Montana Drug Smuggling And FBI Complicity
There was more to the Top Gun Ranch than Matthews realized. The ranch had been owned by a major drug trafficker and aide to drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. It was in an isolated area close to the Canadian border. Further, Canada has a less hostile attitude toward drugs than the United States.
The mainstream media has given virtually no publicity to the drugs coming from Canada into the Montana area, despite many reports of these activities and the duplicity of local and state law-enforcement personnel, political figures, and U.S. agencies.
Montana had been the home of some well-known crime figures, including Alfred J. Luciano, Sr., a nephew to crime-figure “Lucky” Luciano and Joseph Bonano.
Canadian Border Problems
Surveillance by U.S. agencies along the Canadian border is a fraction of what exists along the southern borders. Less than 300 Border Patrol agents are assigned to the Canadian border that is over 3000 miles long. In contrast, the United States reportedly has over 7,000 agents assigned to the U.S.-Mexico border (Seattle Times March 18, 1999). Deputy Chief Border Patrol Agent Eugene David, testifying in March 1999 before a House Subcommittee on Immigration, stated, “Over the last 10 years, we have experienced large increases in organized crime along the border.” (The Border Patrol is a division of the Immigration and Naturalization Service that is under the Department of Justice.)
Montana‘s Version of Arkansas
In the 1980s, hundreds of reports were made by local residents about drug trafficking at Mena Airport in Arkansas, followed by state and federal “law enforcement” cover-ups. Many non-government investigative reports have been made about the drug trafficking from Canada into Montana, the criminal involvement of local and state law enforcement personnel and politicians, and the cover-ups by state and federal officials. This chapter focuses briefly on these matters in Montana.
The greatest number of reports of Montana drug trafficking came from an area known as the Hi-Line where the Burlington Northern Railroad runs parallel to the Montana-Canadian border. People reported planes landing at small airstrips, drugs being off-loaded, and the involvement of government personnel in the criminal activities.
People who made reports of drug trafficking activities to county, state, or federal law enforcement offices found their reports were either ignored, or, they became the subjects of government retaliation. As in Arkansas, many people who sought to expose the political involvement in drugs ended up dead, often falsely reported as suicides.
Carry Drugs for County Attorney or Suffer the Consequences
During an interview by private investigator Darby Hinz with Clinton Mullen, owner of Mullen Trucking Company, Mullen stated that County Attorney Phillip Carter in Sidney, Montana wanted to use his trucking company to haul drugs. When Mullen refused, the local bank, First United Bank, withdrew funding for his operation, and his credit rating in town deteriorated.
A Few Courageous People Spoke Out
Several courageous people attempted to expose the involvement of Montana personnel in the drug trafficking. One was James Douglas Alexander, a respected Montana attorney. Alexander helped found the Rutherford Institute of Montana; he was active in Republican politics, and he was Pat Buchanan’s 1992-campaign chairman in Montana.
Alexander discovered drug trafficking connected to local and state personnel in 1989 while defending another attorney from Sidney, Thomas Halvorson. Halvorson had been accused of wiretapping the county attorney’s office—during which time he recorded telephone conversations showing drug trafficking activities involving county and police personnel. After the wiretaps were discovered, the Commission on Legal Practices sought to revoke Halvorson’s license to practice law in Montana.
While defending Halvorson, Alexander discovered additional evidence that the deputy county attorney in Sidney and a police detective were involved in drug trafficking. In the August 1996 edition of Strategic Investment Jack Wheeler wrote:
Mena in Montana ? The Republicans may have their own drug smuggling scandal, similar to Bill Clinton‘s in Mena, Arkansas. Due to all the bad publicity, the drug cartels moving coke from Mexico through Mena may have relocated a substantial part of their operation to Montana, bringing the stuff in from Canada. Corruption among state officials is reported to be widespread, reaching right into the governor’s office. DEA sources have hinted that Governor Marc Racicot or some of his tope aides might be indicted. Trouble for the Republicans is that Racicot is one of them.
Infamous Barry Seal Operating in Montana
Information obtained by Alexander and other investigators indicated that Barry Seal, famous for his Arkansas drug trafficking as part of covert government operations, was setting up a drug smuggling operation from Canada into Montana. One reason was that Arkansas and other areas along the southern coast of the United States were becoming so highly patrolled that it was difficult to bring drugs into the United States. Information obtained by Alexander, investigator Daniel Hopsicker and others indicate that Seal was flying drugs into Montana from Canada in 1985. One of Seal’s government handlers was reportedly DEA agent Ernst Jacobson.
Alexander wrote that it is believed former U.S. Attorney Pete Dunbar was involved with the government-associated drug trafficking that included Barry Seal. (Dunbar now has a private investigation firm in Billings, Montana.) Alexander said that while he was providing information to the FBI about the County Prosecutor Phillip Carter, Carter was fraudulent stating to Alexander’s law clients that Alexander was a convicted felon.
