Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Investigation

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Investigation December 1996 LASD summary of the 3,600-page report (On October 3, 1996, Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block ordered an inquiry into the allegations in the San Jose Mercury News articles. The inquiry was meant to determine in part what the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) knew about: . . . alleged CIA/Contra (FDN) involvement in cocaine sales in the south central area of Los Angeles . . . . and whether or not any such knowledge or belief caused members of the Sheriff's Department to ignore or not properly investigate drug cases. Much of the LASD investigation centered on allegations made in a postscript article to the newspaper's "Dark Alliance" series. This article, titled, "Affidavit: Cops Knew of Drug Ring," was based in large part on information from a 1986 affidavit of a former Los Angeles County Sheriff's narcotics detective and a defense lawyer's motion in a 1990 corruption case against a number of former Sheriff's Department members.)
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Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Investigation December 1996 LASD summary of the 3,600-page report (On October 3, 1996, Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block ordered an inquiry into the allegations in the San Jose Mercury News articles. The inquiry was meant to determine in part what the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) knew about: . . . alleged CIA/Contra (FDN) involvement in cocaine sales in the south central area of Los Angeles . . . . and whether or not any such knowledge or belief caused members of the Sheriff's Department to ignore or not properly investigate drug cases. Much of the LASD investigation centered on allegations made in a postscript article to the newspaper's "Dark Alliance" series. This article, titled, "Affidavit: Cops Knew of Drug Ring," was based in large part on information from a 1986 affidavit of a former Los Angeles County Sheriff's narcotics detective and a defense lawyer's motion in a 1990 corruption case against a number of former Sheriff's Department members.) SCOPE OF INQUIRY: The initial scope of this inquiry was deceptively simple: Find out what, if anything, members of our Department knew about alleged CIA/Contra (FDN) involvement in cocaine sales in the south central area of Los Angeles; when the members of our Department learned of any such conspiracy; and determine what, if anything was done with this information. The inquiry was also meant to determine whether or not, any such knowledge or belief caused members of the Sheriffs Department to ignore or not properly investigate drug cases. During the course of the inquiry, a substantial number of collateral issues arose. Each topic was addressed to the fullest extent possible, given the initial parameters and time constraints of the inquiry. For ease of reading and continuity, this summary has been constructed in chronological order wherever possible. SUMMARY OF INQUIRY ''Large amounts of cocaine are being smuggled into the United States. At this time the distribution pattern appears to be concentrated in the larger cities, particularly Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Miami. The principal consumers are multiple drug users with only small numbers being exclusively into cocaine. If the black marketplace should become flooded with large amounts of cocaine, it can be predicted that many more people will become involved, more 'cokeheads' will appear, and more social problems such as impulsive, violent activities will become manifest.'' - Vista Hill Psychiatric Foundation Publication April 1974 ''OPERATION BIG SPENDER'': Although this inquiry was initiated as the result of a series of three articles written by Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News between August 18-20 of 1996, the true genesis of the allegations appear to stem from a defense motion made on October 23, 1990, during the corruption trial of Los Angeles County Sheriffs deputies who had been criminally charged in federal court (U.S. vs. Terrel Amers et al). The charges against the deputies had been filed as a result of their involvement in thefts of money and other property seized from narcotics suspects. A multi agency Task Force consisting of Sheriffs investigators and Federal agents, termed "Operation Big Spender' was responsible for the identification and investigation of Sheriffs personnel suspected of having been involved in the thefts. During the first of what would eventually be a number of federal cases against other deputies, Harland Braun, a defense attorney for one of the deputies on trial (Daniel Gamer), attempted to file a motion before the Magistrate, Judge Edward Rafeedie. The motion, entitled ''Defendant Garner's Opposition To Government's Request For Restraining Order,'' is a seven page document which makes a number of allegations related to the October 27, 1986 search warrant that had been served on the ''Danilo Blandon Organization.'' (Refer to BRAUN'S document Exhibit D, Item #1, Volume 2). According to court records, the motion by Braun was filed in response to a U.S. Government motion which had been filed October 19, 1990. The Government motion is entitled, ''Government or Restraining Order Re: Extra-Judicial Statements Of Parties And Their Agents: Memorandum Of Points And Authorities; Declaration of Thomas A. Hageman.'' According to the attorneys for the government, people involved in the criminal case had been making ''extra-judicial'' statements, and conducting public interviews on the ''courthouse steps.'' The motion specifically mentions statements purportedly made by Mr. Braun, relating to, ''Reports that Garner will testify that the government laundered drug profits which were diverted by the CIA to the Nicaraguan Contras and to Iran.'' (Refer to GOVERNMENT MOTION, Exhibit D, Item #2, Volume 2). NOTE: The motion introduced by Mr. Braun made mention of a "10 page document' which had reportedly been recovered by deputies during the searches of property in 1986. This document purportedly contained definitive proof of U.S. Government involvement in drug trafficking, among other allegations. The document was recovered by investigators during the course of this investigation and authenticated by former Deputy Garner, who had originally provided it to Mr. Braun. (Refer to DOCUMENT, Exhibit E, Volume 2; and GARNER #2 interview, Volume 1). On the date Braun attempted to submit his motion (October 23, 1990), Judge Rafeedie refused to hear it, and refused to allow Braun to "file the document with the court. According to the trial transcript, Braun was ultimately successful in 'lodging" the motion with the court clerk. (Judge Rafeedie is the same person who blocked introduction of evidence linking the CIA to drug lords involved in the death of DEA agent Enrique Camarena during a 1990 murder trial) NOTE: On Sunday, October 6, 1996, Mr. Braun appeared on PBS television (KCET) on the show ''Life and Times.'' During his appearance, Braun said that deputies had made copies of the "10 page document'' after the search warrant service on October 27, 1986. Braun added, ''I submitted them to the court. They are under seal in Judge Rafeedie's court in that case, and when they come out they will diagram a number of things about the operation.'' Mr. Braun was asked if he had kept a copy of the 10 page document. He replied, ''No. I was actually taken by surprise, because I had one copy for myself in court and I had gave [sic] one to the LA Times. And when the judge read the motion that I made, he became incensed and thought I was trying to influence the current jury. So I said, ''Judge Rafeedie, just to show my good faith, here are the documents that I base this on. I'll file them in court under seal for you to look at.'' (Video tape of this show is on file). On Tuesday, October 8, 1996, investigators drove to the federal courthouse in order to inspect the criminal files relating to the above referenced case. Prior to attempting to locate and review the files, Assistant United States Attorney Sally Melloch (213-894-0334) was contacted. Ms. Melloch agreed to assist investigators in locating the files and filling out required paperwork in the Records Section of the court. The purpose of the review was to attempt to locate any documents or other papers related to the claims by Attorney Braun that he had submitted paperwork under seal to the court on October 23, 1990. As noted above, Mr. Braun stated he submitted a ''10 page document'' to the court, asserting that they contained relevant information in the case against his client, former Deputy Garner. In an interview, Mr. Braun said he had been trying to produce evidence of ''Outrageous Government Conduct,'' which he would then attempt to use as a defense in the case. Investigators were unable to locate the ''10 page document in the court files. Additionally, there was no record of any document being placed under seal (in Camera) by Mr. Braun on the date that corresponded to the papers he alleged to have submitted. Upon reviewing the transcript for October 23, 1990, it was discovered that pages 1284 through 1294 deal with the issue of Mr. Braun's declaration and conversation with the court. (Refer to COURT TRANSCRIPTS, Exhibit D, Item #7, Volume 2 ). There are a number of statements made by Mr. Braun and Judge Rafeedie which are relevant to this issue. They are noted below: Judge Rafeedie: ''First is the Government's Motion for a Restraining Order which the only opposition has been filed, one filed by Mr. Garner which is labeled "Opposition to the Government's Request for a Restraining Order', but which does not address any of the issues raised in that motion, and I suspect it was filed by counsel (Mr. Braun) in bad faith as an effort to get into the public media an argument that you have discussed before and perhaps prior to the time that the court might issue a restraining order.'' (Page 1284). Judge Rafeedie went on to state, ''Even if everything that you have said in this document is true, it has nothing to do with whether or not your client filed a false income tax return or whether or not he was stealing money and making purchases with the money that was stolen, that is, what the C.I.A. or the Government did has nothing to do with that so far as I can see. I cannot conceive of any theory under which that evidence would be admissible in the case, and therefore, putting this information out in the guise of an Opposition to a Restraining Order simply to ensure that it gets into the public print and perhaps might contaminate this case or create undue prejudice -- frankly I am disappointed in you, Mr. Braun.'' (Page 1285). Mr. Braun replied, ''Your honor, I don't want to -- may I file with the court as I indicated not under seal --'' (Emphasis added). Judge Rafeedie cut Mr. Braun off and said, "it does not matter whether this is true or not. The means that you have chosen to bring it to the court is totally improper -- to describe your document as an "Opposition to the Government's Request for Restraining Order -- this is not What it is.'' Mr. Braun replied, ''What I want to do is explain why I mentioned deliberately that specific item in the press. At the time the jury was told to view it. I think I did explain that and I wanted to then file with the court, without getting into anymore discussion, the documents referred to so your honor might look at them.'' (Page 1286). Later in the transcript, Mr. Braun states, ''May I be heard very briefly, your honor? I would like to deliver to the court or the clerk under seal the documents I referred to Judge Rafeedie replied, ''Why? Why are they relevant?'' Mr. Braun then stated, ''Because I think they are relevant.'' Judge Rafeedie told Mr. Braun that they were not, ''Trying to determine the Iran-Contra affair.'' Mr. Braun ultimately stated that he would like to, ''File these documents, as shocking they are, for your honor to look at.'' Judge Rafeedie stated, ''File it. Lodge them, not file them'' (Emphasis added). Rafeedie concluded by stating, ''Regardless of what it shows, Mr. Braun, at the present time it is totally irrelevant to any charges against a client in this case as far as I can see.'' The judge told Mr. Braun that even if he could produce ''competent evidence'' to show that the assertions were true, he would still faced with the issue of, ''The very serious questionableness of the relevance.'' (Page 1292). After reviewing the transcript, AUSA Melloch was contacted and asked what it me to have something ''lodged'' with the court as opposed to having it ''filed.'' Ms. Melloch explained that an item ''lodged'' with the court is something the judge is willing to review but in no way assures that it will be ''filed'' or kept as part of the final case file. She s oftentimes, items lodged with the court will be determined to be irrelevant and return to the submitting party. She said it was also possible the item would be removed the file and not returned to any of the parties. Ms. Melloch said the fact that we had been unable to locate the ''10 page document'' in the file suggested to her that it had been determined to be irrelevant and not placed in the official case file. Our review of the file also revealed that Judge Rafeedie did not place the items under seal as claimed by Mr. Braun. It is also clear Mr. Braun was not "surprised" by the judge into handing over his only copy of the ''10 page document'' to Judge Rafeedie, fact, on page 1286, it is clear Mr. Braun was asking permission to submit the documents ''not under seal'' to the court. It is also clear the judge resisted taking a paperwork related to the declaration from Mr. Braun (Page 1289). Ms. Melloch said under the described scenario, the best Mr. Braun could have done was to have the documents filed under seal ''In Camera,'' which would have kept the Government attorneys from seeing it. The record makes no note of any document like the one described by Mr. Braun as having been filed under seal ''In Camera'', which would have kept the Government attorneys from seeing it. The record makes no note of any document like the one described by Mr. Braun as having been filed under seal ''In Camera'' on October 23, 1990. NOTE: Mr. Braun is an attorney licensed to practice law in federal court. it is reasonable to assume that he is aware of the technical differences between ''lodging'' something with the court as opposed to "filing." On October 7, 1996 at the request of Mr. Braun, Judge Rafeedie unsealed a document which turned out to be the five page ''Background and Operational Plan'' for the search warrant served by Majors II. Braun was asked if he might be mistaken as to which documents he had given to the court. Braun replied, ''I don't think so''. He then said he was fairly sure he had submitted the ten page document under seal. (Refer to BRAUN memo dated October 18,1996, Volume 1). Mr. Braun has acknowledged he did not pursue the matter of the alleged CIA/Iran/Contra connection after the matter had been presented during the trial. NOTE: In an interview, former Deputy Eufrasio Cortez (a co-defendant and co-conspirator in the case involving Garner) stated he knew at the time the motion filed by Braun was ''without substance,'' adding it was his opinion Garner and Braun were desperate and just ''throwing rocks at an oncoming train.'' Cortez told investigators that after this incident, he almost decided to cooperate with the government in their case. Cortez also said, based upon his years of experience as a narcotics investigator, he believed the allegations of government involvement in drug trafficking were just .smoke." He said he has never seen any evidence to support such claims, nor did any suspect he ever contacted make any statements alleging government protection or participation. (Refer to CORTEZ memo dated October 28,1996, Volume 1). In an interview, former Deputy Ronald Daub (a co-defendant and co-conspirator in the same case) stated he had no input into the preparation of the motion by Braun. It was Daub's opinion the motion was simply a defense strategy. Daub said he, ''Would not speculate as to the validity of the motion.'' (Refer to DAUB memo dated October 10, 1996). In an interview, former Deputy Daniel Garner stated that once he had been indicted, he gave two copies of the ''10 page documents to his attorney, Harland Braun. Garner said Braun attempted to use the document in order to construct an "Outrageous Government Conduct' defense. Garner acknowledged it had been a defense strategy to ''get the heat off themselves. (Refer to GARNER memo dated October 10, 1996). HARLAND BRAUN'S MOTION AND THE ''10 PAGE DOCUMENT'': Based on the fact so much controversy has arisen based on the allegations raised by Mr. Braun in his 1990 motion, coupled with the fact that the ''10 page document'' has recently been recovered during this inquiry, it seems appropriate to compare the two in an attempt to get at the truth of the allegations. In the following section, the motion by Braun will be discussed line by line, and followed up by any appropriate entries or information contained in the ''10 page document.'' When necessary, other available information will also be included, thus providing as clear a picture as possible of the circumstances surrounding these two documents. For clarity and ease of reading, portions from Mr. Braun's motion will appear in bold, italicized print. A "response" section will follow the particular entry as necessary. The Motion: ''In 1986 Majors II served a search warrant on a money launderer who they knew was associated with a major drug and money laundering ring connected to the contras in Nicaragua.'' Response: Assuming that the money launderer was Ronald Lister, this sentence appears to be accurate, in that both he and Blandon were Contra sympathizers. The Motion: ''Notification was made to the federal government that the search warrant was going to be served'' Response: This statement gives the appearance the federal government was not involved in the service of the warrant, and had not been privy to the Sheriff s investigation. This is simply not the case. It is clear from the evidence gathered and interviews conducted, during the course of this inquiry, agents from the federal government not only participated in the warrant service, but also supplied information and investigative support to the Sheriffs investigators. The Motion: ''Prior to the search warrant being served, lawyers for the suspects called Majors II requesting that the property be returned, and requested to know the status of their clients.'' Response: This inquiry has determined there is no evidence of such a telephone call. Former Deputy Robert Juarez stated that former Deputy Eufrasio Cortez contacted him after the warrant and told him he (Cortez) had received a call from an attorney (possibly Blandon's), on Saturday, October 25, 1986. This would have been two days prior to the warrant. According to Juarez, the attorney had left a message on Cortez' answering machine, requesting bail information on his client. Juarez said he was certain that the call related to the Blandon search warrants and not some other case. Juarez added his belief that someone at the briefing may have been CIA related and had given up information on the warrant. (Refer JUAREZ memo dated October 18, 1996, Volume 1). Former Deputy Cortez said he did not recall any such phone call. He added that if it had occurred, as claimed by Juarez, he certainly would have remembered it, since it would have been ''extremely significant.'' Cortez also said he did not even have an answering machine on his phone in the Narcotics Bureau. (Refer CORTEZ memo dated October 28, 1996, Volume 1). Bradley Brunon, the attorney for Danilo Blandon, said he had learned of the arrest of his clients either on the day of the warrant or the day after. Brunon said he knew Cortez and had spoken with him a number of times over the years. He said he did not recall ever talking to Cortez about this case. He did not recall leaving a message for Cortez on an answering machine. (Refer BRUNON memo dated November 1, 1996, Volume 1). The Motion: ''When the search warrants were served, the houses were found substantially vacated.'' While it is true that only a minimal amount of evidence was recovered from the thirteen locations searched, only one house was found to be "substantially vacated''. This home belonged to Lister, who had moved out some months prior to the warrant being served. In his interview, Lister stated that whoever planned the warrant had not done their ''background,'' since they didn't know he moved until the date the warrant was served. The Motion: ''When officers entered one house, the suspect identified himself as a CIA agent, gave the name of his CIA contact in Virginia, and requested that the Majors II confirm his status and leave the premises.'' Response: According to the report written by former Deputy Juarez, Lister was quoted as saying, ''He had dealings in South America and worked with the CIA.'' He added that his friends in Washington weren't going to like what was going on. Juarez also wrote that Lister said he would ''call Mr. Weekly of the CIA and report me''. Former Deputy Juarez told investigators that when Lister answered the door, he also made the statement, ''I know why you're here; but why are you here?'' Juarez said he told Lister that he would be willing to talk to Listers ''contact,'' and leave the premises if they had to. Juarez added that Lister did not complete a phone call. NOTE: Based on Braun's allegations, it appears that former Deputy Juarez was the source of some of the information in the motion. Lister denied making any such comments to the personnel present. He added that he was asked several times whether or not he was with the CIA. He recalled that at one point during the search of his property, Sergeant Fransen came down the stairs and said something of the effect of, ''Man, you gotta be CIA.'' Lister surmised this was based on the discovery of the various documents and paperwork which dealt with Listers arms/equipment business. NOTE: Lister consented to the search of his Barlomento residence. The search warrant did not include this residence as a location to be searched. The Motion: ''The suspect was allowed to call Virginia and notify the Central Intelligence Agency, but the officers took the position that they had a search warrant and they would continue to obey the order of the court.'' Response: As noted above, former Deputy Juarez denied that Lister completed any calls while the deputies were at the scene. Additionally, Lister denied completing a call. He said he had started to phone his attorney (Joe Heneghan), but did not complete it. Heneghan confirmed he had previously instructed Lister to call him immediately if the police aft empted to search his house without a warrant. Lister said he decided not to antagonize the deputies by interjecting his attorney into the picture. The search warrant did not include Lister's Barlomento residence; therefore, the contention that the officers continued ''to obey the order of the court'', involving Lister's residence, is false. As noted earlier, the deputies requested that Lister agree to a consent search of his property. Lister voluntarily granted the search. The Motion: ''Officers discovered Films of military operations in Central America, technical manuals, information on assorted military hardware and communications, and numerous documents indicating that drug money was being used to purchase military equipment for Central America.'' Response: It appears military training films were located at the house previously vacated by Lister. There is no evidence to indicate the films depicted operations in Central America. Lister admittedly dealt in ''assorted military hardware and communications equipment.'' Lister acknowledges having possessed such manuals. No information has been discovered which would support the allegation that ''numerous documents indicating that drug money was being used to purchase military equipment for Central America''. The Motion: ''The Officers also discovered blown up pictures of the suspect in Central America with the Contras showing military equipment and military bases.'' Response: Former Deputy Virgil Bartlett stated he had seen photographs of Ronald Lister in a ''Contra military compound! When asked how he knew it was a ''Contra'' installation, he said it was only his opinion, based on the fact that everyone in the photo appeared to be ''Latin.'' Bartlett said along with the pictures were paperwork and possibly airline tickets from Nicaragua. Bartlett said the pictures showed Lister standing with a ''general,'' and in the background were tents, munitions, and automatic weapons. Bartlett said there were no names or dates on the photos that he could recall. There is no conclusive evidence that the pictures were taken in Central America or depicted ''contra'' personnel and/or weaponry. The Motion: ''The suspect also was discovered to have maintained a ''way station'' for Nicaraguan transients in Laguna Nigel, California.'' Response: It is not known what Mr. Braun is referring to in this sentence. There has been no information gathered that would support this statement. The Motion: ''Officers also pieced together the fact that this suspect was also working with the Blandon family which was importing narcotics from Central America into the United States.'' Response: While it is true Ronald Lister was working for the Blandon Organization and that he was involved in drug sales, there is no evidence that Blandon was ''importing'' narcotics from Central America or any other country. According to all accounts, Blandon would deal with individuals (mostly Colombians) for drugs already inside the United States. In an interview, Lister said months would pass while he and Blandon searched virtually nationwide for any cocaine to purchase. In an interview with former Narcotics Bureau's Crime Analyst Carlos De La Guerra (now an attorney), he told investigators 95% of the suspects he profiled were Colombian Nationals who worked for the Medellin or Cali cartels. (Refer to DE LA GUERRA memo, dated October 28,1996, Volume 1). The Motion: ''Within 48 hours of the property being booked, federal agents swooped down on the Sheriffs headquarters and removed all there covered property. Mysteriously, all records of the search, seizure, and property also ''disappeared' 'from the Sheriff's Department'' Response: This allegation is not true. FBI Special Agent Douglas Aukland believes he came to the property room and photocopied portions of the paperwork recovered