicide also is the
subject of a separate FBI investigation and that a grand
jury has been impaneled in Little Rock to take testimony in
the case.  The targets of that investigation, according to
sources, are a handful of suspected drug dealers from
northwest Arkansas, a Little Rock prosecutor and several
former members of the sheriff's departments in Pulaski and
Saline counties.  Two of the alleged drug dealers under
suspicion in the murders were mentioned regularly in
Arkansas State Police intelligence files, copies of which
INSIGHT has obtained, contain raw and unsubstantiated
allegations about wrongdoing by a number of prominent
businessmen in Arkansas.

There have been many theories put forth to explain the
murders of Henry and Ives.  A persistent one argues that the
teenagers stumbled upon a Mena narcotics drop site shortly
before drugs were due to be unloaded.  This theory appears
to have caught the attention of Starr's team.  Mena pilots
have been asked about a drop site code-named "A-12" by the
smugglers.  They also have been asked about "Flight 50" -
all Mena flights were numbered - which coincided with the
date and time of the boys' deaths.

Starr's investigators have interviewed several convicted
drug offenders in Arkansas prisons who are believed to be
connected to the homicides of Henry and Ives.

Current and former members of Congress and law-enforcement
officers who have looked into the Mena drug and money-
laundering operations long have suspected that there was -
and continues to be - complicity by people at both the state
and federal levels to keep a lid on the events in Arkansas
during the 1980s and early 1990s.  They believe that what
began under the guise of national security involving Iran-
Contra blossomed into an extensive, tangled conspiracy to
hide the links between Mena and nonfederal corruption
through out the region.

"Starr should be investigating the Arkansas police," says a
former high ranking federal official who worked behind the
scenes to put together pieces of the Mena puzzle.  "What is
coming to light now is that there was a broad-based
conspiracy to hide the truth drug
conspiracies and the latest turns in the Starr inquiry.

"I could never understand why no one went down this path
before," says Bill Duncan, a former IRS agent and
congressional investigator who for three years tried to
secure indictments in connection with Mena drug smuggling.

In a confidential memorandum to House Judiciary subcommittee
on crime dated Oct. 8, 1991, Duncan wrote: "On this date I
received a telephone call from Paul Whitmore concerning a
conversation which he had just overheard at the El Paso
Intelligence Center.  Whitmore related that, just minutes
ago, he heard the Central Intelligence Agency EPIC Resident
Agent tell the U.S. Customs EPIC Resident Agent that the CIA
still has ongoing operations out of the Mena, Ark., Airport,
but that 'some other guys' are still operating out of the
airport also, and that one of the operations at the airport
is laundering money."  Whitmore was the IRS agent stationed
at EPIC, formally called the El Paso Intelligence agencies.

Duncan's memo concluded: "The CIA agent then told the
Customs Agent that if the laundering of cash was a par of
Customs Operations, he wasn't going to worry about it. 
According to Whitmore, they also discussed checking the
registration of various aircraft which are currently at the
Mena, Ark., Airport."

For Duncan, the memo is just one more piece of evidence
pointing to "a bizarre mixture of drug smuggling, gun
running and money laundering."

[Three photos accompany the article.
   1. Photo of Goodwin.
   2. Photo of a C-123 cargo plane at Mena.
   3. Photos of Henry and Ives.

INSIGHT is a weekly news magazine published by 
Washington Times Corp

This mailing list is processed through Majordomo at Oakland University.
If you wish to unsubscribe from this mailing list, send electronic mail
to  In the message body put: unsubscribe cs 

| News Main Menu | CIA Drug Dealing | Ben's Home Page |

This page maintained by Ben Attias
Last Update: 9:24 PM on Wednesday, October 9, 1996.

Please Send Comments, Suggestions, etc. to