Journalist Describing His
Findings of Montana Drug Trafficking
Adding to Alexander’s knowledge of drug trafficking and political involvement was journalist Mike Perry of Chinook who started telling Alexander in 1992 of the political involvement in drug trafficking that he had uncovered. Perry told Alexander of drug aircraft landing at Montana airstrips near Havre, Chinook, and Glasgow, which Alexander explained:
I began communicating with a journalist in Chinook named Mike Perry. Perry gave a whole litany of similar, parallel events that were occurring: airplanes coming in, people unloading cocaine from airplanes, people getting beat up or killed. It always led back to members of law enforcement. In Chinook, four police officers had lost their jobs because they had tracked airplanes coming into the airport, or other drug-related corruption involving the county attorney and other individuals in Chinook. I began to work with Mike Perry at that point and we’ve worked together, with other journalists, to this day.
Mike Roe, a high-profile investigator, started working with us. He is a private investigator from Phoenix with a good reputation. He was very well known, a high-profile investigator. We felt like it was better to bring in someone from out-of-state to help us. We hoped, through his contacts with the FBI in Salt Lake City and with other federal agencies in Phoenix, we could get something done. By the time he came in, in 1992, we began to realize that the drugs were a very large-scale operation. Roe began to get in contact with residents in Chinook and Sidney, and there was a whole flood of people coming forward, asking for something to be done, begging us to look into the drugs and murders that appeared to trail back, again, to law enforcement personnel.
Pressure and threats from local police and sheriff department personnel, and political pressures, forced Perry to give up the battle and leave the state.
A written report dated February 2, 1994 was prepared by respected private investigator Michael W. Roe of Roe Investigations in Phoenix, Arizona. His 12-page report named people and places involved in Montana drug trafficking, the many murders of people threatening to expose the relationship between drug crimes and city and county personnel, including law-enforcement people, and the names of the many witnesses providing key information.
Under “general allegations,” the Roe report stated:
- Bill Larson, president of the Chinook Branch of the Bank of Montana, was allegedly involved in laundering of drug money through that branch of the Bank of Montana; that he was involved in the transportation of narcotics; that he was involved in a conspiracy relating to the murder of two people in Chinook (Richard Cowen and Bernadette Doiron, on or about January 21, 1987) in which two people were convicted: Lloyd James Wilson and Robert Henry Bone.
- Don Ranstrom, Blaine County Attorney, was reportedly involved in the importation, use and sale of narcotics, in the murders of Cowen and Doiron, and there is a belief that he ordered the murders.
- The firing of Chinook police chief Bernie Brost by the mayor after Brost started investigating alleged drug activities by Bank of Montana banker Bill Larson, Blaine County Attorney Dan Ranstrom, Chinook police officer Alan Delk, and others.
- Former county attorney and now city attorney Phillip Carter was involved in drug trafficking, threats against people who would not cooperate in hauling drugs, including trucking firm owner Clint Mullen. After Mullen refused Carter’s reported request to haul drugs, Mullen started receiving retaliation from law enforcement personnel, and the local bank—whose attorney was Carter—suddenly disrupted Mullen’s financial activities, and he was physically beaten by friends of the city attorney.
Destroying Anyone Who Exposes Their Corruption
The Roe report referred to former Circle city attorney Arnie Hove who sought to expose the political involvement in drug trafficking and then was subjected to political harassment and physical violence. The report said, “Mr. Hove became very concerned for his personal safety and feared for his and his children’s lives. Mr. Hove expressed growing fear for his safety.”
Hove was formerly attorney for the city of Circle, Montana, served as appeals court judge at the Fort Peck Reservation, and was prosecutor for McCone. He was a rising player in Republican politics in Eastern Montana. But when he started exposing political involvement in drug trafficking, state and federal retaliation followed. Alexander described what Hove went through in retaliation for exposing the FBI involvement in Montana drug matters:
Hove came under heavy attack during this period of time—from the fall of 1996 to early 1999. Law enforcement was everywhere investigating Hove for all kinds of criminal activity. It was horrible how they did him, but it was also similar to what they did to me [as a standard practice done to many other government personnel, including me]. Only Hinz has videotapes of witnesses who were offered money to testify falsely against Hove!
Charges were filed against Hove, and he underwent a period of intense harassment. In a not uncommon tactic to discredit anyone exposing government misconduct the charges were followed by an order committing him to Warm Springs State Hospital. He was forcibly injected with drugs which caused substantial brain damage. This effectively silenced another of the very few people with sufficient backbone and character to speak out when outrage is required.