from the searches. It is not known exactly what was copied, but it appears that the agents were mostly interested in the financial paperwork. A review of this incident reveals that all evidence was seized, documented, and disposed of per Department policy. No property was taken by any ''federal agents.'' NOTE: Again, based on the allegation, it appears former Deputy Juarez was the source of information as it relates to this issue. Juarez has stated he returned to work two days after the warrant (''48 hours''), and was told by former Deputies Cortez and Garner that ''the feds'' had taken all of the property. Juarez said he looked in the evidence room and saw that the property was missing. Garner admitted to jokingly remarking to Juarez that the FBI or CIA had ''been there and taken the evidence.'' Garner said he told Juarez this just to get him going.'' Garner said he heard from former Deputy Gordon that ''someone'' had checked out the evidence and that it was ''gone''. This may have well been during the time that the evidence was being photocopied outside the evidence room. Former Deputy Cortez said he had heard that some of the evidence seized had been later removed by federal agents, but did not know if this was true or ''just talk.'' Major Violators II Crew Sergeant Edward Huffman recently surmised that Juarez might not have known that the evidence had been moved from one location to another where it could be photocopied. The Motion: ''At the same time as these seizures, officers from Mayors were watching CNN coverage of the developing scandal in Washington involving money being used for purchasing weapons for the contras in violation of the congressional restriction. Officers recognized the fact that the Blandon family was mentioned in these scandals and pieced together the fact that the suspect in the search had an airplane that crashed in Nicaragua.'' Response: The Iran-Contra scandal began to break around the time of this warrant service, if not a number of months before. It is not clear whether ''the Blandon family'' was mentioned in the scandal, unless loose reference is being made to the fact that Blandon is a distant relative of Norwin Meneses, who was identified as a drug smuggler early-on in the Iran-Contra investigation. Additionally, there is no evidence that Ronald Lister had been in a plane crash in Nicaragua. He denied this allegation, and no evidence to the contrary has been identified. The Motion: ''Unbeknownst to the federal government 10 pages of the documents seized from the CIA operative were copied and preserved.'' Response: It is not known if any of the federal agents, who copied the documents seized in the warrant, knew that the deputies had copied the ''10 page document.'' The argument is moot, however, in light of the fact that the document does exist. According to former Deputy Juarez, he made copies of the document, as well as a multi-page document written in Spanish (''Pyramid International'' proposal to El Salvador, written in 1982). Deputy Juarez admittedly gave copies of the documents to Narcotics Lieutenant Dale Fossey for incorporation into the LASD narcotics files and further intelligence investigation. He also gave a copy to the civilian crime analyst, Carlos De La Guerra. The Motion: ''These documents give the name of CIA operatives in Iran, specifically mention the contras list various weaponry that was being purchased, and even diagram the route of drug money out of the United States, back into the United States purchasing weaponry for the contras as well as naming the State Department as one of the agencies involved.'' Response: Based on the complexity of this set of allegations, each will be discussed separately below: NOTE: It must be pointed out that the ''10 page document'' is a handwritten compilation of paperwork. Lister acknowledged that he wrote the document and that it was seized from his house. He said the majority of the paperwork was written in 1985 when he was preparing for testimony before a federal grand jury. The document appears to be a series of scribbled notes (replete with misspellings) and ideas. Lister added that the deputies, who seized the paperwork, thought they had found ''something important''. He said all they had discovered were his own ''recollection sand opinions,'' and thought she had written down. He said there was no "official" government paperwork found at his home, and no conspiracy involved. ''These documents give the name of CIA operatives in Iran ... '' A review of the 10 page document reveals one name that appears as if it might be ''Iranian'' in nature. The name is Khadijeh Amin and is listed on page 2 of the document. Next to the name is the notation: ''Our girl in "I'. Ronald Lister said that Amin is an Iranian female who lived in Iran. Lister said this woman helped him establish a business relationship with a man in Europe who was trying to provide a food service to Iran and other Islamic countries. In a later interview, Lister said Amin was a, ''Crazy Iranian who was trying to make some money,'' (in the food venture.) He denied that she had anything to do with the CIA. NOTE: Linda Cipriani, an attorney for the Central Intelligence Agency, stated the CIA would not confirm or deny investigators' inquiries into the names of any of the individuals listed in the 10-page document. There is a short list of names on the fourth page of the document, wherein Lister notes people he claimed to have had some type of business relationship with. One of the names is Scott Weekly. Mr. Weekly and his history will be discussed in another part of this summary. In summary, nothing in the document appears to make any reference whatsoever to the CIA or ''operatives in Iran.'' ''... Specifically mention the contras ... '' On the second page of the document there is a notation ''Angie Apareco'' [sic] with the letters ''FDN'' below it. Lister said ''Angie'' was related to a friend of Blandon's. He said Angie was getting married, and Blandon asked Lister to attend the reception as a favor to the family in order to show respect. The handwritten notation next to ''Angie's'' name, is wedding reception'', tends to support Lister's statement. Lister said that ''Angie'' was an ''FDN'' supporter, like many Nicaraguan exiles who supported all ''Contra'' armies. On the sixth page, Lister wrote that he had attended a meeting with Scott Weekly, who he identified as being a ''DIA-subcontractor.'' Lister wrote, ''Scott had worked in El Salvador for us. Meeting concern(ed) my relationship w(ith) the Contra gr(oup) in Cent(ral) Am(erica).'' ''... list various weaponry that was being purchased ... '' The handwritten document makes several notations about various equipment, munitions, and weaponry. Lister claimed to have been an international security consultant and involved in legitimate arms sales. To put it into proper context, however, it must be pointed out that the ''various weaponry that was being purchased'' is not connected in the document to the two Contra-related entries. The apparent lack of sophistication in Lister's writings also bears some consideration. For example, on the first page of the document, he lists items such as ''torpados,'' (possibly referring to torpedoes) and a ''collapable type'' (possibly collapsible) of instrument. '' ... and even diagram the route of drug money out of the United States, back into the United States purchasing weaponry for the contras as well as naming the State Department as one of the agencies involved.'' The ''diagram'', mentioned in the motion, is written on the last page of the 10 page document. There is no reference made as to ''drug money'' or ''purchasing weaponry for the contras'' on the chart or on the preceding page which appears to explain the workings of the chart. This flow chart is described in further detail later in this summary. While it is true that the State Department is mentioned in the chart, the motion creates an unwarranted assertion that the State Department was somehow involved in the laundering of ''drug money'' and/or purchasing weapons for the Contras. NOTE: A representative of the State Department said they are involved in sales of certain items outside the country, including firearms and munitions. The Motion: ''Defendant Garner warned his counsel that possession of these documents may be dangerous. Counsel for Garner as a precaution has given these documents to one press organization with the express agreement that they not be released unless the documents are used in court or if they disappear from counsel's office. If the court desires, counsel for Garner will submit these documents to the court under seal.'' Response: The issue as to whether or not the court would agree to receive the documents, under seal or otherwise, has already been covered in the summary. Once the document is fully studied and understood, it seems unreasonable to think that possession of the ''Lister papers'' could be dangerous (or useful) to anyone under any circumstances. NOTE: As previously noted, Mr. Braun has been unable to locate a copy of the 10 page document. Additionally, a reporter at The Los Angeles Times told an investigator that the Times could not locate the copy they had received for "safekeeping." The belief was that since the document had been provided over six years ago, it was destroyed or lost by the Times. THE RICKY ROSS CASE: In March of 1995, a notorious drug dealer, Ricky Ross (''Freeway Rick''), was arrested in San Diego County on federal drug charges as the result of a "reverse-sting' operation which had been arranged by his former associate, Danilo Blandon. Blandon had been previously arrested and convicted on a separate drug charge and agreed to become an informant for the DEA in order to reduce his sentence. On November 19, 1996, Alan Fenster, the attorney for Ricky Ross, filed a motion with the court. The motion is entitled ''Application For Subpoena Duces Tecum: Declaration of Alan Fenster, Esq.'' In the motion, Mr. Fenster notes a contact he had with Harland Braun during Ross' defense. Fenster relates that Braun called him on the phone and told him about the 1990 trial of Daniel Garner and the other deputies. According to Fenster's motion, Braun told him that he had ''lodged his motion before Judge Rafeedie during the trial ''under seal.'' By his motion, Fenster was forwarding his attempt to show ''Outrageous Government Conduct'' in the case against Ross. NOTE: As previously noted in his appearance on the show, ''Life and Times,'' Braun said he had filed the 10 page document ''under seal'' in Judge Rafeedie's court. It is not known when, during the court proceedings, that Alan Fenster received the telephone call from Braun. On November 11, 1996, Mr. Braun signed a declaration indicating that he had ''filed'' the 10-page document under ''seal'' in Judge Rafeedie's court. (Refer to RICKY ROSS SENTENCING MEMORANDUM, Exhibit T, Item #6, Volume 3). In a response to Fenster's argument of outrageous government conduct, AUSA L. J. O'Neale, stated, ''Ross bases his entire CIA assault on the supposed facts on the articles by Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury News newspaper.'' On September 13, 1995, Gary Webb mailed a letter to Ricky Ross at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego introducing himself and advising him of his investigation into the Blandon Organization. Webb requested an interview of Ross and advised him of Fensters theory that, ''The government sent Blandon after him as revenge for having testified against the police in one of ''Operation Big Spender'' trials.'' Webb also told Ross that Fenster had advised him Blandon had been "one' of Ross'' suppliers when he dealt cocaine several years prior. (Refer to RICKY ROSS SENTENCING MEMORANDUM, Exhibit T, Item #7, Volume 3 ). NOTE: If true, Fenster's statement to Webb, concerning the federal government sending Blandon after Ross for testifying against officers in the ''Operation Big Spender'' trial, makes no sense since it had been the federal government that vigorously pursued the Former Deputy Virgil Bartlett said, ''Nobody humbugged'' Operation Big Spender. Nobody set us up. We screwed ourselves. Nobody prosecuted me for anything I didn't do.'' (Refer to BARTLETT memo dated October 16,1996, Volume #1). On July 15, 1996, Gary Webb mailed a second letter to Ricky Ross at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Ross had already been convicted on drug charges and was awaiting sentencing on August 23, 1996. In his letter, Webb advises Ross that he and his editors had determined the ''final publication schedule'' for Webb's article, ''The Dark Alliance.'' Webb told Ross that the article would run between August 18th and 20th, 1996. Webb writes, ''Finally, in terms of generating public interest in both this story and your case, it's best to have it appear as near as possible to a newsworthy event -- in this instance, your sentencing, which I will be covering on Aug(ust) 23rd. That way, the San Diego and L.A. papers can use the news angle of the sentencing as a way of getting into the story themselves -- without having to give the San Jose Mercury News any credit.(That's the way this business works, unfortunately, but at that point, the more reporters that are on the story, the better for everyone in terms of shaking the truth loose from these people. Plus it gives me an opportunity to do another story that Sunday).'' Webb concludes his letter by writing, ''So, there you have it. Since I've been working o this story for a fucking year now, I'm not real thrilled about waiting another month but I think, in the end, it will work out best for everyone. In the meantime, give me a call if anything comes up. See you on the 23rd.'' (Refer to WEBB LETTER, Exhibit T, Item #7, Volume 3). On Friday, August 30, 1996 (10 days after the ''Dark Alliance'' series ran in the San Jose Mercury News), Ricky Ross received an ''agreement'' letter (in care of Gary Webb) from Jody Hotchkiss, of Sterling Lord Literistic, Incorporated. Sterling Lord appears to be a literary agent in New York. In the letter, Hotchkiss writes, ''Gary We has told he [sic] that you have been crucial in his investigation of the story known as ''Dark Alliance'' (''the story'') the San Jose Mercury News. It is possible that your story would be one viewpoint from which to create a dramatic film.'' Hotchkiss solicits creative rights from Ross, requesting that Ross sign the agreement letter. On October 3, 1996, Ricky Ross received another letter from Sterling Lord. The letter informs Ross that Touchstone Pictures (a division of Walt Disney Studios) was offering him (Ross) money for the dramatic rights to his ''story.'' Ross was advised that he would receive $25,000 for the first 18 months, in which time a screenplay would be written. Ross would receive an additional 25 000 for the following 18 months if more time was needed to write the story. He would then receive $125,000 if the screenplay became a movie. The letter then notes, ''Gary Webb had been offered and has accepted the same deal for the dramatic rights to his story.'' Hotchkiss tells Ross in the letter he had spoken to Ross' attorney, Alan Fenster, and that Fenster was advising Ross to "take this deal now.'' Ross is then told that his story, ''Could be worth even more money if sequels, remakes, television movies and/or television series are made after the movie. I (Hotchkiss) am doing the same thing for Gary Webb now.'' NOTE: Investigators received a letter from Jody Hotchkiss in which, he stated, ''I erroneously stated that Gary Webb had accepted a similar offer.'' (Refer to MISC. DOCUMENTS, Exhibit Q, Item #14, Volume 2). Jody Hotchkiss advised investigators that Disney Productions nullified the movie deal with Touchstone Pictures. (Refer STERLING LORD LITERISTIC, INC. LETTER date December 4, 1996, Exhibit #Q, Item #16, Volume 3). Assistant U.S. Attorney O'Neale recently stated in a federal sentencing memorandum, ''It is now clear that the pretense of Gary Webb being a detached journalistic observer has been dropped, and that there is now no doubt that he was an active participant in the Ross defense team.'' (Refer RICKY ROSS SENTENCING MEMORANDUM, Exhibit #T, Item #4, Volume 3). Investigators contacted Ricky Ross in San Diego, California, at the Federal Metropolitan Correctional Center. Ross said he began to steal cars around 1981 or 1982. He said he was soon arrested for car theft, and after being released from jail, began his first experiences with dealing drugs. Ross said the individual, who first supplied him with cocaine and introduced him to drug dealing, was a teacher at the Venice Skill Center, known as ''Mr. Fisher''. Ross said Fisher would supply him with an ''8-track'' of cocaine powder (Ross was unsure as to the exact amount of cocaine contained in an ''8-Track''). Ross said his profit from the sale of an ''8-track'' would be $900.00 to $1,000.00, and he usually sold in small individual quantities which were wrapped in paper ''bindles''. Ross stated he soon learned to ''rock up'' the cocaine powder, so it was suitable for smoking. When asked how he learned to produce ''rock'', he said he, ''Watched different people in the neighborhood. Different people, you know, you keep seeing them do it and they do it in front of you, but nobody would show you how to do it at first.'' Ross explained that his neighborhood was full of cocaine users at the time who were also small-time dealers to support their habits. He said he soon was selling both powder and ''rock'' cocaine, but users would often buy powder and ''cook'' or ''rock'' it themselves prior to smoking. Ross said Fisher obtained his cocaine from two individuals named ''Henry'' and ''Ivan''. Ross said he thought lvan's last name was Arguelles. He recalled Ivan was eventually paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Ross said he often saw Henry and Ivan at Fisher's home and ''got to know them.'' He went on to say, ''Eventually, he (Ivan) slid me his phone number, and, uh, we was in business.'' Ross said he and his partner initially began by purchasing ''quarter ounces'' and ''half ounces'' from Ivan and Henry. We asked Ross who was working with him at that time, and he said, ''Ollie Newell. We were partners all the time.'' Ross said that after Ivan was paralyzed, Henry ''took over the business''. Ross further said, ''Then Henry one day got tired, I guess he, you know, had made him enough money. He said he was goin' out [sic] the country. So, he introduced us to "Danilo'.'' Ross said that prior to meeting Danilo in 1982 to 1983, he was buying quantities of cocaine ranging from eight to sixteen ounces per transaction from Henry. He believed Henry and Ivan received the cocaine they sold from ''Danilo.'' When asked how he met Danilo, Ross stated, ''Well, we had a place, one of the ladies in our neighborhood, we used to hangout in her backyard and play pool, mess with her daughters. We was over at her house, her name was Mary Monroe. Danilo met us in the front yard. Henry came in the back and knocked on the door, and said he wanted to talk to me. He said ''come on, lets go for a ride''. So we got in the car and we were riding around and, uh, he said ''I'm leavin'', and uh, I'm gonna turn you over to the man. He is gonna do a better business than what we been doin'and you gonna have a better price. Everything is gonna be better for you.'' Ross said he was paying $1,900-00 to $2,000.00 per ounce for cocaine at that time, and Danilo's price for an ounce came down to $1,800.00 that day. Ross immediately started buying cocaine by the pound from Danilo. In turn, Ross said most of the other cocaine dealers in the area got their supply from him (Ross) and Newell. Ross said in 1982 his cocaine business was growing so quickly it made him "nervous." He said he paid $40,000.00 for his first full kilo of cocaine. He said occasionally, he and Newell would sell ounces of cocaine for ''24, 25, or 26 hundred dollars'', but usually just to "real good friends, you know, somebody we grew up with, that was also workin' with us.'' He went on to say, ''We liked to sell hundred dollar, fifty dollar rocks, or fifty dollars worth of powder. That way, each gram was worth like two hundred dollars.'' Ross said that initially they would not sell twenty dollar rocks, because it was ''not worth it.'' When they hired their ''first employee'', they had him sit in their apartment and they would send the ''small'' customers to him. Ross said, ''I would serve the people that wanted one hundred dollars worth, fifty dollars. After we got him (employee) we started sellin'twenties and stuff like that, twenty fives.'' When asked about the nature of his customers, Ross stated, ''Well, people would come from everywhere, man. They would come from Pomona, Pasadena, Riverside, Long Beach. It wasn't just like, an L.A. thing.'' Ross said that L.A. people got so heavily into selling cocaine because. They started seeing me make the money, right? So all the guys selling PCP used to tell us, "Ya'll can make more money, ya'll should sell PCP.' And I was like, ''No that's all right, I don't want to mess with no PCP, that's too hard.'' And cocaine was more like, was flyer, more like the uppity people, you know, wasn't nobody goin'crazy you know. When they smoked the PCP they would go crazy and stuff, and I would think, I ain't gonna be involved with that. Cocaine is, you know Melloch, and it was cool. So I didn't mind doin' it. So eventually all the guys that was smoking PCP, started seein'everybody comin' with their hundred dollars, and they were sellin' like ten dollars worth, five dollars, you know, sticks. They knew every time somebody came to me it was a hundred dollars. So I didn't have to see that many people, maybe, fifteen people a day, you know, I make fifteen hundred dollars and they started to see that and knowin' how much money I was makin'. So then they started sayin', well, I'm gonna sell some water (PCP) and you know I'm gonna buy two hundred dollars worth from Rick, and start you know, investin' in it (cocaine) and start doin' it myself. So the next thing I know, all these guys were comin' to me sayin' man, I want to get a "8-Track'.'' Ross said that his first multiple kilo deal with Danilo was for two or three kilos. He said that during that time his business expanded so quickly, he often doubled the quantity he was buying each week. In addition, he said that each time he bought a larger quantity from Danilo, the price of the cocaine would be slightly less. Ross said he and other cocaine dealers in the area were eventually able to drive the prices much lower by buying very large quantities. He explained that there were many dealers in the area who competed with him (Ross) for customers on the street. Ross said, ''Everybody kept rollin' and they was getting bigger too. I mean they never caught us at that time, but they was like right there, you know, someone was buying ten kilos, someone was buyin' twenty kilos, we were probably buyin'forty, fifty maybe sixty.'' Ross said he was the only ''connection'' in the south-central L.A. area. Ross said the only really legitimate competitor he had was ''Water-head Bo'', who did not become successful until 1986. Ross said he did not meet many of Danilo's associates. He said he met the Torres brothers, because they were Danilo's drivers for a period of time. NOTE: Edgar and Jacinto Torres were brothers from Nicaragua who also dealt cocaine in the south-central area of Los Angeles. They were competitors of Danilo Blandon in the cocaine trade. Ross said he and his associates nicknamed the Torres 'the ''Greens'', due to their huge stature. Ross said eventually Edgar Torres contacted him and began to set up transactions which excluded Danilo. He said the Torres' would go to Danilo's source, obtain the cocaine and sell it to him (Ross) for slightly less than Danilo's price. Ross said he began to deal with both Danilo and the Torres' as a result, and recalls these circumstances as occurring in 1984. Ross said Danilo and the Torres'were very reliable sources of cocaine. He said, ''Every now and then he would say he was dry, you know, for a day or two.'' Meanwhile, Ross said his own organization grew quickly. Ross said that in 1986, he stopped doing business with the Torres brothers. He said that Danilo's price was so low, that the Torres brothers simply could not continue to compete. Additionally, Ross stated, ''We got more personal with Danilo. We started to get more like friends than just selling dope. You know, first it was just like business, you know like we'd meet him in the street, eventually we started goin'over to his house and hangin' out with him and stuff like that there.'' Ross felt very betrayed by Danilo when he was arrested in a DEA sting in 1995. When he became aware that Danilo was a DEA informant and had participated in the operation which culminated in his arrest, Ross described his feelings as ''awful.'' Ross stated that his only two sources of cocaine during the years he was ''in business'' were Danilo and the Torres brothers. He said he knew of no other sources he could have gone to in order to obtain the amount of cocaine he was selling. Ross was asked if he specifically remembered receiving a shipment of one hundred kilos, costing 2.9 million dollars. He thought for several seconds, then stated, "I remember when we bought that. That was our first time, I think, gettin' a hundred kilos. We didn't have enough money. That was, uh, that was, uh, I think our first time gettin' credit on it.'' Ross said that the price for the shipment was ''almost three million dollars,'' and he believed that it took place in 1985 Ross said the cocaine was packaged in three ''U-Haul'' boxes, and he had been given ''credit'' of approximately $30,000.00 on the delivery. Ross stated that he was never given a full delivery of cocaine on credit. He said on occasion he would be given partial credit, maybe up to $30,000.00 on a million dollar deal. He said he enjoyed this business relationship with both the Torres brothers and Danilo. Ross said he did not know any of the Colombian cocaine suppliers who were active in Los Angeles. He said he met ''Water-Head Bo's'' Colombian supplier (Mario Villabona) on one occasion. Ross said he bought weapons from Danilo on many occasions, including 9mm pistols, .45 Cal. pistols, .38 snub-nosed revolvers, .22 Cal. revolvers, and a lot of ''stuff that dope dealers carry.'' Ross estimated that he bought 100 hand guns from Danilo during their association. Ross said Danilo started bringing guns to his organization after he (Danilo) saw Ollie Newell carrying a ''ragged riffle .22 pistol'' for protection. Ross said Danilo told Newell that he (Danilo) was going to bring him a present, and during their next meeting Danilo gave