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BUbonic PLague Essay, Research Paper

The CIA says it has not found any record of a relationship between itself and Nicaraguan drug dealers or others who allegedly operated a 1980s cocaine ring in California and funneled the profits to a CIA-run guerrilla army.

The intelligence agency’s assertion was contained in documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in San Diego. A copy of the filing was made available today by the CIA.

William H. McNair, the information review officer for the CIA, said a search of agency records found no evidence of “any kind of operational, contractual or employment relationship” with Nicaraguan cocaine dealer Danilo Blandon, Los Angeles crack cocaine dealer “Freeway” Rick Ross, former California police officer Ronald Lister or David Scott Weekly, whom Lister has named as his CIA contact.

The legal declaration was first reported in the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.

In the declaration, the CIA said it knew as early as 1984 that Norvin Meneses was a major cocaine trafficker. But it said a 1986 search of the agency’s records at the FBI’s request failed to produce any evidence of a CIA relationship with Meneses.

A censored document included in the court filing said that in December 1984 a source, whose name was deleted, “reported that a Norwin (Nemeses) was apparently well known as the Nicaraguan mafia dealing in drug(s), weapons and smuggling and laundering of counterfeit money.”

The document, which was headed “Three Persons Claiming CIA Affiliation,” also said Nemeses was described as “the kingpin of narcotics traffickers in Nicaragua prior to the fall of Somoza.”

The CIA inspector general is investigating allegations that the agency was involved in the introduction of crack cocaine into the United States.

Inspector General Frederick Hitz has said it might take months to examine fully records of the relationship between the CIA and Nicaraguan Contra members implicated in 1980s cocaine trafficking in California.

Hitz said recently, however, that a preliminary investigation found “no credible information” to support allegations raised in a series of articles published in August by a California newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News.

The Mercury News’ three-part series, “Dark Alliance,” detailed how a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the street gangs of South-Central Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a CIA-run guerrilla army. The series traced the crack cocaine explosion to the two Nicaraguan cocaine traffickers, Meneses and Blandon, who were civilian leaders of the Frente Democratica Nicaraguense (FDN), an anti-communist commando group formed and run by the CIA during the 1980s.

Blandon, who is now an undercover informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration, said in federal court recently that his biggest customer was the Los Angeles dealer, Ross, who turned Blandon’s cocaine into crack and distributed it to the Crips and Blood street gangs. Blandon told the DEA in 1995 that at the height of his business with Ross, he was providing 100 kilos of cocaine a week to the gangs.

Media critics and other newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and The New York Times, have questioned the Mercury News’ findings.


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