Convenient Death of Key Witnesses
The Roe report, and information obtained from Alexander, described the “convenient” deaths of key people. These included banker Bob Kropp of Farmer’s State Bank in Conrad, who was killed shortly before he was to testify about drug money laundering. The vice president of Whitefish Mountain Bank at White Fish, John Ochenrider, died March 31, 1983, two weeks before he was to testify in a money laundering trial with codefendant Alfred Luciano.
Ochenrider’ s death was reportedly due to a fall suffered while mountain climbing—an activity that the banker had never done before. Montana Highway Patrolman Michael Remz was killed as he started investigating aircraft landing on small airstrips near the towns of Libby and Eureka. A journalist who was investigating Luciano‘s drug smuggling activities died in a fire in Eureka. Many others were killed who had information about the drug trafficking.
Whitefish Mountain Bank Drug-Money-Laundering
The Mountain Bank of Whitefish, in Whitefish, Montana, close to the Top Gun Ranch, was reportedly involved in money laundering. One of its directors, Alfred Luciano, a nephew of Lucky Luciano, was indicted in 1993 at Missoula, Montana, for money laundering, along with his son, Frank. Charges were dropped against Al Luciano, and his son Frank fled the United States while waiting for trial and is reportedly living in the Caribbean area. After Al Luciano complained of being under 24-hour surveillance by the FBI, he was killed in a suspicious car crash.
The Whitefish Mountain Bank had been a money-laundering center for the drug operation. Its former president, Werner Schreiber, was sent to prison along with four other bank officers. Alexander Martin confirmed this to Chinook Opinions editor Mike Perry. Whitefish Bank was a money-laundering center for Iran-Contra folks. Buster Schreiber was an attorney and friend of Marc Racicot, the governor.
Before indictments were handed down, one of the grand jury members, Walter Hammermeister, heard testimony from FINCEN audit specialist “that $150 million had been laundered through the tiny bank.” Schreiber and five other bank officers were charged with embezzling over $6 million from the bank (which was their fee for handling the drug money). Hammermeister was a Pondera County Sheriff who had been trained at the FBI academy, and considered very reputable.
Pleading Guilty to Bank Fraud Under Suspicious Conditions
In December 1989, John Earl Petersen pled guilty to bank fraud, money laundering and conspiracy charges stemming from the financial collapse of Whitefish Mountain Bank. District Judge Fred Van Sickle sentenced Peterson to 12 years in federal prison. Federal prosecutors were suspiciously protective of Peterson, going overboard in referring to Peterson’s cooperation (no other charges were filed, and no other resulting cooperation could be seen). AUSA John Griffith of Washington, D.C. said a motion would be shortly filed to reduce Petersen’s sentence. This sequence suggested that Petersen pled guilty to keep sensitive information from leaking out, and told that he would be released after attention was diverted from his case. That is the way it usually works.
Report Corruption in Government—
Suffer the Consequences!
Alexander said that nearly everyone who came forward with information on drug trafficking experienced harassment from police or other government agencies. Alexander said county prosecutor Phillip Carter started filing false charges against some of the witnesses, or threatened to do so. These threats against witnesses were federal crimes for which the FBI has responsibility to prosecute.
Explaining the Latest Drug Routes Into the United States
Chip Tatum, formerly undercover government operative involved in the Montana operations, explained the flight plan for drugs going from Colombia into Montana via Canada:
An aircraft departs Colombia, flies to the Bahamas to rest and refuel, and then, when a weather window opens, continue the flight to Nova Scotia or Quebec. Again, rest and refuel. Then continue to a US-Canadian border landing strip. An associate of Huxtable owned a ranch south of Wayburn, Canada, which provided a perfect landing zone. From Wayburn, the cocaine could easily be flown into Montana or North Dakota via small aircraft.
Tatum further explained the involvement of FBI Special Agent Terry Nelson and U.S.-Canadian contract undercover operative Mike Huxtable :
Nelson not only recruits the law enforcement officials and politicians he needs, he can also supply data from the law enforcement arena such as the DEA NADDIS computer, Customs TECS II, EPIC, FBI, and others involved in ongoing investigations. Nelson then provides this intelligence to his drug contacts. This helps obstruct any investigation and diffuse potential problems. Terry Nelson, a senior agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, continues to provide his valuable services to drug cartels and others who will pay his fee, out of his FBI office in southern Florida. [Tatum said that Huxtable was a Canadian smuggler who did undercover work for U.S. and Canadian agencies and organized crime groups.]
Tatum said that the same far offshore northern route along the east coast of the United States to Canada is also done along the west coast of the United States, entering Canada in British Columbia. He also advised that drug-laden planes from Canada were also landing in North Dakota and Wyoming.
Colombian Radar Warns Drug Pilots of Plane Intercepts
Tatum described how Colombian drug cartels installed radar on Swan Island in the Caribbean that monitors aircraft movements to avoid interdiction of their aircraft heading for the United States. He gave an example: A drug pilot flying drugs for the cartels is monitored on radar controlled by the drug cartels as it proceeds from Colombia northward. If radar shows their plane was being followed, the pilot is advised by radio to immediately return, thereby avoiding interdiction by U.S. aircraft.