Newell a new ''Uzi'' submachine gun and Ross a new 9mm pistol with a silencer. Ross went on to say that members of his organization, as well as other dealers in the area, bought many automatic weapons from Danilo, including Mac-10 machine guns, Mac-11 machine guns, Thompson machine guns and Uzis. He said he bought one .50 Cal. machine gun from Danilo which was mounted on a tripod. Ross said they had no use for the larger caliber guns, but they were just ''for fun.'' Ross said many of the guns were lost when he was in the L.A. County Jail and the car in which they were being ''stashed'' was impounded in the City of Inglewood. Ross went on to say he also bought ''scanners'' from Danilo. He said he had no idea, at the time, where Danilo was obtaining the guns and scanners to sell to him. Ross said that by 1988, he and his organization had ''slowed down.'' He said he was only selling about 40 kilos per month. Ross said at that time he was trying to quit the cocaine business. He felt that he was ''set'' financially because he owned some businesses and property and had plenty of cash put away, (approximately 1.5 million dollars). Additionally, he was hoping to avoid jail, which, he thought was inevitable if he continued in the cocaine business. Ross said Danilo told him very few details concerning the Sheriffs warrant service on his organization in 1986. Ross said he only knew of Danilo's residence being ''raided'' when the warrant service occurred. He said Danilo moved to Miami, Florida soon after the warrant service. Danilo had an individual named ''Jose'' in Westwood who was assisting him, with his cocaine sales in Los Angeles. After Danilo's move, Ross said he would call Danilo in Miami and Danilo would contact Jose in Westwood to handle the deal. Ross did not know Jose well, but believed he was Nicaraguan. Ross stated that he had an apartment by Chevy Hills Park on Bevedy Glen Drive which he and Newell used as a ''stash house'' for large quantities of money. He stated when he and Newell needed money for a deal, they would get it from the ''stash house'', (where millions of dollars were often kept), and bring it down to the ''neighborhood.'' Ross said he became involved with Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News in October of 1995. Ross said Webb wrote him a letter asking to discuss his (Ross') relationship with Danilo Blandon in the 1980's. Ross went on to say Webb told him he had information which could help with his case, and if he (Ross) would talk to him (Webb) then he would reveal that information. Ross said Webb eventually visited him in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, and did not give him much information, but "mostly just questioned me.'' Ross said Webb just told him he would have to wait until the story came out in the newspaper to get most of the information he was interested in. Ross said his attorney, Alan Fenster, sent an investigator to San Jose to question Webb about any information pertinent to Ross' case. When the investigator returned, Fenster told Ross of the allegations of CIA involvement with Danilo. This information, according to Ross, was then placed in a motion for the Court. Ross said his trial started on March 5, 1996. He said Webb told him the CIA story was going to be published in November of 1995, in plenty of time to have an effect on his trial. Ross said that the story was delayed for so long he became concerned that it wouldn't ''break'' before his trial. Webb continued to tell Ross that he was going to get the story published before the trial. When asked to voice his opinion concerning Gary Webb's motivation for writing the stories on the CIA/Contra/drug connection, Ross stated, ''He's a reporter, and uh, he wants the biggest story that he can find, and get as much attention as he can get.'' We then asked Ross about the fact that he and Webb had a common literary agent, ''Sterling Lord''. Ross said that Webb contacted him and told him ''that people been talking to him about movie deals and, uh, asked me if I wanted to go in.'' Ross said this occurred about two months after the CIA story had been published. Ross eventually turned down the movie deal which he had discussed with Webb, mainly because his attorney (Fenster) convinced him Webb was acting in his own interest. Ross said Webb did not give him the CIA story before his trial started. Ross was convinced that Webb was concerned that other reporters would learn of his story if he gave the facts to Ross before it was published. This led Ross to conclude that Webb was far more concerned about his story than Ricky Ross. Ross was asked if he believed Danilo Blandon was associated with the CIA, and if so, to explain. Ross stated that he believed that Danilo was with the CIA, and went on to say, "From what I got out of the story, from some of the stuff that was said, you know, when I looked at the Contras, you know who the Contras were, you know they worked with the government, they worked with the CIA, that he was head of uh, the civilian branch, and then like I say I look at how he got out of this case. I mean that guy should have got life in L.A., he should have got life in San Diego, he should have got life in Cincinnati.'' Ross felt that Danilo had simply been involved in too many known large-scale drug violations to be given the type of leniency he was receiving. He felt that informing for the DEA was not usually considered reason enough to walk away from the type of crimes which Danilo had committed. Ross also told us that, ''Attorney Bradley Brunon defended Danilo Blandon and former Deputy Ed Jamison.'' NOTE: According to Attorney Brunon, Ricky Ross is suing him for defending Blandon in his most recent narcotics case. HISTORICAL INFORMATION OF THE BLANDON INVESTIGATION IN 1986: In late 1984, Special Agent Karl Knudsen of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division was working with an IRS Financial Investigative Task Force (FIT) that was investigating a Colombian money laundering operation in the City of Bell, California. Special Agent Fred Ghio of the United States Customs Service was asked to assist the FIT Team due to his expertise and authority in governmental seizures. They subsequently contacted Bell Police Department's Officer Jerry Guzzetta and requested his assistance with the investigation. NOTE: Officer Guzzetta medically retired from Bell Police Department in 1989. Customs Special Agent Ghio (retired) stated in an interview he and Knudsen worked several narcotics related cases with Guzzetta subsequent to this investigation. Ghio said that he and Knudsen eventually established a good rapport with Guzzetta, and they eventually formed a task force to investigate local drug trafficking and money laundering. (Refer to GHIO memo dated November 18,1996, Volume 1). Guzzetta initiated a narcotics investigation based on information provided by Knudsen and Ghio. The investigation culminated in a search warrant which was served on multiple locations throughout the Los Angeles County area. The warrant was signed by a superior court judge on August 9, 1986. The warrants, written by Guzzetta, resulted in the arrest of person(s) on various money laundering charges. Special Agent Knudsen stated in an interview that a substantial amount of currency and drugs were seized. The person(s), who would later be identified as the Confidential Informant(s), agreed to provide information on major narcotics trafficking organizations operating in Southern California as part of an arrangement to avoid incarceration. The agreement was overseen by Deputy District Attorney Susan Bryant-Deason, who was cross-sworn as an Assistant United States Attorney. (Refer to KNUDSEN memo dated November 14,1996). Initially, Officer Guzzetta was assigned by Bryant-Deason to debrief the confidential informant(s). The Informant(s) was/were well ensconced in the higher levels of cocaine smuggling involving the direct importers and distributers of the drug. A task-force type organization was established to control, distribute, and coordinate the information being received from the Informant(s). The task-force included: Guzzetta (Bell P.D.), Knudsen (internal Revenue Service), Ghio (U.S. Customs), Bryant-Deason (cross sworn as both a Assistant United States Attorney and a Deputy District Attorney), Curt Hazell (Deputy District Attorney), and the Los Angeles County Sherifrs Department Major Violators Team II, under the supervision of Sergeant Ed Huffman. In that Guzzetta believed the information provided by the Informant(s) would ''dry up'' the supply of cocaine in Southeast Los Angeles, he documented the information in a report which he named ''Project Sahara .‚.‚. In his "Project Sahara' paperwork, Guzzetta notes that he debriefed the Informant(s) between the dates of August 11 through the 22, 1986. Guzzetta refers to his partner at Bell P.D. (Tom McReynolds), as the co- investigator. The document contains information about three major ''Colombian'' drug trafficking organizations and identifies a fourth drug dealer named ''Danilo Blandon''. The report provides preliminary details about the Colombian traffickers as well as the Blandon organization. In the report, Blandon is described as being a ''peripheral'' source of supply for the black cocaine market in Los Angeles. The leaders of the so-called ''black market'' were identified as ''Rick'' and ''Ollie'' (Ricky Ross and Ollie Newell). (Refer to ''Project Sahara,'' Exhibit C, Volume 2). PROJECT SAHARA: In his document, Officer Guzzetta wrote, ''The Informant(s) relate that they are working with three major groups of Colombians who are importing cocaine into the United States in large quantities and further, these groups are exporting currency from the United States through an unknown route into Colombia.'' Guzzetta goes on to identify the fourth (and ''peripheral'') dealer, Danilo Blandon. Guzzetta reports in ''Project Sahara'' that the three major Colombian dealers are "Stefano,' who is identified as dealing directly with the Informant(s). Guzzetta writes, ''Stefano is moving large quantities of cocaine through a group of blacks in south central Los Angeles who are generating a conservative figure of approximately $10 million dollars a month.'' Guzzetta goes on to write, ''Basically, there is one major market which [the Informant(s) are dealing with, which for the sake of argument in this report, will be designated the black market, because it is solely controlled by two male negroes, by the name of Rick and Ollie. This market is supplied by three major sources and a fourth peripheral source. The first source is Stefano. The second source is a subject by the name of Diago. The third source is a subject, who is described by the informants as the most powerful of the three, with direct ties to Colombia, whose source of cocaine is directly from Colombia with no middleman or broker.'' This individual is identified in ''Project Sahara'' as Ricardo Noguera, who repeatedly worked for an individual in Bogota, Columbia. Of Danilo Blandon, Guzzetta wrote, ''The fourth and peripheral player who has access to large quantities of Cocaine [sic] because this subject broker's cocaine through other sources, is Danilo Blandon.'' Blandon was described by the Informants as being. ''Extremely dangerous because of his potential to override the Informant(s) market, thus cutting off the lnformant(s) from the supply source of Cocaine [sic] and currency, thus cutting off the Informant(s) source of information.'' It was also reported that Blandon was working with, ''An ex-Laguna Beach Police Officer by the name of Ronnie.'' (This individual is ultimately identified as Ronald Lister). Of Lister, Guzzetta wrote, ''Ronnie transported 100 kilos of Cocaine [sic] to the black market and has transported millions of dollars to Miami for Danilo Blandon.'' Guzzetta reports in ''Project Sahara'' that Danilo Blandon's source of cocaine was the major Colombian dealer, Ricardo Noguera. Guzzetta adds that the money transported to Miami, Florida for Blandon most-likely belonged to Noguera. NOTE: In his interviews, Ronald Lister acknowledges one instance wherein he assisted Danilo Blandon in delivering 100 kilos of cocaine to Ricky Ross. Lister said he did not meet with Ross, but had been left at a local fast food restaurant while Blandon made the delivery. Lister also acknowledges delivering money to Miami, Florida for Danilo Blandon. (Refer to LISTER memos, Volume 1). Guzzetta identifies the other Colombian dealers who are involved in the sales of cocaine to the ''black market.'' One of them is ''Diego,'' who's real name is Jaime Ramos. The ''Project Sahara'' paperwork notes that on 09-02-86, the Informants provided information that Ramos was in possession of 175 kilos of cocaine. On 09-05- 86, Deputies, assigned to Major Violators Team 11, arrested Ramos, who was in the possession of 105 kilos of cocaine, along with approximately $250,000 in cash. In ''Project Sahara'', Guzzetta notes: On 08-19-86, a money delivery to ''Stefano'' was, ''...Monitored by law enforcement authorities, Detectives from the Bell Police Depart(ment), (who) observed a delivery of $750,000 to Stefano, which was money that was picked up from the black market.'' The Informant(s) were associated to individuals who had strong connections to the Escobar family in Columbia (possibly the late Pablo Escobar). The Informant(s) told Guzzetta that these individuals were possibly conspiring to have the Informant(s) murdered so they could take over the ''black market'' for cocaine sales. ''As of 08/22/86, Detective Guzzetta, Detective McReynolds, have observed the movement of monies totaling $750,000, $230,000, $130,000, $150,000 respectively, which have been moved by Informant(s) and picked up from the black market area.' The Informant(s) told him that an uncle of Danilo Blandon (Orlando Murillo), owned a business in Miami, Florida. (The company was identified as being ''White Gold'' or Oro Blanco"). Murillo was identified as having worked for ''Cermosa'' [sic], ''Prior to his being thrown out of power.'' NOTE: ''Cermosa'' is most likely meant to have been President Somoza of Nicaragua. According to Guzzetta, the business in Miami 'laundered money' for Blandon. On 09-09-86, the Informant(s) drove Guzzetta to various locations of the ''black market,'' particularly those locations owned or operated by the male black known as "Rick.' Guzzetta notes parenthetically, at that time, other agencies are working a male negro Cocaine dealer, by the name of Freeway Rick.'' Mr. Guzzetta was interviewed as part of this inquiry. In his first interview, he told us he was hired by the City of Bell Police Department in July of 1974. In 1981, he was assigned as the sole narcotics/vice investigator for Bell P.D. He went on to say the basis for his knowledge of the subject we were investigating was his contact with person(s) who was/were known local narcotics dealer(s); [the Informant(s)). In early 1986, Guzzetta received information from a reliable informant that the Informant(s) were transporting cocaine into the City of Bell. Guzzetta surveilled the Informant(s) and eventually executed a search warrant with the assistance of the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Customs Service, which included three or four of the lnformant(s) residences in the city of Glendale. Approximately $400,000 was found in the closet of one of the residences, which was seized by the I.R.S. A new 1986 Mercedes 560 SL was also seized by U.S. Customs. Prosecution of the case was pursued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, Major Narcotics Violators Unit, which was headed by Deputy District Attorney Curt Hazell. The Informant(s) agreed to cooperate with law enforcement and provided what was perceived to be a wealth of information regarding local drug trafficking. As a result, Deputy District Attorney Susan Bryant-Deason agreed to their plea of guilty under assumed names. Guzzetta said the assumed names were used so their real names would not be entered into the ''system''; the Narcotics Information Network (NIN) and the Western States Information Network. This strategy was pursued in order to hold the Informant(s) to probationary obligations while reducing the danger to their lives which was common in that era for police informants. According to Guzzetta, the Informant(s) were considered to be highly reliable. Guzzetta said the first time the Informant(s) provided information, it led to a seizure of 175 kilos of cocaine from a residence on Louise Street in Glendale. NOTE: As noted in ''Project Sahara,'' this case involved Colombian drug dealer Jaime Ramos. Guzzetta said the District Attorney's Office met with representatives of the Sherifrs Narcotics Bureau and arranged for Majors 11 to work with the information provided by the lnformant(s). Guzzetta functioned as a Confidential Informant, and relayed information from the Informant(s) to Majors 11. Shortly after the Louise Street seizure, the Majors 11 Team seized a large quantity of money from a location in Marina Del Rey. This case was developed from information provided by the lnformant(s). Guzzetta said the Informant(s) began to supply information concerning a drug trafficker known as Danilo Blandon. According to Guzzetta, he chronicled all that he learned about Blandon in a paper he called ''Project Sahara''. Guzzetta said ''Project Sahara'' discussed a business known as. ''Guerra Auto Sales'' which was owned by Danilo Blandon and (according to Guzzetta), used as a pickup and delivery point for narcotics and money. Guzzetta said the narcotics were transported to a south-central Los Angeles drug dealer named Ricky Ross or ''Freeway Rick''. NOTE: In his first interview with investigators, Guzzetta virtually ignored a number of facts from ''Project Sahara,'' including his earlier findings that Blandon had been a ''peripheral player'' in the cocaine dealing. He also failed to acknowledge that a Colombian named Ricardo Noguera was alleged to have been Blandon's main supplier of cocaine. Guzzetta said in his interview the proceeds were used to support the Nicaraguan ''Contra'' forces, which were involved in a military conflict with the communist ''Sandinista'' government of Nicaragua. According to Guzzetta, the Informant(s) admitted to being ''mules'', (drug/money transporters), between Blandon and ''Freeway Rick.'' He said the report also mentioned Ron Lister, a ''mule'' who transported drugs and money between Blandon and ''another source.'' In the interview Guzzetta claimed Lister had connections with the CIA. Guzzetta said that the Informant(s) also mentioned Norwin Meneses, who they said was a drug dealer connected closely to the Nicaraguan ''Contras.'' Guzzetta said he gave a copy of ''Project Sahara'' to Frank Fording, the Bell Chief of Police, and Susan Bryant-Deason of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. He said he was ordered by his Chief not to keep a copy of the report. NOTE: None of this information appears in the twelve page ''Project Sahara'' report discovered by the investigators. Guzzetta claimed that the portions of ''Project Sahara'' that referred to the above information was ''missing'' from our copy. (Refer to GUZZETTA #2 dated November 15,1996, Volume 1). Guzzetta went on to say he was unsure if the Informant(s) were involved in continued drug trafficking outside their agreement with authorities. He recalled a conversation he had with Deputy Eufrasio Cortez of the Majors 11 Team wherein Cortez expressed the opinion that the Informant(s) were simply supplying information in order to eliminate their competition. In what Guzzetta termed ''an interesting incident,'' he stated that approximately six months ago his office at 10313 Los Alamitos Boulevard in Los Alamitos had been burglarized. He reported this to Los Alamitos P.D. and noted that all that was taken was his computer and some files. Later, when San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb called him for an interview, Guzzetta discovered that the files that were taken all pertained to the Blandon case. In addition, he said that the police found no prints in his office, not even his own. He believed that his office had been ''wiped clean'' of prints after the burglary. The information concerning the Blandon Organization was ultimately relayed by Guzzetta to LASD Deputy Thomas Gordon of Major Violators Team 11 in early September of 1986. NOTE: In 1990, Deputy Gordon was implicated in ''Operation Big Spender''. He was ultimately convicted on federal tax charges and sentenced to six months in federal custody. He retired from the Sheriffs Department during the course of that investigation. Gordon refused several requests by investigators for an interview. According to Guzzetta, the Sheriffs Majors Violators Team 11 did an extensive surveillance operation on the Blandon Organization. As a result, a search warrant was obtained for 14 locations associated with Blandon. Guzzetta said several federal agents from the DEA, FBI and IRS were present during the service. They were apparently brought into the operation because they had also been investigating "Guerra Auto Sales" and the Blandon Organization. (Refer to GUZZETTA #1-3 dated October 15,1996, and November 15 and 21, 1996, Volume 1). Deputy Gordon conducted his own investigation, which included surveillances and various data inquires of members and locations associated with the Blandon organization. NOTE: The original case file of the investigation by Gordon contains an assortment of paperwork including surveillance notes, telephone tolls, computer printouts, miscellaneous notes and photographs. All documents were kept intact in the case folder. (Refer to Exhibit A, Volume 1). One data inquiry included in the investigative file was a ''NADDIS'' run, which was made on September 17, 1986. NADDIS is a Federal data base index that maintains information on narcotics subjects. (Refer to NADDIS Printout, Exhibit A, Item #29, Volume 1). Simultaneous to Gordon's investigation was an FBI investigation into the Blandon Organization by Special Agent Douglas Aukland of the Riverside Office. Special Agent Aukland stated in an interview that he had been conducting an investigation into the Blandon Organization, independent of any information obtained from Officer Guzzetta's Informant(s). Aukland said he had his own informant (never identified to LASD investigators), within the same organization who had been providing him with information. Aukland believed if given sufficient time, he could have developed a substantial, solid case against Blandon. He became aware of the LASD investigation, possibly due to the ''NADDIS'' inquiry by Gordon. NOTE: Standard procedure in ''NADDIS'' inquiries requires notification to an investigator if an identified ''active target'' is queried by another agency. This is a safety procedure to prevent overlapping investigations of the same individuals or organizations. Special Agent Aukland said he contacted Deputy Gordon and asked him not to proceed with his (Gordon's) investigation. Gordon decided against delaying his own investigation and advised Aukland of his decision. Since it became apparent Gordon planned to proceed, Aukland volunteered his knowledge of the Blandon Organization to assist in the LASD investigation. (Refer to AUKLAND memo dated November 18, 1996, Volume 1). Aukland said he was also aware at the time of another investigation of the Blandon Organization being conducted by Special Agent Thomas Schrettner of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The two agents provided their combined information to Deputy Gordon. NOTE: This gesture of inter-agency cooperation appears to be in direct contrast to reports that federal agencies either interfered with or were against service of the warrant. The information provided by the other agencies included a prior NADDIS inquiry and a confidential (''DEA sensitive'') ''DEA 6'' report (Refer to ''DEA 6'' Report dated August 28, 1986, Exhibit A, Item #27, Volume 1). Deputy Gordon incorporated the information provided by Aukland (FBI) and Schreftner (DEA) into his own investigation to establish a portion of the probable cause used to justify the warrant. DEA Special Agent Thomas Schrettner said he could not identify his informant, per DEA policy. His informant told him the Blandon Organization was sending the proceeds from drug sales to the Contras in Nicaragua. (Refer to SCHRETTNER memo dated November 15,1996, Volume 1). THE SEARCH WARRANT: Based upon information supplied from Officer Guzzetta, FBI Agent Aukland, DEA Agent Schreftner, and his own investigation, Deputy Gordon eventually wrote a search warrant for fourteen separate locations suspected of being associated with the Blandon organization. The warrant was signed by Judge Glennette Blackwell, L.A. Municipal Court, Division 30, on October 23, 1996. (Refer to Search Warrant and Affidavit, Exhibit A, Item #1, Volume 1). An inquiry into the details contained in the search warrant affidavit revealed the following: * A major portion of the information contained in the affidavit is supplied by an individual identified only as ''Inf #1.'' In an interview, Bell Officer Guzzetta stated he was, in fact, this informant. He explained that in order to protect the identity of his confidential source(s), he simply relayed the information he was receiving to Gordon (common practice in narcotic investigations). (Refer to GUZZETTA #1 memo dated October 15,1996, Volume 1). * A second informant listed in the warrant ('Inf #2) was allegedly supplied to Gordon by fellow LASD Deputy Richard Wenig. In an interview, now retired Deputy Wenig said he doubted he provided any information to Gordon about the Blandon organization. In fact, after reading a copy of the warrant containing the information attributed to him, Wenig told investigators, ''Off the top of my head I would say it's probably a lie.' He further said he was ''99.9%'' positive he did not-provide an informant to Gordon in this case. (Refer to WENIG memo dated October 16, 1996, Volume 1). Statements quoted in the warrant which are attributed to ''informant #2'' (Wenig) include: ''Danilo Blandon is from Nicaragua, a Central America [sic] country which has been at civil war for several years.'' NOTE: This information appears to be accurate. ''One side of this civil war is the "Contra Army'.'' NOTE: While technically accurate, this information appears to be woefully incomplete. The ''Contra Army'' was made up of a number of factions. As an example, the "FDN' was a Contra army operating out of the north, which was partially funded by the United States Government, while the ARDE was a Contra army operating out of the south, and received virtually no financial support from the U.S. ''Blandon is a 'Contra' sympathizer and a founder of the "Fronte Democratica Nicaragua' [sic] (F.D.N.) an organization that assists the Contras with arms and money.'' NOTE: Information obtained during this inquiry supports the assertion that Blandon was a Contra sympathizer. It is not true that he was a founder of the FDN. Additionally, the FDN did not "assist'' the Contras, but was an operational, fighting force in the civil war. In an article published by the New York Times on October 20, 1996, Adolfo Calero, the civilian spokesman for th'e FDN, denied that Blandon had ever held a position in the FDN. Additionally, in an article written by the Washington Post on October 4, 1996, Calero was quoted as saying, ''That neither Meneses or Blandon were leaders of the FDN, anytime or any place.'' ''The money and arms generated by this organization comes thru the sales of cocaine.'' NOTE: Information obtained during this inquiry does not support the assertion the FDN obtained money and arms through the sales of cocaine. It does appear some supporters of the ''Southern Front'' of the Contra army (ARDE), were possibly involved in the sales of cocaine. According to Weekly and others', the ARDE was commonly known as the ''Poor Boys'' who lacked support from any outside sources. ''Inf #2 provided some 100 names of persons involved with the distribution of cocaine.'' NOTE: The investigative file does not contain any record of the ''100 names''. There is doubt as to the authenticity of this assertion''. The individual reported to have given this information to former Deputy Gordon (retired Deputy Wenig) denied doing so. Nineteen people were identified in the DEA investigation as belonging to the Blandon Organization prior to the service of the warrant on October 27, 1986. ''Named by Inf #2 as being directly involved with cocaine distribution a Ronnie Lister, Julio Blandon, Chepita Blandon, Orlando Murillo and Aparicio Moreno.'' The third and fourth informants are FBI Agent Aukland and DEA Agent Schrettner who, in the same manner as Guzzetta, passed along information from their sources to Gordon. This information included the names of nineteen persons, and six businesses associated with the Blandon Organization. The fifth, and final informant is an individual in the Crestline area who gave Gordon some details of the activity at the Blandon residence. (For the purpose of this inquiry, this citizen-informant will not be identified here.) As part of the surveillance into the Blandon Organization, Gordon writes that on October 21, 1986, he and his partner, former Deputy Cortez, followed Blandon from his residence to a business known as ''Guerra Auto Sales.'' NOTE: In 1989, Deputy Cortez was implicated in ''Operation Big Spender''. He was ultimately tried in federal court and convicted on a number of criminal counts. He was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison. The affidavit states that after watching the business for ''many hours'', Deputy Cortez entered the business office, posing as a used car customer. The affidavit reports that Cortez opened the office door to locate a salesman, and as he did, he observed four male Latins. Gordon wrote that one of the male Latins was ''startled'' and covered an ''Ohaus'' triple beam scale by throwing a jacket over it. Gordon described how Cortez attempted to ask a question about a car but was ''quickly escorted out of the office.'' NOTE: Former Deputy Cortez told investigators on October 25, 1996, that the undercover incident at ''Guerra Auto Sales'' never occurred. Cortez said Gordon simply fabricated this part of the affidavit in order to better support the probable cause for the warrant. Cortez added, ''Gordon made up a lot of shit; (Refer CORTEZ memo dated October 28,1996, Volume 1). THE SEARCH WARRANT PRE-BRIEFING: On Friday, October 24, 1996, a meeting was held at the LASD STARS Center, Narcotics Bureau. In attendance were numerous members of different LASD narcotic teams, as well as representatives from different federal agencies, and the Bell Police Department, all of whom were to be involved in the execution of the warrants. During this meeting, a five page ''Background and Operational Plan'' was distributed to those involved. The plan contained a one page narrative with a brief background of the investigation, including the assertion that the Blandon organization used laundered drug money to purchase arms to aid the ''Contra'' rebels in Nicaragua, as well as a basic outline of the operation. The remaining four pages described team assignments to the various locations and logistical considerations to be followed during the execution of the warrants. (Refer to ''Background and Operational Plan,'' Exhibit A, Item #8, Volume 1). Former Deputy Virgil Bartlett recalled Gordon at the briefing say the suspects were associated with the ''Contras,'' and profits from drug sales were used to purchase weapons for the ''Contras.'' He remembered Gordon saying the U.S. Government "backed" the operation, which he took to mean the government was bringing drugs into the country. Bartlett recalled Gordon saying the "feds were not happy with us'' for serving the warrant, but they never asked or told him to discontinue the service of the warrant. (Refer to BARTLETT memo dated October 16,1996, Volume 1). NOTE: Deputy Bartlett was later implicated in ''Operation Big Spender''. He was ultimately convicted of federal charges and sentenced to 18 months in federal custody. Former Deputy Robert Juarez recalled that the pre-operation briefing was led by Gordon. He did not remember any reference made in the meeting about the Contras, and thought it was ''just another dope case.'' He also did not recall anyone mentioning any federal resistance to the service of the warrant. (Refer to JUAREZ memo dated October 18,1996, Volume I). NOTE: Deputy Juarez was implicated in ''Operation Big Spender''. He was ultimately convicted on federal charges and sentenced to 60 months in federal custody. Deputy Thomas Kirsch recalled attending the briefing, but could not remember any details other than it was well attended. (Refer to KIRSCH memo dated October 17, 1996, Volume 1). Deputy Richard Love stated less than forty other persons were in attendance at the briefing. He recalled hearing that after a subject's name was put into a computer system, an inquiry was received from the CIA. He also recalled being told that the ''feds'' said, ''Don't do this warrant service. You don't know who you're messing with. You don't get the big picture.'' Love said a background of the operation and information about the informant were presented. He claimed the informant told one of the Majors Team's investigators the following, ''I'm going to give you a name, and, if you put this name in a computer, bells and whistles are going to go off with the feds, the CIA.'' It was briefed that the Majors Team investigators put the name into the computer,- and received inquiries from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) He said they continued with the warrant service because "being hard-headed deputies, we ignored that because we don't like be called "locals'. (Refer to LOVE memo dated October 17, 1996, Volume 1). NOTE: Love's recollections were not supported by the statements of other personnel who were present at the home of Ronald Lister. Former Deputy Narcizo Reaza remembered attending the briefing, but thought it was lead by former Deputy Dan Garner. He could not recall any specific details of the meeting. (Refer to REAZA memo dated November 1, 1996, Volume 1). NOTE: Deputy Reaza was later implicated in ''Operation Big Spender''. He was ultimately convicted on unrelated federal tax charges and sentenced to 6 months in federal custody. Deputy Gil Figueroa recalled talking about the warrants before they were served, but did not believe he had been present at a large briefing beforehand. He did not recall hearing anything about the ''Feds'' telling the deputies to back off or not do the warrant. He said he heard someone say that after one of the subjects of the warrant had been ''run'' in the computer, the investigators had received a phone call 20 minutes later from ''Langley, Virginia.'' He did not recall if this information was given as part of a briefing or was part of the talk on the way to Lister's house. Figueroa said it was his understanding the person whose house they were going to search was the one being referred to. Since they were searching Ronald Lister’s house, Figueroa assumed it was Lister who, ''Had connections to Washington.'' Figueroa said the only thing he knew that was in Langley Virginia was C.I.A. Headquarters. Figueroa never heard of something like this happening in the past. (Refer to FIGUEROA memo dated November 22,1996, Volume 1). NOTE: Figueroa's statement concerning a phone call from the CIA could not be verified. Bell Police Officer Dennis Tavernelli said he attended the briefing at STARS Center along with fellow Bell P.D. Officer Jerry Guzzetta. Also in attendance were IRS Agent Karl Knudsen and U.S. Customs Agent Fred Ghio. He did not remember any references made to the Contras or that federal agencies were opposed to the warrant. He said it was simply a major cocaine smuggling and money laundering operation investigation. (Refer to TAVERNELLI memo dated November 18,1996, Volume 1). Former Bell Police Officer Jerry Guzzetta recalled attending the briefing and that Susan BryantDeason was there also. He recalls Detective Gordon being the main speaker, but that the briefing soon became ''round table'' in nature with everyone sharing information. He remembered ''someone'' saying that the "feds" were asking that they ''back-off'' and to not serve the warrant. Sheriffs personnel responded to this information by making it abundantly clear that they intended to serve the warrant and ''do their job.'' Guzzetta thought it strange that federal agents from the Riverside DEA and FBI Offices initially worked with L.A. Sheriffs Narcotics investigators on the Blandon case, but Los Angeles DEA and FBI Agents were present at the briefing and later during the warrant execution. He felt that federal agents from Riverside did not want the operation to go forward. (Refer to GUZZETTA #1 memo dated October 15, 1996, Volume 1). NOTE: Guzzetta is the only one who said Susan Bryant-Deason was at the service of the search warrant. She denied she had been present. THE SEARCH WARRANT OPERATION: On Monday, October 27, 1986, (three days after the briefing), seven narcotics crews made up of LASD, Bell P.D., IRS, FBI, DEA, and ATF, assisted by uniformed officers from the San Bernardino and Orange County Sheriffs Departments, served search warrants at 13 locations related to the Blandon Organization. Not all the individuals who were at the locations of warrant services were listed in subsequent reports. Based on reports submitted regarding this case, the following locations were searched by the corresponding narcotic teams: * 5739 Sycamore Avenue, Rialto and 7.96 Deertrail, Crestline Sergeant Harry Lesseos, Deputies Dan Garner, Wolfbrandt, Roy Chester, Jake Gray, John Hurtado, (LASD); Officers Jerry Guzzetta and Taverneiii, (BellP.D.), Deputy Heard (SBSO), Special Agent Pierro (DEA), Special Agent Hernandez (IRS). * 1531 West Rialto Avenue, #1100, Fontana, and 210 N. Beachwood Avenue, #383, Rialto Sergeant Dennis Carroll, Deputies Virgil Bartlett, Paul Rapisarda, Turner, Moreno, (LASD); Deputy Candle (SBSO), and Special Agent Robertson , (ATF). * 892 Quince Avenue, Rialto and 1723 East Flora Street, #C, Ontario Sergeant Ken Allen, Deputies Eufrasio Cortez, Pat Mallon, Dick Wenig, (LASD); Officer Coins (SBPD). * 15481 Sandhurst Street, Fontana and 7355 Concorde Court, Fontana Deputies Ty Powe, John View, Chavez, Tom Kirsch, (LASD); Deputy Sheble (SBSO); Special Agents Cazenavetti,'Berrellez, and Mulhearn, (DEA). * 17474 Foothill Boulevard, Fontana (''Guerra Auto Sales'') and 917-919 West Foothill Blvd, Rialto (''NicaMex'' Restaurant) Sergeants Ed Huffman and Ralph Kelsch, Deputies John Austin, Rob Clark, Ron Daub, Narcizo Reaza, Steve Nichols, and Art Belmontes, (LASD). • 12014 Smallwood Avenue, Downey; 23636 Lagarto Drive, Mission Viejo, and 22632 Barlomento, Mission Viejo • Sergeant Art Fransen, Deputies Robert Juarez, Love, Ed Jamison, Gilbert Figueroa, Benneft, Joe Stover, and Rodela, (LASD). 211 West Burchett #18, Glendale, and 1320 S. Del Mar Avenue, #C, San Gabriel Deputy Tom Gordon and ''other members of Majors II'' NOTE: No reports have been found which document the search of these final two locations. There are no entries in the narcotic evidence ledger reporting the seizure of evidence associated with either of these residences. Since former Deputy Gordon refused to grant interviews to investigators, we have been unable to determine whether the two locations were actually searched. Danilo and Chepita Blandon were the only persons arrested for possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) as a result of the warrant operation. The Blandons were arrested at their residence at 5739 Sycamore Avenue, Rialto. Among the evidence reported seized at this location was approximately three grams of cocaine, two weapons, miscellaneous paperwork, and $163.00 in U.S. currency. (Refer to LASD Original Complaint Report, written by Deputy Daniel Garner, File # 486-02478- 3620-181, Exhibit A, Item #9, Volume 1). NOTE: The San Jose Mercury News article of August 18, 1996, incorrectly reported that, ''Blandon and his wife, along with numerous Nicaraguan associates, were arrested on drug and weapons charges,'' as a result of the warrant. Danilo Blandon has stated, through DEA Special Agent Chuck Jones, that the narcotics were planted. Blandon also stated, through Special Agent Jones, that a theft of approximately $40,000 occurred during the search Blandon identified former Deputy Dan Garner as the one who took the money. (Refer L. J. O'NEALE memo dated November 7, 1996). NOTE: Deputy Garner was later implicated in "Operation Big Spender. He was ultimately convicted on federal charges and sentenced to 54 months in federal custody. Former Deputy John Hurtado confirmed that a theft of approximately $50,000 in cash occurred at the location. Hurtado, in an interview conducted on November 7, 1996, stated he found a briefcase full of one hundred dollar bills in an upstairs bedroom. Hurtado said he gave the briefcase with the money to Deputy Dan Garner. He said he received ''several thousand dollars'' as his share of the theft at a later time. Gamer told Hurtado he intended to give other team members a share of the stolen money. Hurtado said in a subsequent interview that former Deputy Gordon was aware the money had been found at the Blandon residence. Hurtado said Gordon had instructed Dan Garner to, ''Get the money from Hurtado and don't take your eyes off it.'' (This did not appear to be an effort on Gordon's part to protect the money, but an indication that Gordon did not trust Hurtado to share the money equally among the team members). As for the allegations that cocaine had been ''planted'', Hurtado had no knowledge of any such action. (Refer to HURTADO memo dated November 15, 1996, Volume 1). Former Deputy Dan Garner could not specifically recall whether or not a theft occurred at the Blandon residence. Garner added that thefts were common on cases during this time. He said it was possible a theft occurred on this case, but he simply did not remember. In regards to the alleged cocaine ''plant'', Garner said it did not occur. He recalled finding one ''bindle'' himself behind a bar in a recreation room. He said it appeared to have been left there haphazardly and may have simply been forgotten by its owner. Refer to GARNER memo dated November 8, 1996 Volume 1. Retired Sergeant Harry Lesseos said he and Deputy Hurtado were the ones who transported Mr. and Mrs. Blandon to the San Bernardino County Sheriff -- Fontana Sub Station for booking. Lesseos did not recall the statements reportedly made by Mr. Blandon, wherein he admitted the cocaine found in the house was his. (Refer to LESSEOS memo dated October 23, 1996, Volume 1) The only other seized evidence significant to this inquiry involves items from the residences associated with Ronald Lister. When the deputies arrived at the first location, 23636 Lagarto Drive, Mission Viejo, they received no response at the door. Forced entry was made and a search for occupants was conducted; however, nobody was home. Evidence discovered and seized included; three ''Intec'' monitors, one video camera, one box of training manuals, three card files, five large business checkbooks, military training films, financial records, miscellaneous papers, and one box of ammunition. The deputies at the location also discovered from neighbors that Lister had recently vacated this residence and was now living at 22632 Barlomento, Mission Viejo. (Refer to Supplementary Report by JUAREZ, Exhibit A, Item #15, Volume 1 According to an interview with former Deputy Juarez, the search team from Lagarto then went to the Lister's Barlomento address where they knocked on the front door. Juarez said Lister answered the door dressed in a bathrobe. Juarez said he told List he was there to serve a search warrant. According to Juarez, Lister replied, ''I know why you're here, but why are you here? Mr. Weekly knows what I'm doing and you're not supposed to be here.'' Juarez told him he did not know who Mr. Weekly was but Juarez said during the search of Lister's residence, Lister picked up the telephone a started to dial a number Juarez said Lister did not complete dialing the number an hung up the phone saying, ''Never mind I'll talk to him later.'' Juarez said while he at the Barlomento address, Lister did not make any phone calls to anyone. Juarez stated Lister did mention he was with the ''CIA'' and had business dealings in South Juarez listed evidence seized at the Barlomento address on the face page of his supplementary report as: ''photos and financial statements, financial statements, a brown bag containing misc photos, ID and misc. Info.'' No reference was made to any ''CIA Info'' in this report. Refer to JUAREZ re ort dated Oct. 18, 1996, Volume 1 NOTE: In the property ledger, Deputy Juarez made a note that miscellaneous ''CIA info'' had been seized. In his interview Deputy Juarez said he had been preoccupied with Lister's statement about his professed involvement with the CIA. Juarez said he equated Lister’s paperwork with the CIA; therefore, he described some of the evidence from Lister's home as ''misc. CIA info.'' Juarez said none of the paperwork bore any insignia or stamp of the CIA. He, could not recall any tangible facts that prompted him to describe any of the paperwork as he did. (Refer to JUAREZ Supplementary report, dated October 18, 1996, Volume 1). On November 6, 1996, Lister was interviewed in the presence of his attorney, Joseph Heneghen. Lister stated that around 9a.m.on the date of the search, he and his four year old daughter had been home alone when he heard a knock on his door. When he opened the door, he saw five or six law enforcement officers, ''Dressed in, I don't want to call them 'ninja suits', but they were, you know, with weapons and proper gear so they won't be harmed against any, you know, something coming at them, bullets or whatever.'' An officer, whom he identified as Deputy Juarez, said to him, ''Look, I don't have a warrant for this house, to search it. But I just came from the house over on Lagarto, and you no longer live there. I want you to give me permission to come in an search this house. If you don't give me permission I'm going to stand out here with these guys until a judge signs it, then we're going to come later on today. So that's your choice, what's it gonna be?'' Lister said he was living in a nice community and didn't like the idea of heavily armed officers standing around his home in public view, so he invited them in. NOTE: In the supplementary report written by Juarez, he (Juarez) wrote: ''Mr. Lester [sic] was advised of the warrant and purpose of said warrant. Mr. Lester [sic] agreed to a search of his current residence and signed a consent form.'' (Refer to JUAREZ Supplementary report Exhibit A, Item #15, Volume 1). While Juarez was accurate in stating that Ronald Lister signed a "Consent to Search" form (which has not been located), this statement is somewhat misleading in that the deputies did not have a warrant to search the Barlomento address. Regarding the search of his residence, Lister said that he not only let the officers in, willingly signed a ''Consent to Search'' form. He said he wanted the incident to be non-confrontational, for the sake of his daughter and wife. He was expecting something of this nature and was comfortable with the fact that there was nothing illegal in his home. He stated that he never kept narcotics or anything illegal in his home, in the interest of the welfare of his family. Lister said in regards to the search of his home, ''Procedure-wise, it was O.K.'' Lister felt strongly that some of the misunderstanding regarding the incident had to do with a statement he made to the deputies immediately after he signed the consent to search. He stated, ''You know, I could make one call and you'd all go away.'' Detective Juarez asked him who he would call, and Lister stated, ''Well, I don't want to say.'' Lister further explained that he was referring to his attorney when he made the statement, but really didn't want to discuss that with the deputies. He felt that they would be gone in a short time, not having found anything illegal, and he did not want to say or do anything to create a hostile situation. When asked about his demeanor during the search, Lister said, ''I was playing the part.'' He said he was feigning surprise and attempting to act like a cooperative and innocent citizen who knew nothing of drugs. During the actual search of the house, Lister said he was directed to stay ''downstairs'' with two Orange County deputy sheriffs, who were not actively involved in the search. As the LASD deputies searched upstairs, a sergeant came down and said, 'What the hell do you do for a living?'' He described the sergeant as a big guy with a mustache, with a German name like ''Hoffman.'' Lister told the sergeant that he was a ''security consultant'' and had dealings and offices down in El Salvador. NOTE: On a later date and during a subsequent interview, Lister identified a photo of retired Sergeant Fransen as having been the sergeant with the ''German'' name. Lister said that during the course of the search, one of the deputies asked him if he worked for the CIA. Lister said he replied, ''Absolutely not.'' He further stated that he has never told anyone, at anytime, that he worked for the-CIA. Lister said he had a ''Munitions Control Permit'' at that time and he was involved in the legal arms sales. Lister said that the deputies saw various weapons, scopes, pictures, literature or paperwork on arms, and items that were tagged, ''Not for sale in U.S.'' He felt the deputies became fascinated with what they found, and they, not he, began to discuss the notion that he was with the CIA. In fact, the sergeant Lister remembers as "Hoffman" (Fransen), stated at one point, ''Man, you've gotta be, CIA.'' Lister did display some knowledge of the U.S. intelligence community during the interview with investigators. He said that if he were affiliated with an organization like the CIA, he wouldn't talk about it. He went on to say, ''You've got to remember, there's 32 intelligence agencies out there. The CIA is just one of them.'' He mentioned the National Security Council and the National Reconnaissance Office as examples. Lister said there had been a theft of cash from his residence during the search on October 27, 1986. He said an L.A. Sheriffs deputy took the money, and described the deputy as follows: ''He was very young, to me was the youngest, he couldn't have been over 5'7, he was maybe a little bit taller than Juarez. And he had very short cropped hair, he was of Latin descent, presumably he was a male Mexican-American, and he had a full mustache like this, but he just started growing it, because it wasn't fluffy, it was just starting. It was going down below the lip.'' Lister went on to say that the deputy took $13,000.00 in cash, all in $100 bills. The money had been in his den in a Wells Fargo Bank bag, and he saw the described deputy carry the bag out of his residence during the search. Lister noticed that when he signed for the property which was seized, the money was not on the list. He knew then that the deputies were stealing the money, but he didn't care much. He felt it was no big loss, because it was just ''dope money.'' Lister said that he was telling us this for our information only, and he was not complaining. He felt that he may be able to identify the deputy who took the money if we could show him a picture of the deputy dating back to that time. NOTE: In a subsequent interview, Lister identified the photo of former Deputy Frank Rodela. saying he was the one who stole the $13,000 in cash. Former Deputy Rodela did not respond to requests for an interview. Rodela received a retirement during the time ''Operation Big Spender'' was investigating the actions of Rodela and other Department narcotics deputies. Rodela was never charged. STATEMENTS OF DEPUTIES AT LISTER'S HOUSE: Deputy Gil Figueroa recalled going with his crew (Norwalk) to a location in Mission Viejo to serve a warrant. He recalled that the house was very new, and that there was very little property inside. He thought it might have been a ''stash pad'' for Colombians. Figueroa vaguely recalled the search of the first location. He did not recall Deputy Juarez being with them, but said that since Juarez wrote the reports, he must have been present at the locations. Figueroa said that Art Fransen would have been the Crew Sergeant and that Juarez would have been the team leader, since he was from the Majors Crew handling the warrant. Deputy Figueroa did not recall seeing any females being at the search sites. He said he did not hear Ronald Lister say anything about having connections with the C.I.A. He did recall someone telling him that Lister was now, ''Involved with selling some kind of guns,'' and was some type of arms dealer. He said the information about Lister possibly being a gun dealer, ''threw him for a loop,'' and made him concerned that they might end up in a shoot-out. Figueroa said he did not personally talk to. Lister. Deputy Figueroa recalled the crew found Lister at the top of the stairs after they had entered the house. He did not recall how entry had been made into the house. He said Lister looked like ''Mister Peepers,'' and was in bed clothes of some sort. Figueroa did not recall Lister making a phone call, but said they would have let them make one if he had wanted to. He did not recall Lister making any statements concerning wanting to make a call or talking about his ties with anyone or any agency. Figueroa said Lister had been very cooperative and let them look throughout the house. Deputy Figueroa did not recall seeing any type of paperwork, video tapes or training manuals during the searches of the two Lister houses. He recalled the first house had been empty and neighbors had given them directions to Lister’s second house. Figueroa recalled that Lister was not taken to jail after the searches. He did not recall any conversations after the search concerning Liste’s alleged connections with the C.I.A. He did not go to narcotics headquarters where the items were eventually booked. (Refer Figueroa memo dated October 22, 1996, Volume 1). Retired Sergeant Art Fransen said in 1986 he had been the Norwalk Station Narcotic Team sergeant. He said he had no recollection of a conversation prior to the search warrant regarding someone doing a computerized ''work up'' on Lister. Fransen was asked if he had knowledge of Lister being involved with the government or CIA prior to going to his house. He said, ''None whatsoever, because I remember it was somewhat of a surprise to me.'' Fransen said he didn't remember serving the search warrant at the Lagarto residence, nor did he remember seizing any training films. Sergeant Fransen said he remembered a very well kept house at the Barlomento residence. He believes they woke Ronald Lister up, in that Lister was dressed in shorts with no shirt and uncombed hair. Fransen said Lister directed most of his comments to the handling investigator from the Narcotic Bureau Majors Team (Juarez). Fransen didn't recall personally speaking to him, but remembers listening to Lister’s ''tirade.'' He said that there was a lot more to Lister’s statement than what was written in the supplemental report. Fransen remembered Lister saying, ''You guys don't know what you are doing; Oh, you don't know who you are dealing with; I deal with the CIA, I got power.'' He said Lister started 'rattling off' names and telephone numbers. He recalled that Lister was given a lot more latitude than usual, in that he was not handcuffed, and was allowed to pace back and forth. He remembers that Lister was very dramatic and upset. Sergeant Fransen recalled Lister made a telephone call to an unknown person. He remembered Lister telling the other party ''what a bunch of buffoons we were''. Fransen said he didn't recall if any of the deputies got on the telephone with the recipient of Listees call. Fransen said he didn't pass any information to anyone as it was not his case. He said that it was common for narcotic suspects to give investigators names of people in order to try to gain leverage and escape criminal charges. He assumed that this was one of those cases, but he believed what Lister had said through Lister’s ''body language.'' Fransen said he believed that Lister ''really meant what he had said,'' and provided real telephone numbers. The inference was that Lister had called the CIA or DEA. Fransen recalled one of the deputies at the location called Narcotics Headquarters. He speculated it was to a supervisor there. Fransen said he opened a file cabinet in the garage next to the garage door. He said, ''I remember the material in the file cabinet was stuff that a civilian shouldn't have or be privy to.'' It was paperwork, pamphlets and manuals relating to technical stuff concerning armament. He browsed through the material and pointed it out to handling investigator (Juarez). Fransen was not sure what he did with the material. He is not sure if he seized any of it. He clarified "civilian" as any person including deputies or himself as an ex-Marine. Fransen was asked if he put a connection together between Lister’s statement and what he found in the file cabinet. Fransen said he thought the information was ''interesting.'' He said he passed his ''find'' to the handling investigator and thought the (investigator) would do his job. Fransen said that since the investigator was not on his team or under his supervision, he never followed up. Fransen said from time to time over the years, he has brought up this case to people in conversation. He added, ''I never to this day thought that it could be involved with something as dirty as the CIA running the drugs, particularly with our department. No way.'' Fransen did not elaborate as to whom he had these conversations. (Refer to FRANSEN memo dated October 31, 1996, Volume 1). Deputy Love said that the Norwalk Crew was assigned a Monday morning warrant service on a house in Mission Viejo. The Norwalk Crew went to the house, determined to be 23636 Lagarto Ave., Mission Viejo, made entry, and found nobody there. The house appeared to have been vacated without furniture. A safe was located. He remembered being at the house no longer than an hour and doesn't remember seizing evidence. A female neighbor of the Lagarto address approached the deputies and said the people had just moved out of the house that weekend. She knew where they moved to, and directed them to their new residence 2-3 miles away. She told investigators there had been a lot of vehicular traffic in and out of the Lagarto house during the day and night prior to the move. At the second location in Mission Viejo, a door knock was conducted. A male, later identified as Lister, answered the door and apparently consented to a search. Love recalled a female and child arrived later, during their search. NOTE: As noted earlier, Lister stated he and his young daughter had been the only ones home during the warrant. Lister/s wife (Stephanie) stated that she arrived alone, after the search and after the police had left. (Refer to STEPHANIE THOMAS memo dated October 24,1996 Volume 1). Deputy Love recalled there had been a brand new Mercedes in the garage with a telephone, a new van, and closets that were in immaculate order. Love said he felt, ''We shouldn't be here, this guy is not a doper.'' He said he didn't see anything relating to drugs or drug material, except a baggie of marijuana. Deputy Love said he didn't have direct conversation with Lister, but that he overheard conversations between Lister and other officers. He believes Sergeant Art Fransen had something to do with the discussion, as he was very much involved. Love heard Lister was a past Deputy Sheriff for Los Angeles County and an officer down at the beach somewhere, and that Lister was now employed in the burglar alarm business. Love said he heard bits and pieces of the conversation. He paraphrased the following statements made by Lister as: ''You guys are in over your head; You don't know what you're doing; There's a bigger picture here; I'm working for the CIA; I know the director of the CIA in Los Angeles; The government is allowing drugs sales to go on in the United States; Money from drugs sales were used to purchase guns to get to the Contra rebels in a covert manner.'' NOTE: As noted previously, none of the other personnel at the scene recalled any statements by Lister, wherein he said that the government was allowing drug sales to go on in the United States, and that, ''Money from drug sales were used to purchase guns to get to the Contra rebels in a covert manner.'' Deputy Love said Lister seemed to have some intimate details about a plane loaded with guns that crashed in Nicaragua and about the pilot. Lister alluded to the fact that he had been on one of those planes before and had actually been "down there on a gun run''. According to Love, during the conversation, Lister referred the investigators to a contact name something like ''Wheatly'' or ''Whitley''. Love said he had no knowledge of the telephone call allegedly made by Lister to the CIA or the Pentagon. Deputy Love said he had been ''disappointed'' when he left the location. He said they didn't arrest Lister. He didn't know what had been found or what was actually seized. When asked how Lister presented himself in connection with the CIA, Love said he didn't remember if Lister said he worked ''for, with, or was affiliated with'' the CIA. (Refer to LOVE memo dated October 17,1996, Volume 1). Guzzetta said later that day, he was told by Sheriffs Detective Dan Garner that when the warrant was served on Ron Lister’s residence, Lister said, ''I'm with the CIA, I want to call my connection in Langley.'' According to Guzzetta, Garner told him that Lister was allowed to make the call and Guzzetta recalls that the number called was to ''Washington D.C. or Virginia.'' NOTE: Neither Guzzetta nor Gamer had been at Ronald Lister's house on the day of the search. Guzzetta claimed he was given the number which Lister called on a Sheriffs Department memo, and he passed it on to Susan Bryant Deason and recorded it in ''Project Sahara.'' Guzzetta said he was also told by personnel who were present at the Lister residence that the home was ''sterile'', and ''impeccably clean'' to the point that ''nobody lives like that.'' Guzzetta additionally recalls that he was given the name of the individual or ''connection''" whom Lister called, and that was also recorded in ''Project Sahara.'' NOTE: Bryant-Deason did not recall ever seeing a phone number allegedly called by Lister, and did not recall ever seeing a copy of ''Project Sahara.'' Additionally, no phone number was found on ''Project Sahara'' that would correspond to Guzzetta's assertion. There is a great deal of doubt as to whether or not a call was actually made by Lister as alleged. Both Lister and former Deputy Juarez deny a call was completed. Guzzetta expressed very strong feelings about the fate of the majority of law enforcement officers who investigated Danilo Blandon. He stated, ''Every policeman who ever got close to Blandon was either told to back-off, investigated by their department, forced to retire, or indicted.'' POSSIBLE COMPROMISE OF THE SEARCH WARRANT: According to most accounts, the amount of evidence seized, as a result of the Blandon search warrants, was minimal compared to the expected results. The alleged intelligence information had indicated that Blandon was involved in a major cocaine distribution and money laundering operation. The small amount of cocaine and money reportedly seized after the search of thirteen locations has led to some speculation the investigation was somehow compromised prior to the service of the warrant. Information obtained by investigators revealed the investigation into the Blandon organization may have been unintentionally compromised by a series of unrelated variables and events. The lack of evidence seized can arguably be attributed to ingredients such as embellishment of the facts in the affidavit, careless investigative work, bad timing, and even ''sour grapes.'' Lister said he was not surprised by the visit, because he had been expecting problems with law enforcement for quite some time. He said he had received information from his former neighbors about a week prior to the incident that men with radios were watching his previous residence in Mission Viejo and taking notes. Because he was dealing drugs at the time, he assumed it was law enforcement gathering information for the purpose of obtaining a search warrant. Lister said he contacted Danilo Blandon and asked to meet with him at ''Guerra Auto Sales'' to discuss these circumstances. Blandon was not at that location, but Lister noted, '' .‚.‚. in the area, that there were people observing the place. It was very obvious to me.'' Lister said he left the auto lot and after making a series of ninety degree turns in the area, he determined he was being followed.He left the area, entered the 15 freeway, and later noticed that he was no longer being followed. Lister later stated that he was the one who, ''burned'' the warrant. He said he was very securityoriented, and his observations of what he felt were ''obvious'' police surveillances were what tipped him off. Lister said he later discussed ''these potential problems'' (law enforcement surveillance) with Blandon, who responded by only saying, ''Oh, O.K.'' Lister believed that federal law enforcement (as opposed to local police), was watching him, so he contacted his attorney, Mr. Heneghen. Mr. Heneghen advised him, ''Listen, if they don't have a search warrant, don't let them in.'' This was confirmed by Mr. Heneghan, who was present during this point in the interview with Lister. (Refer to LISTER #1 memo dated November 6, Volume 1). FBI Special Agent Aukland said an informant told him after the searches someone in the Blandon organization saw what he believed to be a police surveillance. This person told the informant, as well as other members of the organization, of his observations. Aukland said the informant also told him the normal practice for the organization was to receive cocaine late in the week to be distributed on the following weekend. The searches were conducted on a Monday, which may have contributed to the lack of significant seizures of cocaine or money. (Refer to AUKLAND memo dated November 18,1996, Volume 1) On December 9, 1986, FBI agents in Los Angeles sent a teletype to the Director of the FBI. In the teletype it was claimed that the Los Angles County Sheriff s Department received a telephone call from Bradley Brunon who allegedly stated, ''CIA winked at this sort of thing.'' (Refer to LIBRARY dated December 11, 1986, Volume 4). In an interview, Sergeant Edward Huffman said he recalled the telephone call, as he had personally spoken with Brunon. Huffman said that Brunon told him, ''I thought you knew the CIA kind of winks at that activity.'' Huffman said that it was possible the FBI had gotten the statement to put in their teletype from him. (Refer to HUFFMAN #2 memo dated October 29,1996, Volume 1). In an interview, Bradley Brunon denied making the statement to Sergeant Huffman adding, ''Maybe (Gary) Webb made it up.'' He further said that even if he had heard of CIA involvement, he would not have made the comment like that to the police. (Refer to BRUNON #2 memo dated November 1, 1996, Volume 1). When investigators told Assistant United States Attorney L. J. O'Neale it was believed the 1986 search warrant had been compromised, he immediately said, ''it was.'' Mr. O'Neale said Blandon told him who had ''burned'' the warrant and from what department. He was asked if it was compromised by the federal government. He said ''No.'' He was asked if the LASD had burned the warrant. He said ''No.'' Mr. O'Neale stated that it was compromised by 'a small metropolitan police department". Mr. O'Neale was asked if he could find out who had compromised the warrant. He said he would have to make a call to determine the officer's name and department. He also said that he would have to check with his superiors to determine if this information could be given to us. Later in the day, Mr. O'Neale called and changed his statement. He told investigators the investigation was burned ''two months'' prior to the service of the search warrant. He said one of the federal investigators carelessly questioned an associate of Blandon. Word had apparently gotten back to Blandon regarding the questioning. (Refer to L.J. O'NEALE memo dated November 7,1996, Volume 1). Deputy Ben Chavez said he felt the suspects had been ''tipped off'' as no illegal drugs or contraband was found at any of the locations. He recalled ''someone'' told him, ''Hey, we're just going through the motions.'' Chavez said he took this statement to mean there wasn't going to be any narcotics there. He said he went into this operation with the feeling they had been ''burned''. (Refer to CHAVEZ memo dated October 29, 1996, Volume 1). Former Deputy Virgil Bartlett said he never heard the search warrants had been compromised. He felt ''Lister was an experienced enough drug dealer not to have drugs around himself. Bartlett added that often times it was just a master of being at the right location at the right time when searching for drugs. He felt they just did not get lucky on this case. (Refer to BARTLETT memo dated October 16,1996, Volume 1). Retired Lieutenant Dale Fossey said he felt that the suspects in the operation had been ''tipped off'' by someone in the government.'' He added that he knew of no ''concrete connection'' between the U.S. Government, the CIA, and drug running. Fossey said he knows of no evidence connecting Lister with the CIA. (Refer FOSSEY memo dated October 22,1996, Volume 1). Former Deputy Dan Garner said he felt the warrant had been somehow compromised. His opinion was based on the small amount of drugs found compared to the living conditions of the suspects in this case. He felt the warrants should have been more productive.'' He did not offer an opinion as to who might have compromised the warrants. Gamer recalled a sense of urgency in serving the warrants. He said the suspects in this case were ''too slick'' and intelligent to stand idly by while they conducted additional surveillance or investigation. (Refer to GARNER memo dated October 10, 1996, Volume 1). Former Bell P.D. Officer Jerry Guzzetta was of the opinion that federal agents had ''burned'' the operation by informing the Blandons. He believed this because two prior operations which were based on information supplied by the confidential informants had been highly successful. Guzzetta said the only different factor in this case had been the involvement of the federal agencies. He provided no evidence to support his beliefs. According to Guzzetta, when the search warrant was executed, the target locations were completely clean, meaning that investigators found no appreciable amount of narcotics, money or other evidence of narcotics dealing. (Refer to GUZZETTA memo dated October 15, 1996, Volume 1). NOTE: Guzzetta added in a subsequent interview that Blandon had access to confidential information through Lister, who Guzzetta said had ''contacts with the CIA.'' Guzzetta said the confidential informant(s) told him Blandon had inside information as to law enforcement activity. (Refer to GUZZETTA memos dated November 5, 1996, Volume 1). Bell Police Detective Thomas McReynolds agreed that the warrant had ''come up dry.'' He said, ''I heard that Lister had been tipped off, and that Lister then in turn had tipped off Blandon.'' McReynolds said that he heard this information from Guzzetta. (Refer to McREYNOLDS memos dated November 20,1996, Volume 1). Former Deputy Narcizo Reaza stated when the searches failed to recover any significant drugs or money, he heard that the case may have been compromised. He did not know if this was true or whether it was, as he described it, ''sour grapes''. (Refer to REAZA memos dated November 1, 1996, Volume 1). DEA Special Agent Thomas Schrettner said he personally had no information on why the searches produced no significant amounts of drugs or money. He also said that after the searches, an unknown Sheriff s deputy told him that Ronald Lister knew the warrant was coming. According to the deputy, Lister said he heard about the warrant through someone in the DIA. (Refer to SCHRETTNER memo dated November 15, 1996, Volume 1). The original confidential informant(s) on the Blandon search warrant said Lister compromised the search warrant. The informant(s) learned after the warrant that Lister had called Blandon two to three days before the warrant was served and told him, ''The Sheriff s gonna jump on you.'' It was felt by the informant(s) Blandon sanitized his organization in anticipation of the searches. It was not known to the informant(s) how Lister found out about the warrant. (Refer CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT(S) memo dated November 18,1996, Volume 1). POST SEARCH WARRANT ACTIVITY: Each narcotic crew involved in this search warrant service consisted of an LASD team, supplemented by federal and/or local agency personnel. Additionally, each team had a member of Major Violators 11 Team along to simplify the reporting and establish the chain of evidence seized from each location. A Majors Team deputy would take possession of the evidence and return with it to the LASD Narcotics Bureau where a report would. be generated. The following is a list of the searched locations and the Majors Team deputy responsible for evidence collection and subsequent report writing: 17474 Foothill Bl. Rialto Sgt. Huffman 917 & 919 W. Foothill Bl., Rialto Sgt. Huffman One supplementary report for both locations 1531 W. Rialto Ave, #1100, Rialto Dep. Bartlett 210 Beechwood Ave., #383, Rialto Dep. Bartlett Separate supplementary reports for each location 7355 Concord Ave., Fontana Dep.Powe 15481 Sandhurst Ave., Fontana Dep.Powe Separate supplementary reports for each location 12014 Smallwood Ave., Downey Dep. Juarez 23636 Lagarto Dr., Mission Viejo Dep. Juarez 22632 Barlomento, Mission Viejo Dep. Juarez Separate supplementary reports for each location 5739 Sycamore Ave., Rialto Dep. Garner 796 Deer Trail, Crestline Dep. Garner One report for both locations 892 Quince Ave., Rialto Dep. Cortez 173 E. Flora St., #C, Ontario Dep. Cortez Separate supplementary reports for each location 211 W. Burchett St., #18, Glendale Dep. Gordon 1320 S. Del Mar Ave., #C, San Gabriel Dep. Gordon (As mentioned previously, it appears these last two locations were not searched) All evidence seized from the various locations was cataloged and entered into the Master Narcotics Evidence Control Ledger, Book #1, per departmental policy, by the deputy responsible for its collection. These books are assigned to each Narcotics Crew and cover a time period of one year. Hence, the Blandon case evidence is recorded in the ledger for ''Majors 11'' for 1986., pages #34 thru 40, under file number ''02478''. (Refer to Evidence Ledger, Book #1, pages 34 -- 40, Exhibit A, Item #27, Volume 1). Several assertions have been made about the descriptions, control, and disposition of the seized evidence. Allegations have surfaced that some evidence seized in this case was somehow confiscated by federal agents after the warrant. Interviews conducted with personnel involved with the service of the Blandon search warrant disclosed there is no evidence to corroborate the assertions that mysterious federal agents ''swooped'' down on the STARS Center and stole away with any documents related to this case. Investigators have determined this allegation was apparently spread through second- hand rumor and innuendo among some members of the narcotics team personnel. Former Deputy Virgil Bartlett recalled that on the same day of the warrant two federal agents came into office looking angry. He said the agents were accompanied by two LASD Lieutenants who also appeared angry. The Lieutenants confirmed the individuals were federal agents, but did not mention a specific agency. Bartlett said the agents put some of the evidence into boxes and walked out of the office. He did not know whether the ''agents'' left the building with the evidence or returned it at a later time. (Refer to BARTLETT memo dated October 16,1996, Volume 1). Former Deputy Garner said a short time after the evidence was put away, Deputy Gordon told him, ''The evidence is gone. ''Garner said Gordon indicated ''somebody'' had checked out the evidence. Gordon did not tell Garner who took the evidence or why. Garner said he did not see anyone take any of the evidence. Garner said that he didn't believe anyone from the CIA was at the STARS Center. (Refer to GARNER memo dated October 10, 1996, Volume 1). Special Agent Douglas Aukland had conducted a simultaneous investigation of the Blandon Organization and had shared his information with former Deputy Gordon. Aukland therefore had a legitimate interest in the any evidence seized as a result of the warrant. Aukland said in an interview with Investigators that he believes he went to the STARS Center after the searches were conducted and photocopied some. of the documents and materials seized. He said he was seeking any further information which might augment his own investigation into the Blandon Organization. Aukland could not remember anything of significance in any of the material he copied. (Refer to AUKLAND memo dated November 18,1996, Volume 1). IRS Special Agent Karl Knudsen said he did not participate in the service of the search warrants, but he believes he sent other agents from his group to the STARS Center to copy information seized that may have been pertinent to his investigation. (Refer to KNUDSEN memo dated December 5, 1996, Volume 1). Former Narcotics Bureau Crime Analyst Cados De La Guerra said he did not recall anything about any Federal agency removing any evidence or documents from the evidence room. He said he would have known about this, if it had occurred, because the ''fresh documentary evidence'' would have been with him. He explained he normally would have maintained the documents, or copies of them, in order to decipher the contents. De La Guerra could not remember any occasion where anyone, ''federal government or otherwise,'' removed evidence from the STARS Center. (Refer to DE LA GUERRA memo dated October 28, Volume 1). Retired Lieutenant Dale Fossey said he did not see or hear of any DEA, FBI or CIA agent take any of the seized material from the narcotics office at STARS Center. (Refer FOSSEY memo dated October 22, Volume 1). Sergeant Edward Huffman said after reviewing his 1986 daily joumal, agents of the DEA, FBI and IRS came to Narcotics Headquarters on October 30, 1986, to copy and photograph any materials seized in the warrant which they determined were of interest. He does not recall that any materials were removed from headquarters by federal agents. His journal indicates that DEA and FBI agents were also at Narcotics Headquarters on October 31, 1986, and he believes their purpose was to continue copying and photographing seized materials. (Refer to HUFFMAN memo dated October 23, Volume 1). Former Deputy Narcizo Reaza said he believed that agents from a federal agency (he did not know which one) acquired some of the evidence after it had been booked. Reaza's understanding was that these items were relinquished to this agency per Department policy and not taken in any questionable manner. (Refer REAZA to memo dated November 1, Volume 1). NOTE: Refer to pages 10-11 and the next section for additional information on the disposition of the evidence. DISPOSITION OF EVIDENCE: Contrary to common belief that evidence was confiscated by the federal government, or that the LASD handled the property in a fashion other than dictated by policy, a full review of all the reports, evidence entries, and evidence disposition forms was conducted and determined that for each item seized in the searches there is a consistent "paper trail'. Evidence seized can be traced from the original search location reports to the Master Narcotics Evidence Control Ledger (Book #1 covering January to December 1986) and to forms detailing its final disposition. In the Master Narcotics Evidence Control Ledger, each item seized is entered by the address of each individual search location. Hence, a review of pages 34 thru 40 of evidence book #1 shows each item seized from the separate 13 locations. To the right of the description of the item is the date seized, referred to as ''Date from Patrol'' (1 0/27/86). If appropriate, the date the evidence was sent to, and received back from, the Crime Lab is indicated. The next entry would be the Crime Lab receipt number (only used for actual narcotics). The next entry is titled ''Final Disposition''. This box details where the evidence went after being ''booked''. In the Blandon case, there are one of four possible dispositions for each item: Released to Attorney Bradley Brunon -- Attorney for Danilo Blandon and six others. A Supplemental Report by Sgt.Huffman indicates on November 6, 1986, he was presented with letters authorizing Attorney Brunon to receive all property for Oscar D. Blandon, Chepita Blandon, Roberto Aguilar, Raphael Espinal, Bertha Torres, Ivan Torres, and Armando J. Reyes.Also, LASD receipts for property released was filled out by Huffman and signed for by Brunon. (Refer to Supplemental Report, letters from Brunon, and receipts, Volume 1, Exhibit A-19 & 20). Released to Attorney Martin Heneghen -- Attorney for Ronald Lister. On December 29, 1986, a second Supplemental Report was written by Sgt. Huffman indicating Ronald Lister had authorized Attorney Heneghen to receive of all his property. Again, LASD receipts were written and signed indicating release of the described property. (Refer to Supplemental Report, and LASD receipts, Volume 1, Exhibit A-21). To Property Custodian -- Any item indicated as such was retained permanently by the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department to use for its own purposes. This is consistent with state and federal law, as well as departmental policy. These include the ''Intec Monitors'', a camera, and ammunition. These particular items are recorded on LASD Central Property and Evidence control forms, numbers 383964 and 383965. The Disposition column of these forms indicates the items went to the ''Dept.'' on 01-11-88. (Refer to Central Property and Evidence Control Forms, Volume 1, Exhibit A-23). Disposal (with receipt numbers) -- Any item indicated as such was destroyed per state and departmental guidelines. These include narcotics, ''training films'', miscellaneous papers, and unclaimed Rems. On the Central Property and Evidence Control forms, number 383964 and 383965, these items have a disposition of ''DNV'' (Destroyed, No Value). Additional LASD documents list these items and verify their destruction by a private company. (Refer to Central Property and Evidence Control Forms, Volume 1, Exhibit A-23). DISPOSITION OF CASE: The final portion of the post search warrants summary involves the final disposition of the case. No charges were filed against any member of the Blandon Organization. Again, rumors have circulated which present this issue as something pointing to federal government intrusion on a ''local'' case. Interviews of those involved in the decision to pursue, or not pursue, a criminal case against Blandon indicate otherwise. Investigators discovered a memorandum in the case file which were notes written by Sergeant Edward Huffman concerning a January 14, 1987, meeting with DDA Susan Bryant-Deason, FBI Douglas Aukland and DEA Agent Schreftner. Sergeant Huffman recalls the purpose of the meeting as being a discussion relating to turning the Blandon investigation over to ''the feds''. All present felt that it would more appropriately handled by federal agencies from that point on because there was evidence that there was "a continuing narcotics trafficking organization'' which involved a very lar.ge geographical area. Huffman said that he did not recall if the case was formally presented to the L. A. District Attorney's Office for filing. He said the lead investigator, Deputy Gordon, left Narcotics Bureau not long after the warrant and it did not appear he pursued a filing with the District Attorney. Huffman's notes indicated, ''It is anticipated the case will be adopted by the U. S. Attorney's Office via O.C.D.E.T.F.'' He indicated it was understood that the case was going to ''be kicked upstairs'' to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. It was his understanding that this course of action would definitely increase the resources which would be devoted to the investigation and prosecution of members of the Blandon organization. (Refer to HUFFMAN memo dated October 23, Volume 1; and HUFFMAN MEMO #2 exhibit dated January 27,1987, Volume 2). In hand written notes by Sergeant Huffman to Captain Robert Wilber, Sergeant Huffman wrote in sections ''F'' and ''G'', located on page 3, information concerning sealing of the search warrant affidavit, continuing investigation by DEA and FBI and no case filing. Section ''F'' stated that the search warrant affidavit was sealed. It states that the Riverside offices of the DEA and FBI "will continue investigation. It continues, ''All seized documents & evidence reviewed & copied by FBI, DEA & IRS Riverside.'' Section ''G'' stated, ''No case filed to protect on going investigation & informant(s). Very small amount of cocaine found @ 1 of 14 locations.'' (Refer to HUFFMAN MEMO #1, Volume-2). FBI Special Agent Aukland said he had no input into the decisions regarding prosecution on the Blandon case. He did recall a meeting with DDA Susan Bryant- Deason, but could not recall any specific details. He thought the case may have been turned over to a U.S. Attorney, but thought the attorney may have quit the department short time later. Agent Aukland continued to investigate the Blandon organization for approximately six months following the warrant service, until Blandon ultima tely moved to Miami, Florida. At this point, Aukland forwarded his information to FBI agents in that city and discontinued his investigation. Agent Aukland believed he sent copies of his Blandon investigation to Washington D.C. during the ''Iran - Contra Hearings'' in the late 1980's. Refer to AUKLAND memo dated November 18, Volume 1 . Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason provided a statement through DDA Curt A Hazell on October 10, 1996. She said that in January 1987, she was cross-designated as a Special Assistant U. S. Attorney at the time she was consulted (about the Blandon case). She believed that the officers had gone to another county for filing review and had been rejected. She said the case was not presented to her for filing. Rather, it wa her memory, that Sergeant Huffman's visit was more for the purpose of ''brain-storming''. The officers came to her for a discussion about next steps. She said the investigating officers were frustrated and wanted to do something, but had insufficient . Deason remembered that during Sergeant Huffman's visit, she had been shown a stack of documents which were photocopies of bank records. She believed these records were obtained through federal subpoenas rather than having been seized during the service of the warrant. She did not remember whose bank statements were shown to her, but only that they were connected to the investigation. She remembered these bank statements showed deposits of as much as $2,000,000 at a time into the account from the U.S. Treasury . She did not know the significance of the deposits. Deason remembered taking this information to her supervisor, Head Deputy Robert Schirn, after the meeting. She told him what evidence the officers had, and that she thought the matter should go to the U. S. Attorney's Office where resources existed Deason said she went back to her office and called the U. S. Attorney's Office. She in touch with an A.U.S.A. who was second in charge of a Presidential Drug Task Force and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (O.C.D.E.T.F.). She remembered this A.U.S.A. as having a first name that began with the letter "D" and a last name that began with 'A' (Judge Bryant-Deason on 10-1 0-96 confirmed to Hazell that the A.U.S.A was ''Darryl McIntyre''). Deason recalled that the A.U.S.A. told her he was going to Washington D.C. very soon and he would review the case and paperwork. Deason then gave Sergeant Huffman the name and telephone number of the A.U.S.A. She thought Sergeant Huffman made immediate contact with him. Deason further remembered sometime later, the A.U.S.A. told her he had referred the matter and documents to a special prosecutor in Washington. The A.U.S.A. told Deason the special prosecutor had no interest in the case. Deason further remembered that sometime after this, the A.U.S.A. was found dead, possible as the result of suicide. NOTE: Investigators were unable to locate any documentation to confirm the death of Darryl McIntyre via computer records, homicide offices and the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. Deason also remembered that Head Deputy Robert Schirn briefed the case ''up the ladder'' of the District Attorney's Office and District Attorney Ira Reiner subsequently called her to a meeting. She did not remember when it occurred, but she attended, along with District Attorney Ira Reiner, Chief Deputy Gil Garcetti and Head Deputy Robert Schirn. She remembered the meeting lasting approximately 5 or 10 minutes. She remembered Mr. Reiner asking whether or not there was anything else ''we'' could do about it. She told him there was insufficient evidence or resources for local law enforcement to pursue the investigation, and it had been forwarded to the authorities who seemed best equipped for this type of investigation. (Refer to MURPHY LETTER dated October 23, 1996, Volume 1). CIA INQUIRY: After the service of the warrant, attempts were made by the FBI to confirm or deny the relationship between Lister and Centralm Intelligence Agency. According to a notes prepared by Sergeant Edward Huffman for a meeting with Bryant- Deason on January 14,1987, Sergeant Huffman wrote, ''FBI T.T. (teletyped) the CIA with a list of names, out of our case. The reply from CIA was only regarding Norwin Meneses. Their reply was "He is a known cocaine Trafficker.' Huffman's notes further indicate, "Aukland said Scott Weekly is an arms dealer in San Diego. [sic] Can't confirm Weekly is or isn't CIA connected.'' (Refer to HUFFMAN MEMO #2 dated January 14, 1987, Volume 2). FBI Special Agent Aukland said that according to a memo by Sgt. Ed Huffman, the FBI made inquiries to the CIA for information on Blandon, Lister, and a few other members of the organization. Agent Aukland said he would have been the one to make the request but could not recall for sure. He also said he could not remember receiving any reply. (Refer to AUKLAND memo dated November 18,1996, Volume 1). Investigators obtained a copy of a 1986 teletype from A.U.S.A. L. J. O'Neale on November 6, 1996, from the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The teletype states, ''the captioned matter is an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement (OCDE) Task Force investigation focused on a cocaine distribution operation principally comprised of Nicaraguan nationals. Significant quantities of cocaine are reportedly distributed throughout the west coast. Information provided to FBI Los Angles indicates that subject Ronald Jay Lister has made statements concerning his ''CIA CONTACT,'' identified by Lister as ''Mr. WEEKLY''. Investigation has also identified documents indicating that Lister has been in contact with ''SCOTT WEEKLY'' of ''DIA''. The teletype requested, ''Whether or not any of the captioned subjects are currently of operational 'interest to your agency''. The captioned subjects were Ronald Jay Lister, Danilo Blandon, Norwin Meneses, Aparicio Moreno, Orlando Murillo and Richard (AKA: Oklahoma Dick). (Refer to TELETYPE IN RICKY ROSS SENTENCING MEMO dated November 19,1996, Exhibit T, Item #4, Volume 3). NOTE: The FBI omitted the name ''Scott Weekly" in their request. A response teletype from the CIA, also received from A.U.S.A. L. J. O'Neale on November 6, 1996, indicated information on Norwin Meneses, regarding his drug activities in Costa Rica, and information on Orlando Mudlio regarding his position with the Swiss Bank in Managua. The teletype indicated they have ''no traces on other names referred to in ref.'' (Refer to TELETYPE IN RICKY ROSS SENTENCING MEMO dated November 19,1996, Exhibit T, Item #4, Volume 3). NOTE: Investigators did not receive a teletype from A.U..S.A. L.J. O'Neale indicating a response from the Defense Intelligence Agency. Investigators also received a copy of teletype from A.U.S.A. L. J. O'Neale on November 6, 1996, that erroneously stated Meneses, Blandon and Lister were arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department. The teletype was redacted; therefore, investigators were unable to determine who sent or received it. (Refer to RICKY ROSS, Exhibit T, Item #4, Volume 3). NOTE: As stated previously, Danilo and Chepita Blandon were the only ones arrested on drug charges. In a response to inquiries to the Defense Intelligence Agency by investigators, concerning David Scott Weekly and Ronald Jay Lister, a letter was received dated November 26, 1996. It stated, ''Per your request, DIA checked applicable records for any information pertaining to a Ronald Jay Lister or a David Scott Weekly. A review of security and personnel records revealed no information indicating either individual had any affiliation with this agency in any capacity. The Defense Clearance and Investigations index reflected a 1968 Naval Criminal Investigative Service file, number D 812457, related to Weekly. No additional information was found related to either individual. If you require further assistance, please contact Cad D. Buckland,(703) 907-1307.'' (Refer to DIA LETTER dated November 26,1996, Exhibit 0, Item #14, Volume 2). NOTE: In a November 7, 1996, interview of A.U.S.A. L. J. O'Neale, he was asked if he would query the Defense Intelligence Agency (D.I.A.) to ascertain if Ronald Lister or Scott Weekly had a relationship with that agency. He immediately said, ''No.'' He was asked why, and he replied he was dealing with a specific allegation that the C.I.A. was involved in cocaine distribution. He was not investigating the D.I.A.'s involvement, so he was not going to do the query. He told investigators that Scott Weekly has made statements to Bo Gritz that he (Weekly) has worked for the D.I.A,'' (Refer AUSA O'NEALE memo dated November 7,1996, Volume 1) Bo Gritz is a former Green Beret colonel who heads a civilian militia, known as ''Call For Action''. (Refer to GRITZ INFO, Volume 4). Sergeant Huffman said in a recent interview with investigators, he was ignorant of the levels of interaction and information exchange between federal agencies, and did not know if such a request by the FBI was unusual. He said at the time he wrote the memo, he felt there may have been a suspicious connection between the CIA, the Contras and the Blandon organization. This was due to Listers statements, revelations in the press concerning the connection between the CIA and the Contras, and the information provided by informants (mentioned in the warrant operations plan that Blandon was a Contra sympathizer and might be funneling drug proceeds to the rebels in Nicaragua). He felt federal agencies were involved in the investigation and were poised to assume control of it through O.C.D.E.T.F. He did not believe it was the proper responsibility of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department to investigate the activities of the CIA, and the function would rest with the federal government. Huffman further stated these notes were obviously preparatory to a formal memo which he believes he submitted to his unit commander, Captain Robert Wilber. He strongly believes he advised his superiors of all the circumstances of the Blandon investigation. When asked if he felt Sheriffs Department personnel had failed to take appropriate action in the matter of the Blandon investigation, he stated, ''Just the opposite. Just the opposite. I think it was dealt with appropriately. We handed this case off to the federal investigative agencies. We went after these people. I have seen the news release where the Sheriffs Department, here recently in the news, the Sheriffs Department had this information, and it all disappeared. That is not correct. That is not correct. We went as far as we could as Deputy Sheriffs. We handed this thing off to federal agencies to further investigate it. We did our job. Our department, I think, stands as a stalwart to support the community, even though we knew Contras were involved [sic] we went after them, and we went into other Counties to get them. We took on federal agencies with us to investigate it. There was no cover-up, there was no hiding, and I get angry when I read these news media reports because of that. If there was a CIA cover-up we wouldn't have went after them. We went after them because they were drug traffickers. Deputy Sheriffs working the streets don't care about politics in other countries, with our state department stuff, if there is criminal activities we went after them, that was our job and that's what we did. So, excuse me for getting a little loud, but I get angry when I think of the news media and the accusations. Because we went after these people.'' (Refer to HUFFMAN memo dated October 23,1996, Volume 1). Retired Captain Robert Wilber acknowledged he had been told and stated he believed he wrote a memorandum to Chief Oliver Taylor concerning the case, but he wasn't sure. Among some paperwork in his possession, he found original notes Sergeant Huffman prepared regarding the case. Investigators asked him if he recalled Sergeant Huffman telling him about the person in the house stating anything about the C.I.A. Wilber said, ''I don't recall that.'' (Refer WILBER memo dated October 18,1996, Volume 1). Retired Chief Oliver Taylor, who was Chief of the Detective Division where the Narcotics Bureau was assigned, stated he didn't remember anyone telling him about the Contras or the C.I.A. being involved in any warrant. He said, ''I specifically do not remember any case pertaining to Dan Garner ever having a reference or referral to any C.I.A., Contras or any other agency''. He added that he would not be surprised about anything Dan Garner said because he wouldn't believe anything Dan Garner had to say. After reviewing the operational plan, Chief Taylor replied that he didn't remember - seeing it. Investigators showed him the supplementary report written by Deputy Juarez, which he said he never saw before. Chief Taylor told investigators that there was a ''distinct possibility'' that every detail of the search warrant, including the information in Deputy Juarez's report, was reported to him verbally and/or in writing and that he just doesn't remember. Investigators asked him if the statement made by Ron Lister was important to him and he said, ''In and of itself, without any supporting documentation, allegations, reports or anything, absolutely not''. It was not unusual to encounter somebody who says, ''Don't you know who I am?'' ''I have these contacts and I'll have your job''. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON RONALD LISTER: Lister was asked how he had gotten started the security consulting business. He said while he was working for the Laguna Beach Police Department he had ''reluctantly'' accepted a position in the ''crime prevention'' section. This assignment gave him an opportunity to obtain a lot of training in security and led to opportunities in public speaking and commercial security. He met a lot of people in the security business and gradually became very interested in that industry. He eventually left law enforcement to pursue a career as a security consultant. He added, ''But I was still in the drug business, and it's just a matter of record anyway, but from "85 to "89 I used cocaine. It was the worst thing I ever did. Because that shit, you can't use it socially. It'll get you, it'll grab you, and forget it, and you're not yourself. It's horrible.'' In an interview, Lister's ex-wife, Stephanie (Lister) Thomas said Lister drank scotch excessively, and she thought he was using cocaine because he always had a runny nose. She didn't pay attention to where he was, and he didn't pay attention to where she was. He often didn't return pages or telephone messages and sometimes left For days at a time. She said that after a 1987 arrest, which landed him in prison, she had been left with lots of bills. She considered her divorce as ''bitter''. (Refer to STEPHANIE THOMAS memo dated October 24 1996 Volume 1. Lister was asked about his relationship with Scoff Weekly. He said Weekly was a business associate only. Lister was shown a copy of the supplemental report written by former Deputy Juarez. The report stated that prior to the search, Lister told Juarez he had dealings in South America, worked with the CIA, and had friends in Washington who, "Weren't going to like what was going on." The report then states Juarez advised Lister they weren't interested in his business in South America, and Lister responded by saying that he would call ''Mr. Weekly of the CIA'' and report him. Lister denied saying anything about the CIA to deputies during the search. He said the deputies may have obtained Weekly's name from business papers they found during the search, Lister described his reported statements as "ludicrous". He did not believe that there would be anything to be gained by announcing involvement with the CIA during a local agency's narcotics investigation. NOTE: Several Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputies said they heard Lister say that he was affiliated or had some type of association with the CIA. The confidential informant(s) in the original Blandon search warrant said Lister had ''contacts in Washington.'' A.U.S.A. O'Neale's sentencing memorandum contains the following statement, ''Lister does not seem so much the secret agent as, to borrow the phrase, ''the beer-can commando'' (Refer RICKY ROSS; Exhibit T, Item #4.) Listers relationship with Scott Weekly was then discussed. Lister said he was either introduced to Weekly through the security business, or met him at an American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) meeting. He said he still considered Weekly to be a friend. Lister was shown the following two entries on pages six and seven of the handwritten document, and was asked to explain them: ''In mean time I had regular meeting with DIA sub contractor Scott [sic] Weekly. Scott had worked in El Salvador for us. Meeting concern my relationship w/ [sic] the Contra grp. in Cent. Am. At that time I asked him about scramblers syst. I might buy to sell.'' ''Said he could get one for me to sell if I had a customer. Want $10,000 - for it. As he had to share cost w (sic) someone in DIA.'' Lister first explained that ''DIA'' did not refer to the Defense Intelligence Agency. He said he could not immediately remember what he was referring to when he wrote the term ''DIA sub-contractor.'' He said that he often met with Scott Weekly because Weekly was very knowledgeable in the area of commercially available military-related systems. Lister said that he was always careful not to deal in systems which would get him into trouble. He knew Weekly to be a dependable source of information as to which systems were declassified and, hence, legal to sell. Lister told us that he occasionally used Weekly as a consultant. When asked if Weekly was an arms dealer, he seemed to get somewhat upset and stated, ''I can't believe that, that's horrible. I've never known him to be an arms dealer.'' In a later interview Lister stated, ''Hey listen. I know exactly now - you know I thought about it - you know that DIA shit? Okay - that's my abbreviation for ''deals in arms.'' He said Weekly was a subcontractor. Lister said it was his opinion that Weekly could get him things like that, including scramblers. Lister said he wrote abbreviations like DIA because he ''thought it was cute.'' In a third interview, Lister was asked about the hand written notes he put in the ''10 page document,'' wherein he described ''DIA subcontractor as meaning someone who ''Deals In Arms.'' Lister was told that we had contacted and interviewed Weekly who had told us that DIA meant Defense Intelligence Agency. Lister would not change his account of what he said earlier. (That he had never known Weekly to be an arms dealer). He said he ''couldn't comment" on the issue, since he didn't know if Weekly was in fact with the DIA. Lister was asked if he knew what the Defense Intelligence Agency was. He replied, ''I think so.'' He added he had once been in the Army's Central Intelligence Detachment. Listers inability to remember the meaning of ''DIA'' was discussed, as it was clear he quickly recalled virtually every other term on the document. He stated in relation to the term DIA, that could stand for a lot of things, but it doesn't stand for what you're thinking. I have no idea why I wrote that down. It could be, uh, I don't know. If something is not spelled out, what can you say, this was back in 1983. I can't, uh, it's my abbreviation, you see how I abbreviate.'' When we asked if it was possible, because of his Navy Seal background, that Weekly was a sub-contractor for the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lister said, 'Anything's possible.'' Lister was asked what his relationship with Weekly had been as it related to the ''Markon Corporation.'' Lister said he only joined Markon to handle the ''communications area'' of the operation. Lister said Markon was a little company that he dealt with on a part-time basis. Lister said he was a ''Contra'' sympathizer in the 1980's. He seemed reluctant to discuss this subject in depth, but he did say that he was just one among many ''private people'' who supported the Contras in those years. He said, ''But it wasn't like I was doing it for the CIA or anyone else.'' NOTE: In a FBI intelligence report, dated December 9, 1986, from Los Angeles (58A-1588)(RIVRA/WCC-2)(P) to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations "IMMEDIATE", the following information, regarding the purchase of the Barlomento residence by Lister, was found: ''[Information blacked out] asked Lister where funds had come from. DS -CO-Lister replied he was involved in fund raising for Contras or Sandinistas, specific [sic] one unrecalled by [information blacked out] but believed to be Contras. Lister said that specific activity was ''CIA approved.'' (Refer MERCURY NEWS WEBB POSTING, Library dated December 3,1996, Volume 4). Lister stated, ''If you want me to give you an example of how I helped them, there's times when I went to Miami, I sat and I talked to them about security and I showed them a particular type of paint that they could use, that, uh, at that time was a fire retardant, and showed them some type of equipment they could buy that would be good for the field, etcetera, etcetera like that.'' In discussing the Contras, Lister said he was most familiar with the ARDE faction, or the Southern Front, which he said was headed by an individual named Eden Pastora. He said the Northern Front, or FDN was headed by individuals named Colero and Bermudez. He said that the FDN was supported by the CIA, but the U.S. government had disassociated with the ARDE because of Pastora's well known association with drug traffickers. Norwin Meneses and Danilo Blandon, (and Lister, by virtue of his relationship with Blandon), were most closely associated with Pastora and the ARDE. Although both factions were fighting the Sandinistas, and both factions were known as ''Contras'', they had separate methods of funding. Lister believes the CIA was supporting the FDN, and drug money was supporting the ARDE. Lister stated that he was told by Blandon that any drug proceeds which were sent to the Contras, were sent to the ARDE faction. NOTE: This statement would appear to support the concept that the CIA was not affiliated with the ARDE, which was the Contra faction known to be trafficking in drugs for financial support. In recent hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee (November 26, 1996), Eden Pastora testified that the CIA and the U.S. Government had stopped all support to the ARDE by 1984. Robert Owen, aide to Oliver North, was asked in a deposition if he knew of, ''Any support that Pastora and his group was receiving from the United States Government via CIA or (Oliver) North.'' Owen replied, ''No.'' There was a conscientious decision not to support Eden Pastora''. (Refer LIBRARY, DISPOSITION, Volume 4). Lister was anxious to express his opinion about the controversy surrounding the articles published by the San Jose Mercury News. He stated, ''As soon as ''D'' (Danilo Blandon) got himself in trouble, he, uh, found that he could be more valuable if he decided to embellish what really was. So, and I think that's what's got us, you know, here.'' When asked how he first met Danilo Blandon, Lister said that they met through security business dealings in Central America in late 1981 or early 1982. Lister said at that time he knew nothing about narcotics and, ''Could not tell you coke from flour. I had never seen this shit.'' We asked Lister how he felt about allegations in newspapers that Danilo Blandon was the ''Johnny Appleseed of crack cocaine in southern California.'' He answered, ''Absolutely not, absolutely not. First of all let me tell you this; Danilo and I literally spent, there was a time in "84, "83, we spent a month in Miami looking for some coke. Does that sound like we had a constant flow? We went to this person, we went to that person looking for a hook-up, because he and Meneses had went apart. They separated, went their own ways.'' NOTE: According to reports, Blandon and Meneses parted company around 1982. Lister said that he and Blandon were actually dealing drugs from 1982 through 1989. He saw in newspapers that Blandon was alleging that they were dealing 100 kilos of cocaine per week. He said, ''I saw that about once every two or three months at the most. Let's just say once a month. It was the slickest deal you've ever-seen. I've got my immunity on this so I don't mind telling you. I'd go to ''D's'' house, take my Mercedes over there, put three U-haul boxes which will cover about 100 keys (kilos)''about 33 per box plus one you'd squeeze in, in the trunk, go over to south L.A. I would wait at Jack-in-the-Box, he spends about ten minutes, goes over to see, uh, his buddy, who at that time I didn't know his name, later it turns out to be, I guess, ''Freeway Rick''. And then he comes back about 15 minutes later and he's got 2.9 million dollars in the trunk of my car. He keeps a quarter of a million and gives me probably 25 thousand dollars.'' NOTE: 2.9 million dollars divided by 100 kilos means that Ricky Ross had paid $29,000 per kilo -- cash on delivery. Ricky Ross recalled this purchase and said the cocaine cost him more than the $2.9 million he gave Blandon. He said Blandon allowed him to pay the rest of the money at a later date. News articles were discussed in which Lister was alleged to have introduced automatic weapons such as the ''Uzi'' into south-central Los Angeles. Lister responded, ''Oh, that was Maxine Waters. That was Maxine Waters. That was her quote. It's being made-up. O.K., let me tell you something. I can honestly say, and I'll say it before God, before a Grand Jury, before anybody. I never sold a weapon, a gun in this country, to anybody.'' He did say he provided guns to Blandon, and didn't know what Blandon did with them. NOTE: Ricky Ross said that Danilo Blandon supplied him with numerous guns. Ross added the firearms included Uzi fully automatic carbines, Thompson sub-machine guns, a 50 caliber tripod mounted machine gun and numerous assorted pistols and revolvers in various calibers. Ross said he didn't know where Blandon got the guns. He said in recent court testimony Blandon said his source for the weapons had been Ronald Lister. (Refer to ROSS memo dated December 3,1996, Volume #1). Lister was asked if he had crashed a plane in Costa Rica. He stated, ''Get out of here! I can't even fly. I don't even speak Spanish. Didn't you read the paper?'' He also stated that to his knowledge, Danilo Blandon did not own an airplane. When asked who Blandon's cocaine suppliers were, Lister said that he had a variety of sources. Lister did say, however, that Blandon had, ''A young guy out of Columbia who was doing some heavy duty stuff back in those days, and the guy was going to school at, uh ... Los Angeles Valley College.'' Lister was asked about the times he had transported money to Florida for Danilo Blandon. He said he transported money on more than one occasion. He said he would either go alone or with ''one of the Latin guys'' that were Blandon's people. Lister said he was the only white person who was in the Blandon group. Lister said he took a white friend of his named ''Dave Rocco'' along on the trips on occasion. Lister said he moved between 50-60 million dollars for Blandon. Lister said he did not think Rocco ever became an informant because Rocco had ''never got in trouble.'' He said Rocco was not in the cocaine business and didn't know anyone in the business. Lister said he took Rocco on some money trips, ''and that was it.'' Lister was asked if he was ever with the CIA or if he ever helped the CIA with any of their operations. He stated, ''No, not knowingly.'' We asked him if he was ever with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and he stated, ''Not knowingly.'' Lister explained that he and Blandon "were in the dope business.'' The Contra rebellion was going on in Nicaragua, and he said that Blandon, ''Had a real passion for Pastora because he was a good friend of his.'' He went on to say, ''During those years ''D'' (Blandon) gave him (Pastora) money. How much he gave him, I don't know. But we always talked it up, and I Would always tell people to support the Contras, at least, if nothing else, with their thoughts and politically in this country. Like that, that was the relationship. But we were straight-up dope dealers. Nobody worked for the government.'' Lister made it clear that he kept the money he made from dope dealing for himself, to support his life-style. He considered his contribution to the Contras to be the knowledge he would occasionally impart to them concerning security. Lister was asked if he had ever told anyone at anytime that he had any kind of CIA backing or connections of any kind. Lister said he did not remember ever making statements like that, but said that people he worked with out of the United States commonly drew the conclusion he was working with or for the CIA. He said that when they would ask, he would merely smile and said, ''if they can draw a conclusion from that, fine.'' Lister was asked if he had ever told anyone that he had dealt kilos of cocaine with or for the CIA. He replied, ''Jesus Christ, absolutely not. Not in a million years.'' Lister added that it sounded like something that would have come from a debriefing of Danilo Blandon. He then said, ''It's probably fucking Dale Downing or one of those idiots.'' Lister said that Downing had been his business connection for a time. NOTE: During an undercover operation, Special Agent Frank Fernandez heard Lister explain how the CIA used to transport multi-kilos of cocaine from Cali, Colombia, and costa Rica to the United States. (Refer RICKY ROSS, URDA CASE dated June 4,1991, Exhibit T, Item #3, Volume 3). Lister was shown a copy of the ''Pyramid International Security Consultants, Incorporated'' document, which was a proposal to the military of El Salvador for a headquarters security system in 1982 (Refer to Exhibit G, Volume 2). This document was among other papers seized during the search of Lister's residence on October 27, 1986. Those papers were later released to his attorney, Mr. Heneghen. Lister was asked if any of the papers seized from his residence were CIA documents, and he emphatically stated, ''No.'' He went on to say that the Pyramid International document was, ''A proposal to the current government in El Salvador to implement programs to assist them in different types of security operations, countermeasures type operations, uh, dealing with the type of problems they had. In other words, just a kind of a whole proposal, it's a shotgun approach. "Look, let us sell you this, let us sell you this equipment, you need this equipment because these are your problems down there.'' We did a whole study down there.'' He said the government in El Salvador did not accept his proposal. NOTE: Investigators received a copy of a security proposal from Pyramid International Security Consultants, Inc., dated October 18, 1982, from retired Lieutenant Dale Fossey. The proposal, written in Spanish, was translated by Maria Jalili of LASD ICIB. (Refer PYRAMIDISPANISH, Exhibit #F, Volume 2). Lister was asked about Chris Moore, who had commented for reporters on work he had previously done for Lister in Central America. Lister said that Moore ''Was a good kid'' what had gone down to El Salvador to take pictures of poorly planned and constructed security work at a port on the ''southwest tip of El Salvador.'' NOTE: In an interview with investigators, Moore said Lister told him that he was, ''Running guns to the Freedom Fighters in Central America.'' Moore added Lister was prone to overstatement whenever he discussed any of his business dealings. He said he did not believe 9/10 of what Lister told him. Moore concluded by saying he didn't believe that Lister was a CIA operative. (Refer to MOORE memo dated November 4,1996, Volume 1). Lister said that in 1986, Deputy Juarez and the others thought they had found important information when they recovered the ''10 page document.'' He said all they found were his own recollections and opinions, and things he had written down from his own head. He said there was not official government paperwork found or present at his home - and no conspiracy involved. Lister was shown the multi-page handwritten document which was also seized from his residence on October 27, 1986. (Refer to Exhibit E, Volume 2). A copy of this document had been obtained from Retired LASD Lieutenant Dale Fossey. Lister immediately identified the handwriting on the document as being his. We asked him to tell us all he could about the document. He began to review the document page by page, then suddenly stated, ''Oh, I know what this is. You know what this is, oh, yeah, well, guess what. Oh you know what this is, this was used by me in 1985 in a Grand Jury investigation on my relationship with Soviet agents. Crazy, huh?'' He went on to say that he had sold an FBI ''scrambler system'' to somebody overseas and the FBI had investigated only to find out that the equipment was declassified and available on the open market. NOTE: Per retired FBI Agent Rich Smith, Lister was attempting to sell classified electronic equipment to KGB agents. After an investigation including a ''sting'' operation, Smith concluded that Lister attempting activities- which were ''completely illegal and clearly in violation of the United States national security''. It was ultimately determined that prosecution would be unsuccessful as Lister could not produce the equipment he was attempting to sell to the KGB. (Refer to LISTER TESTIMONY memo dated November 20,1996, Memo #26, Volume 2). There were many references to communications and weapons systems, such as: ''missels [sic], torpados [sic], napalm bombs, "varo' night vision equipment, ang 39B - 250 (1 000), SB 86-field telephone-200 (1000). Lister explained what each item was, and stated that he was properly licensed at that time to legally sell all the listed equipment. Lister was asked to explain the following terms which were used in relation to a flow chart which is in the document. He described them as follows: L/C: Letter of credit. Source: The buyer of the product, (munitions, equipment, etc.). %EUC: End-Use Certificate. (According to Lister, this certificate must be approved by ''Munitions Control,'' [part of the State Department in Washington D.C.], in the U.S. The certificate indicates which country is buying and using the munitions). Comm.%: Commercial license. H.K.: Hong Kong. P.O.: Purchase order. DSP5: A form that the State Department requires to transfer munitions controlled equipment. Lister said the chart depicted the "legitimate and legal way" to sell munitions to other countries in 1983. He said there are additional steps and that the process today is more complicated than in the 1980's. Investigators faxed a copy of the ''flow chart'' to United States Customs Service Special Agent James P. McShane who is assigned to the Office of the Defense Trade Controls. He reviewed the chart and made the following assumptions: ''The chart could represent a legitimate transaction that would occur if a State Department license had been obtained. Questionable areas of the chart are ''%EUC''- in my opinion this could indicate that an End Use Certification was being purchased and therefore, the transaction illegal. Usually, in the legitimate transaction, an EUC is provided without cost. The fact that the are [sic] providing a percentage covered in the UC (Letter of Credit) for the EUC indicates (to me) that it is being purchased.'' ''The section which indicates that the funds were to flow through Hong Kong to the ''X- Country'' indicates some sort of attempt to disguise the true destination of the export. Funds would normally flow direct country to country. It is possible that the articles exported were to take the same path as Letters of Credit [sic] are usually quite specific. Were this transaction taking place today, I would assume that there was to be a diversion to either Iran or the PRC (Peoples Republic of China), neither of which can get licenses for exported munition.'' (Refer to McSHANE LETTER dated December 2, 1996, memo 31, Volume 2). Concerning the diagram written on the "10 page document,'' Lister confirmed that a Swiss Bank did not necessarily have to be in Switzerland. He said Swiss banks in the US could be used for sales out of country - he said that you also needed to have approval from the State Department and the EUC paperwork. Lister was asked who Bill Nelson, Ron Brown, Steve Kissler, Tebor Suppan, Roberto D’Abuisson, and Ray Prendes were. These names were on the handwritten document prepared by Lister, and appear on the third page of that document. Lister said that Bill Nelson was an ''A.S.I.S. member,'' which he said stands for the American Society for Industrial Security. Lister said that Nelson was the security director for the Fleur Corporation. Lister said that Ron Brown was a retired Navy Captain. He said he could not recall who ''Steve Kissler' was. He suggested that we ''run him in the file,'' to find out who he was. Lister said he thought Kissler was a business man who might have wanted to buy something from him at one time. He said Tebor Suppan was his ''buddy in Europe'' who was a ''big businessman.'' Lister said that Roberto D’Abuisson was the head of the ''Arena'' political party in El Salvador. He said D’Abuisson was the founder of the party. He said the Arena party was the opposite of the Christian Democrats which was the main party in the government in the early 1980's. Lister said that Ray Prendes was the General Secretary of the Christian Democrats. He said the position was something akin to ''Foley the House Speaker'' in our government. Lister said he gave the above names to the F.B.I. Agents Rich Smith and Dave Cook. He said the names ''came up in his business'' for some reason and he wanted to have the names in writing when he went before the Grand Jury. Lister said he was not a suspect, but only a witness when he testified before the Grand Jury. He said the government thought he had been ''hooked into the Soviets,'' which he denied. Lister said the people listed were only ''business people.'' Lister was asked what he knew about a single page document (Exhibit 1 -PAGE NOTE; Volume 2) attached to the 10-page document, which listed the names and addresses of several people, including their drivers license numbers and descriptions. He said he did not recognize the page. He said it was not his writing, and he did not recognize the names. He did say it looked like information which law enforcement would gather on the subjects of an investigation. Lister was asked about the motion filed by Harland Braun which claimed that Lister’s document listed the names of CIA operatives in Iran. Lister laughed. He said we had seen the document and asked if we had seen anything that showed someone to be a CIA operative. Lister said that there were no ''CIA operatives'' listed in the document. Lister said that the one female who he had identified as ''our girl in '' I ... was, ''A crazy Iranian who was trying to make some money.'' He said that to his knowledge, no one listed in his document were ''CIA operatives.'' Mention was made of the fact that the local paper ''OC Weekly'' had printed a story titled, ''Was Ron Lister a Spook?'' Lister laughed and said, ''Ron Lister was not - guaranteed.'' Lister was asked if he knew Jerry Guzzetta. He said the name ''rang a bell,'' but he couldn't ''place the face.'' Lister said he knew a number of Bell Police Officers when he had worked at Maywood. He gave the names, ''Woolridge - Richardson -Mike Kite - Edwards - a whole bunch of people on Bell.'' Lister added that, had Guzzetta been with Bell Police in the 1970's, he would have known him. Lister was asked who "Bill Downing" was. He said that Downing had been with Mundy Security Company. Lister said Downing had come to him and tried to work cocaine deals with him. He said Downing had ''rode the tide,'' but when it had come time to ''get in trouble,'' Downing turned in ''his best friend,'' as well as some other people who ended up in ''the Big House.'' Lister said Downing also tried to set him up in a police sting in 1988. Lister described Downing as being a ''Greek looking'' guy with thinning hair. Lister was asked if he knew an FBI Agent by the name of Aukland and a DEA Agent by the name of Schreftner. Lister said the names did not ''ring a bell.'' When told that the agents had once worked the Riverside area, Lister said, ''Oh sure, they followed me around for a week if that was the same group - To no avail - I picked them up on the first day of the surveillance.'' Lister said this had occurred back in 1986, before the October 1986 warrant. He thought it had been approximately in July or August (summer) of that year. Lister said he easily ''burned'' the surveillance by the people who had been following him. He confirmed that this was before he burned the surveillance of him in October. Lister was asked if he had ever been an informant for any federal agency. He replied, "I sure was. Up with the DEA right down there when I cooperated and debriefed with them," in 1990. He said he cooperated with the FBI in Concord in 1988 after he had been arrested by Costa Mesa Police. Lister said during that time he helped the FBI arrest a Central American named Nelson Magana. He said Magana was from El Salvador. Lister was asked if he had ever been an informant prior to 1988. He replied, ''No - hell no,'' He said he had not been an informant in the 1986 case against Blandon. Lister said it wouldn't have made sense for him to have been an informant and then. burned the surveillance and told Blandon. Lister was asked if he knew some Nicaragua drug dealers known as the Torres Brothers. Lister said Meneses stopped dealing drugs in 1983. He said after that, Blandon had to go ''looking around'' for cocaine to buy. He recalled meeting the Torres Brothers in Glendale, but that Blandon and the Torres' spoke Spanish, so he just sat with them, not knowing what was said. Lister said he has never met ''Freeway'' Rick Ross. He knew about the statements from Ross wherein he claimed Blandon once offered him a grenade launcher. He said he did not know if the statement was true. He said he did not know where Blandon would have come across a grenade launcher. NOTE: Ross confirmed he never met Lister. Lister was asked about statements made by Bell Police Officer Tom McReynolds, wherein McReynolds said he had heard Lister was out of the police business and was into security work for a Sheik. Lister said, ''I was, but that was while I was a cop.'' He said he worked for the Sheik in this country during the time frame of 1979 through 1982. Lister was asked additional questions about the 1985 Grand Jury incident. Lister said, ''That's all classified, incidentally.'' He also said that the government would never give us a ''straight answered about what had occurred. When asked why the information was classified, Lister said, ''I can't answer that for you.'' He explained he would have to speculate to know why it was classified, and did not know for sure. Lister denied he became an informant for the government as a result of the 1985 case. Lister was asked about the equipment involved. He said, ''I can't get into that stuff with you guys.'' He said the incident dealt with phone scramblers. He did not know why phone scramblers would be classified, and that it was ''beyond him'' if they were. Lister said he had never heard of Gary Webb until Webb had written him ''Those two crazy letters while I was in the Big house.'' Lister said the letters from Webb indicated that Webb wanted to interview him. Lister said he had not kept the letters, but knew that they had arrived after Blandon had become an informant for the government. Due to the fact that Lister is mentioned in federal court paperwork concerning a 1993 money laundering case, U.S. vs. Urda, Lister was asked about an incident involving a narcotics suspect named Urda. He said Urda had been working as an accountant, doing some ''independent work.'' Lister said Urda was doing work for him as a C.P.A. When Urda came under suspicion by the government. Lister said that the government thought he and Urda were involved in something illegal. He thought that since Urda was working for him (in what he described as legitimate business), the government might have thought Lister was involved in the illegal business Urda was in. He said nothing ever came of the case as far as he was concerned, but said that Urda had gotten involved in a federal undercover investigation termed ''OPERATION GREEN ICE.'' He said Urda ultimately pled guilty to federal charges behind the incident. (Refer to RICKY ROSS, Urda case, Exhibit T, Item #3, Volume 3). Lister said it was alleged that he and Urda had taken some money from dope dealers. Lister said that in 1986 or 1987, he took one million dollars back from a dope dealer in Los Angeles and returned it to the owners of the money (Lister and his partner). Lister explained that the dope dealer had sold a multi-kilo deal to approximately 10 people, of which he (Lister) said he was one, and then claimed that the plane had crashed. Lister said he t6ok the money back from the dealers. Lister related an incident wherein he talked to attorney Bradley Brunon after the cocaine dealers threatened to kill him after he took the money from them. He said he told Brunon that he could kill 10 Colombian hit men in the parking lot, adding, ''and who's gonna give a fuck?'' He said Brunon turned to him and said, ''You're not afraid of these people, are you?'' Lister said he replied, ''Hell no, I'm not afraid of them.'' Lister said he did not know the Colombians who wanted to kill him, but said they were from the Cali group. Lister said he ''burned all his bridges'' when he got debriefed by the government. He said he is not doing anything illegal at this time. He said the government offered him protection, but he declined it. He signed a waiver declining the protection. Lister denied telling anyone that he would use Scott Weekly for protection, as a 1991 DEA investigative report indicates that he was reputed to have said. (Refer to RICKY ROSS, Urda case, Exhibit T, Item #3, Volume 3). Lister was asked about some photographs that were reported in the Urda case as having been taken by counter surveillance people of his. Lister laughed and said he had someone take the pictures for him. On paperwork completed when seized materials were released to Lister's attorney, there were six passports listed. Lister was asked about these passports. He did not appear to recall them at all at first. He eventually accounted for the passports by saying that he had three personal passports, two of which were expired. He believes the other passports belonged to his wife, his daughter, and his wife's uncle. Lister was asked if he felt that there was any connection between the fact that he previously had some cocaine customers in the San Jose area, and the San Jose Mercury News breaking the CIA-Contra-Cocaine story. He said he had no idea if there was a valid connection, but he did have one major customer up in that area. He said he knew the customer as ''Dr. Herdck'', and supposedly this doctor had the contract for the emergency room at Carmel Hospital. Lister said he would ''pop him 20 at a time'', (sell him 20 kilos at a time). His contact in San Jose was an African-American dope dealer named Angel Geronimo. Geronimo was connected with dope dealers in Altadena such as Eirader Browning and Doc Holliday. Geronimo contacted a guy named "Rick" who worked at ''Century Stereo'' in San Jose. Rick could call Dr. Herrick directly to set up deals. Additionally, Dr. Herrick had a ''Lieutenant'' by the name of Debbie to assist him. In summary, there are several points which illustrate Lister’s view of the allegations made by the San Jose Mercury News: Blandon and Lister were drug traffickers. They were in the drug business for personal financial gain, and were not working for the CIA or any other government agency. Lister said he was simultaneously attempting to establish a legal business in the international sales of munitions and equipment. Blandon apparently sent a limited amount of his drug money to the ARDE, which was headed by his friend Eden Pastora, and was a southern faction of the Contras. According to Lister, ARDE was not funded by the CIA. Blandon is embellishing the facts in an attempt to make himself seem more important as an informant for the U.S. Government. This ''relationship'' with the government keeps him out of jail, provides financial benefits, and affords him protection. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON DAVID SCOTT WEEKLY: David ''Scott'' Weekly was interviewed as part of this investigation. Mr. Weekly was, asked if he minded being asked some questions. He replied, "It depends on what the scope of the questions would be." Mr. Weekly was told that if he did not want to answer a particular question, all he had to do was say so. Weekly then stated, ''The premise that I sat down and was a connection with the CIA to undermine East Los Angeles [sic] with drugs is so incredibly ridiculous, it doesn't even bear discussion - and there is a major political war in a very small pond going on over it, and frankly, I don't want to get involved in a political war. I've been there -- I've done that - I got my brains fucked out once before, and I'm not going to do it again.'' Weekly said he was referring to his federal conviction involving the case when he was arrested for carrying C-4 plastic explosives on board an airplane. Weekly said that the Los Angeles Times articles have arrived, ''with great regularity,'' at his doorstep and fax machine – from people who ''think this is a big hoot.'' Weekly said he meant friends of his, adding that if he was in their place, he would probably be doing the same thing to them. Weekly said he had made it a point his whole life to, ''just hammer these bastards,'' (drug dealers), ''and to think that I had anything to do with it just fries my ass.'' Weekly acknowledged that he knew Ronald Lister. He could not recall how long he had known him. He was asked if they had met in the military. At first Weekly said no, but then added, ''Well, it depends on who's service -- and for what.'' He then added, ''I hate to do this to you - and I went over this with my P.O. (probation officer) - One of the things that we need to sort of - you and I - if we are going to do this - is to be very rifle-shot about where we're going with the questions. Things like, 'was I ever in the CIA,'' is not going to work -- thing's like, ''was I Joe Smith's CIA contact,'' that works -- because: that's an easy yes or no without being ridiculous about the scope of the thing.'' Weekly agreed that it would be ridiculous for us to ask him if he had ever been in the CIA, because there would be no way for us to confirm his statement. He also agreed that if he was in the CIA he wouldn't tell us anyway. Weekly was asked if he considered Ron Lister to be a friend of his. He replied, ''Well he's an acquaintance.'' Weekly could not recall the last time he saw Lister. Weekly then asked, ''What's the meat of this thing? Ask me the meat questions. Skip the potatoes. You know I know Ron.'' Weekly was asked if he knew what Lister had been accused of in 1986. He replied, ''Something about drugs. Cocaine.'' When asked how he came to know about the incident, Weekly replied that he didn't recall if Lister had told him about it or if he had heard about it from another source. When asked if he had been involved with Lister ''in the drug thing,'' he replied, ''Absolutely, unequivocally not. N-O-T. Not. No. No way - no how.'' Weekly said he knew of Danilo Blandon, but he had never met him. Weekly said that the, ''Commodity he (Blandon) dealt in is despicable.'' Weekly said he had been in the military. He said he was now out of the service. Weekly was asked if he had been a Navy Seal. He replied, ''It depends on the definition.'' He then added, ''Technically the answer is yes.'' Weekly would not expand on the point. Weekly was asked when he got out of military. He replied, ''Technically in 1970.'' He said he had joined the service in 1965. Weekly was asked about the Los Angeles Times Story, wherein it was noted that Weekly had been an explosives expert. He replied, ''Well, that was a specialty.'' Weekly was asked if he had ever talked to Lister about his encounter with the Sheriffs Department in 1986. He said he could not recall any conversations with Lister. He said he wasn't saying there hadn't been any conversations, but couldn't recall any specifically. Weekly went on to say that Lister had been, ''Everywhere - all the time -- doing everything to everybody. Half of what he said is just sort of smiles and say ''okay'' - pat 'em on the back. ''Weekly added, ''He's a great salesman. Somebody should hire him. Sell sand to the Arabs.'' Due to the fact that in a previous interview, Ronald Listers ex-wife had mentioned that Lister had met Weekly through having a ''Crypto'' clearance, Weekly was asked if he knew what a "Crypto" Clearance was. After a long pause he replied, "yes." He then asked why we wanted to know. He was told that we had been told that a Crypto clearance was the highest clearance that could be obtained in the United States. Weekly laughed and said, "Good try." When pressed, Weekly said a Crypto clearance was akin to ''times past,'' when people in the DEA were ''cowboys'' who said things like, ''if I tell ya'' I gotta kill ya''. He described it as being ''nonsense.'' Weekly said that Crypto clearance sounded great, but that it wasn't ''ethereal.'' Weekly said he ''heard'' that there were higher clearances than Crypto, Secret, and Top Secret. When asked what would be higher, Weekly replied, ''Let's pick one out of the air - "S.l.'- Special Intelligence - that is ethereal.'' Weekly was asked if he knew what the number NS - 6995532 was. After a long pause, Weekly replied, ''I'm not going to answer that.'' Weekly was advised that the number was on his RAPS (Record of Arrest and Prosecution) sheet and we didn't know what it meant. Weekly asked, ''Did I do something horrible?'' He was told that the number appeared in conjunction with a federal arrest sheet. He replied, ''Let's just say that - let me go back to the very beginning here - I am not here to be adversarial with you. And I want you to know that. And I also want you to know - I didn't have anything to do with any of this crap. Consequently, there are other places you're going that really - as far as I'm concerned -- in truth of fact - have nothing to do with what's going on with the Sheriffs Department or East Los Angeles [sic].'' Weekly was asked if he knew what the DIA is. After a pause he replied, ''yes.'' He was then asked if he knew what a DIA subcontractor was. He replied, ''Well, I know - yes and no - Yes if you're talking about one thing, and no if You're - you could be talking about a million other things that start with the letters DIA.'' Weekly was then asked to assume that the letters DIA meant ''Defense Intelligence Agency.'' Weekly said, ''I know who they are.'' He said that in the case where DIA meant Defense Intelligence Agency, a DIA subcontractor could mean ''several'' things. He said that there are, ''A couple of levels'' of DIA subcontractors. He added, ''One DIA subcontractor, if we're talking about the Defense Intelligence Agency, would be a vendor. Someone who sold either into the DIA, around the DIA, or access to purchase power.'' Weekly was asked what items would be dealt by a DIA subcontractor (vendor). He said, ''Everything from paper, pencils, radios, whatever it is those guys deal with.'' Weekly said the other level of DIA subcontractor would be a ''Black operative. Of which they (DIA) have very few.'' Weekly was asked if he read any of the San Jose Mercury News stories on this topic. He replied, ''Parts of it. I got so fucking mad at it that I quit reading it.'' He said he read parts of the Los Angeles Times stories as well. Weekly acknowledged that there were, ''Several of them (Navy Seals), from what I understand, that were working down there in and out of Nicaragua, some for Somoza, some for the idiots that followed.'' NOTE: Investigators queried the Defense Intelligence Agency as to whether Ronald Lister and David Scott Weekly had a "relationship" with their agency. A letter was received, dated November 26, 1996, from Gerald W. Craig of the DIA, which stated, ''They had no information indicating either individual had any affiliation with this agency in any capacity.'' They wrote, ''The Defense Clearance and Investigation Index reflected a 1968 Naval Criminal Investigative Service file number, D812457, related to Weekly.'' (Refer to MISCELLANEOUS DOCUMENTS, DIA Letter dated November 26, 1996, Exhibit #Q, Item #14, Volume 2). Weekly was asked if he knew how to fly an airplane. He said that he did. When asked if he had ever crashed in a plane, he replied, ''Be very specific.'' He was asked if he had ever crashed an airplane in Costa Rica. He said that he had not. He said he had not heard about a plane crash in Costa Rica. Weekly later said that he had never been in a plane crash that had anything to do with the subjects we discussed in this interview. Weekly was asked if he would tell us whether or not he knew people whose names we would give him. He replied, ''Maybe. But I won't lie to you.'' He said he did not know who Steve Kissler, Tebor Suppan, or Bill Nelson were. Weekly was asked if he knew the difference between the FDN and the ARDE. He said he was aware of the difference between the two. He said that the FDN was, ''Big and well supported,'' while the ARDE was not. He said the ARDE had more ''legend status,'' while the FDN did not. He said the FDN was, ''Politically extremely well connected,'' while the ARDE was not. Weekly was asked if one outfit was supported by the United States and CIA while the other one was not. Weekly replied, ''In the very loose definition, yeah, but technically no. Because they were supported and both not supported. It really depends on what side of the fence you were on and whose political backyard you were in.'' Weekly said that the Southern Front or ARDE were, ''The poor boys who didn't get much help from anybody.'' Weekly agreed that Eden Pastora was one of the leaders of the ARDE. Weekly said he did not know how Pastora financed the ARDE. Weekly asked if this information had a ''direct impact'' on the Sheriff. He was told about the allegations that had surfaced in the press recently. Weekly responded by saying, ''Have you stopped to think about - do you know how absurd this is? I mean think about this - think about this -- that the CIA sat down with somebody and decided to sell dope and undermine south central Los Angeles - it is so incredible, it's better than Star Trek. It's a better story because it is so ridiculous.'' Weekly said he did not know that Ronald Lister had been questioned before a federal grand jury in 1985 behind allegations that Lister had some ties to Eastern Block countries. Weekly was told that in old documentation from that period, he (Weekly) had been identified as being a DIA subcontractor. Weekly laughed- and said, ''Okay.'' He then said, ''Let me put it this way - there is not one ounce of love lost between the DIA and me. It is even more aggressive than that. It's beyond the flashpoint between me and they. It's a non-subject - that's as much as I'm going to say about it. As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't piss on them if their face was on fire.'' Weekly was asked if he knew Eden Pastora or had ever met him. He replied, ''I can't talk about that.'' He said he did not do any sales business with Pastora. Weekly added, ''I never met him personally, let's put it that way.'' Weekly referred to the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings in 1986. He said that since the Committee decided that, ''Nobody knows anybody and nobody did anything. Hell, if they decided, that's got to be the way it is.'' Weekly said he could not believe that anyone would believe the allegations that had recently surfaced. Weekly was told that his name had come up in 1986 when Ron Lister had gotten detained during the search of his home. Weekly was told that he had been described as being Lister's ''contact in Washington.'' Weekly was asked if he had been Listers contact during that time. He replied, ''Be very specific.'' He was then asked if he had ever been Listers contact between Lister and other people in the federal government. Weekly said he had not. Weekly was asked if he had been Lister's contact when Lister had been buying munitions or if Lister came to him for technical advice. Weekly said that there had been some times when he had told Lister, ''Things that were stupid and things that he could make money at and not get in trouble -- yes.'' Weekly agreed that it appeared Lister was going out of his way to make sure he wouldn't get in trouble with his dealings in this area. Weekly added that Lister had been, ''fairly careful about that.'' Weekly said Lister would not have had access to any ''classified'' material. He also said Lister would not have access to ''classified'' material through him (Weekly). Weekly said that the CIA had been quoted in the paper recently, stating that no written contract ever existed between himself and the CIA. He said the statement was true. Weekly said he was not, ''real wild'' about talking to us. He said he did not want to continue talking about the issues, and that he could have easily ''stonewalled'' us by refusing to talk. He said he ''had no choice,'' however, since he knew in the end he would have to cooperate in one way or another. He said he could be contacted via his Probation Officer if we needed to talk to him again in the future. Weekly was asked if he had been to Vietnam. He replied that he had. When asked if he had been in the Navy at the time he said yes. When asked if he had been a Seal at the time, he replied, ''Technically, no, at that time. And that's not something that's relevant to what we're doing.'' Weekly was asked if Lister had ever complained to him about any money being stolen by some deputies. Weekly laughed and said that he had not. Weekly said he did not know whether or not Lister had ever been in the CIA or DIA. Weekly said if Lister had told someone he (Lister) was with the CIA or DIA, he would seriously doubt his credibility. (Refer to WEEKLY memo dated November 12, 1996). INTERVIEWS NOT CONDUCTED: During the course of our investigation, some Departmental personnel, who are no longer employed by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, either refused to be interviewed or were unable to be located. If deemed necessary, these individuals should be subpoenaed and interviewed to see if they have information pertinent to the investigation: Allen, Kenneth Refused Belmontes, Arthur Unable to locate Clark, Robert Refused Gordon, Thomas Refused Gray, Jack ''Jake'' Refused Jamison, Edward Did not return calls Rodela, Frank Did not return calls Stover, Joseph Out of country/Did not return calls Deputy Roy Chester was killed in 1988 in the line of duty, along with six other law enforcement officers, during a drug interdiction mission near the Mexican border. Deputy Chester also participated in the Blandon search warrant operation. INFORMATION REGARDING PRE-BLANDON INVESTIGATIVE ACTIVITIES: Investigators conducting this inquiry discovered information on a Bell Police Department narcotics investigation in which officers apparently allowed quantities of cocaine to be delivered into the southcentral Los Angeles area without interdiction. As mentioned earlier in this summary, in the summer of 1986, a narcotics task force was formed consisting of Jerry Guzzetta the Bell Police Department, Karl Knudsen the Internal Revenue Service, Fred Ghio of the United States Customs Service, and Susan Bryant Deason and Curt Hazell of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The goal of the task force was to work major narcotic traffickers from information being received from Confidential Informants developed during an earlier narcotics investigation. Former Bell Police Officer Jerry Guzzetta was designated to handle the CRI(S) and to control both their activities and flow of information. It was believed by many that these informants were so well entrenched in higher levels of cocaine trafficking that their cooperation in narcotics investigation would be unparalleled. According to interviews with many of the personnel assigned to the task force, problems quickly developed involving control of the informants. It was perceived by many that Officer Guzzetta was incapable of controlling the information and activities of these individuals. IRS Agent Kad Knudsen said in an interview on November 13, 1996 that he had previously worked narcotics cases with Guzzetta without any problems.. However after these informants came into the ''picture'', Guzzetta began to ''go crazy'', and behave in ''unusual'' and ''illogical" ways. Knudsen believed Guzzetta began to inappropriately socialize with the informants, and was unfairly controlling the flow of information from them to the task force. He seemed to be more interested in being a ''super-star'' than a ''team player''. Knudsen remembered Guzzetta telling him that he, (Guzzetta), had gone to Las Vegas with the informants to ''party'' and gamble, and he was suspicious of the large amount of money that Guzzetta was spending. According to Knudsen, Guzzetta completely mishandled the informants. They were very large, intelligent and intimidating men, and Knudsen believed that they were controlling Guzzetta and using him as a means of ''protection'' for their drug trafficking. Knudsen also said it became obvious the informants knew too much about the task force's plans and tactics and were manipulating Guzzetta to their own advantage. (Refer to KNUDSEN memo dated November 14,1996). U.S. Customs Special Agent Fred Ghio said in an interview on November 18, 1996 that in his opinion Guzzetta got inappropriately close to the confidential informants. (Refer to GHIO memo dated November 18,1996). The CRI(S) stated in an November 14, 1996 interview that they felt very close to Guzzetta. In fact they attended his fathers funeral in 1986 out of respect for Guzzetta. (Refer to CONFIDENTIAL memo dated November 18,1996, Volume 1). On November 20, 1996, Guzzetta was questioned about this incident. He admitted lying to DDA Susan Bryant-Deason. He said that Bryant-Deason ordered him to bring the CI's to her office for a meeting, but when he attempted to find the Cl's they did not answer his calls or pages. He went to the meeting without the Cl's and told Bryant-Deason that he thought she meant the CI's were to be ''on-call''. Guzzetta explained that he lied because he was concerned that Bryant-Deason would question his ability to control the CI's when they didn't show up. He said that four days later the CI's attended a meeting with Bryant-Deason, and explained that they had not answered calls because they were attending to their ill father. (Refer to GUZZETTA memo dated November 21, 1986, Volume 1). In November 1986, Guzzetta was promoted to sergeant, and reassigned to patrol duties. As such, he supposedly would no longer have any association with the task force or the informants. However, it became apparent Guzzetta was resisting attempts to separate himself from the CRI(s). Bell Police Detective Dennis Tavernelli stated in a November 15, 1996; interview that Guzzetta would don a plain jacket over his uniform, take an unmarked car, and meet the informants at a local motel. Tavernelli said he became uncomfortable with the informants because Guzzetta would allow them to come to the meetings armed. He recalled one occasion during a meeting where the informants removed their jackets and were wearing .45 caliber automatics in shoulder holsters. (Refer to TAVERNELLI memo dated November 18,1996, Volume 1). NOTE: In a telephone call with former Deputy John Hurtado said he did not know Guzzetta very well but heard rumors that he was ''live''. Hurtado explained the term ''live'' was used to describe officers who stole money from narcotics traffickers. (Refer HURTADO #3 dated November 25,1996, Volume 1). In an interview on November 20, 1996, Guzzetta said the CRI(S) told him that they were set up to mule 30 kilos of cocaine from Danilo Blandon to ''Freeway Rick'' very soon. Guzzetta went to Bryant-Deason's office to discuss the situation. He stated that when he got to her office, he saw that she had just finished meeting with Sheriffs Sergeant Bob Sobel, (supervisor of the ''Freeway Rick Task Force''), as Sobel was still in her office. He met with Bryant-Deason and D.D.A. Curt Hazell at which time Bryant-Deason told him (Guzzetta) to allow the deal to go forward, but not to arrest Freeway Rick, since the ''Freeway Rick Task Force'' was already working him. Guzzetta went on to say that Bryant-Deason told him this in the presence of Hazell, and additionally told him to let the money be delivered back to Blandon so that I.R.S. Agent Karl Knudsen could assemble a tax evasion case. Guzzetta said they monitored the deal and photographed the cocaine prior to the delivery, and photographed the money prior it's delivery back to Blandon. According to Guzzetta, the Cl's were paid $10,000.00 for their delivery and they were allowed to keep the money. Guzzetta described the purpose of the operation as a method of establishing the credibility of the Cl's and establishing facts for subsequent search warrants and arrests. He further stated that it was his understanding that his main function was as a conduit of information and intelligence. (Refer to GUZZETTA memo dated November 21, 1996, Volume 1). NOTE: In an interview with Deputy District Attorney Curt Hazell on November 20, 1996, he told investigators that he had, ''absolutely no recollection'' of any such meeting taking place. He also said it was policy to never ''let dope go'' into the neighborhoods. Hazell added, ''Never in our careers would we ever let this happen.'' Mr. Hazell called investigators on November 2, 1996, and informed them that he had spoken with Susan Bryant-Deason (now a Superior Court judge). According to Hazell, Judge Bryant-Deason ''Laughed'' when he asked her about Guzzetta's claims, and said she would never allow a deal to be completed wherein kilos of cocaine were allowed to be let go. Deason also told Hazell that she doubted such a meeting (as described by Guzzetta) ever took place. According to Hazell, Judge Bryant-Deason related that she recalled an incident wherein Guzzetta had been part of an unauthorized delivery of cocaine involving the Confidential Informant(s). She said this had taken place before an agreement had been signed by the District Attorney's office and the lnformant(s). Deason told Hazell that Guzzetta had come to her later and apologized about the incident. (Refer to MEMO #24, Volume 2). Bell Police Detective McReynolds said in an interview on November 14, 1996 that he recalled one occasion that the CRI(S) had delivered cocaine to black drug dealers. He said he and other officers had seen the cocaine prior to delivery, and photographed it. Apparently the CRI(S) met up with the dealers, and returned with duffle bags full of money. McReynolds said he did not know what happened to the cocaine, but thought another narco team may have followed it and ''lost it''. (Refer to McREYNOLDS memo dated November 20,1996, Volume 1). IRS Agent Karl Knudsen stated on November 13, 1996, he remembered several occasions in which the informants were allowed to move cocaine into south central Los Angeles while the task force was conducting a surveillance to monitor the narcotics, and the money which it generated. The purpose was to locate and arrest major street dealers, and simultaneously trace the money as it moved back to the Colombian source. These operations were very unsuccessful, and on several occasions the task force lost track of large quantities of cocaine and money. (Refer to KNUDSEN memo dated November 14,1996). U.S. Customs Agent Fred Ghio wrote the following in an August 19, 1986, Activity Report: ''The reliability of the Cl has been substantiated. Under the control of Det. Guzzetta, Bell P.D., the Cl has picked up and delivered 40 kilos of cocaine and collected and delivered $720,000 at the direction of, RODRIGUEZ and RAMOS.'' (Refer to ACTIVITY LOG, Volume 3). In ''Project Sahara'' Detective Guzzetta wrote: ''As of 8/22/86, Detective Guzzetta, Detective McReynolds, have observed the movement of monies totaling $750,000, $230,000, $130,000, $150,000 respectively, which have been moved by informants and picked-up from the black market area.'' There is no mention in the document as to about the outcome of the drugs delivered. (Refer to PROJECT SAHARA, Volume 2). Officer Tom McReynolds said, despite the above entry, he does not remember any of the four reported movements of money by the informants. (Refer to McREYNOLDS memo dated November 20,1996, Volume 1). In a November 15, 1996, interview, Bell Detective Tavernelli said he recalled on two occasions he met Guzzetta, McReynolds, and the informants somewhere in the City of Gardena. He said both times the informants left with Guzzetta and McReynolds and returned with a large bags of currency. Tavernelli said the money was photographed and allowed to be taken away by the informants. He was not told what happened to the money. Tavernelli said he estimated the informants drove off each time with over $200,000 in cash. (Refer to TAVERNELLI memo dated November 18, 1996, Volume 1). The CRI(S) stated on one occasion they were allowed by Guzzetta to make an unmonitored delivery of twenty kilos of cocaine to Ricky Ross in order to establish their reliability. They money received from Ross was eventually delivered by the informants to the Colombian cocaine suppliers. The CRI(S) believed the money delivery was surfeited by the task force in order to identify the Colombian. However the cocaine was simply delivered to Ross without any surveillance or attempt to recover it. (Refer to CONFIDENTIAL memo dated November 18,1996, Volume 1). |