Obstruction of Justice by Montana Crime Agency and Governor
Alexander said that he and a group of other concerned people provided the Montana Crime Investigation Bureau (MCIB) with several dozen witness statements showing official involvement in drug trafficking, and that the bureau engaged in a cover-up.
These statements included witnesses seeing planes landing and drugs being unloaded, people who were at gatherings where drugs were present. Despite this evidence, the state agency, under control of attorney general and then governor Marc Racicot, came back and said they could find no criminal conduct. People reported drug planes landing at small airstrips, at the Glasgow Air Force Base, and on the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Indian reservations.
FBI Avoiding Evidence from Witnesses
Despite the fact that Alexander and others provided the FBI with dozens of witness statements showing government involvement in drug trafficking, none of the witnesses were contacted by the FBI to determine the accuracy of their information. Alexander explained that he obtained over 70 witness statements in the Sidney, Montana, area from 1990 to 1995 from people who had observed the drugs being unloaded from aircraft and who observed or knew about the political involvement of city, county and state personnel in the drug trafficking.
Justice Department Obstruction of Justice Tactics
Alexander explained that by 1993-1994, the FBI had shifted the investigation to its Glasgow, Montana office and assigned it to FBI Special Agent Scott Cruse. He said: “Cruse apparently did almost no investigation at all. Certainly he did not talk to anyone in Chinook. There were bank employees in Chinook who were ready to come forward and provide documentation and testimony about money laundering there, and other things related to the drug operation. These witnesses were ignored.”
Other Evidence of Major Crimes Ignored by Justice Department
A February 2, 1994 letter to the FBI at Great Falls, Montana, by Michael W. Roe of ROE Investigations listed 12 pages of details about drug trafficking involving state and local police and prosecutors. The FBI did not act on this report. Justice Department and other government agents and informants fabricate charges against the men and women of the United States while they simultaneously protect major drug traffickers, protect local, state and federal government personnel involved in drug trafficking.
FBI Offering Favors to Witnesses
An article in the Billings Outpost (July 29, 1998) was titled, “FBI Accused of Offering Favors to Witnesses.” The article stated in part:
In one instance, Mr. Parker said after the arraignment, a juvenile has given a videotaped statement that he was offered his release from jail and his GED if he would testify against Mr. Hove. (Hove was an attorney exposing official involvement in Montana drug trafficking. He was charged by DOJ prosecutors with sexual offense upon a woman who continued to call him after the charges were filed.)
Justice Department Tactics to Silence Alexander
Alexander explained how Justice Department prosecutors sought to silence him, using his humanitarian efforts relating to adoption of war orphans to retaliate and halt his exposure of government-involved drug trafficking. He explained:
I went to Europe in January of 1990 with a former AP writer from Helena, Garry Moes. I went over there and began to do some of the first adoptions in Romania by U.S. Citizens. I also helped coordinate humanitarian efforts over there. I became good friends with members of the new leadership that emerged after the revolution. I began to do business over there, and had a very successful international adoption practice. I did the first Romanian adoptions after the revolution. I helped a state senator in Romania to establish the Romanian adoption laws. I worked with the leadership of the state government there. What we did was transfer the approval from Bucharest to the state governments in Transylvania and to the other state governments so they could approve adoptions.
I was charged with wire fraud related to some adoptions, which I later did in Macedonia. The family back in the states was denied an adoption there because they had falsified their mental health records. They had a history of mental illness. They got over there and disclosed that, and they were rejected. They came back to the United States and said adoptions could not be done in Macedonia.
By that time, the political forces in Montana zeroed in on me and used these false allegations to take my license. They have continued to use this to discredit me, and have brought federal felony charges against me. They are claiming that adoptions were not allowed in Macedonia. But we have reports from the State Department showing that there were 12 adoptions that year, and we were the first to attempt to do it. Obviously the state has no case, and as this thing unwinds, I think the answers to why I was targeted and this was done to me, and why Arnie Hove was arrested, are going to become quite apparent.
Alexander explained how he learned about Montana drug trafficking and heavy involvement of local, state, and federal personnel. In a March 13, 1999, letter Alexander wrote:
We began to gather reports involving drug smuggling into Sidney-Chinook-Havre in the early ‘90s. We had more than 70 statements involving witnesses to local law enforcement and prosecutors being involved in drug dealings. There are dozens and dozens and dozens of affidavits! When I came out publicly against the drugs, the attacks on me began in earnest. I was driven out of the practice of law and Montana. After I left the state, I was contacted by Orlin Grabbe, then others who I’ve since been advised were linked to NSA and others.
Mike Roe met with FBI agents in Great Falls for seven hours at one time. I was interviewed in Helena in 1994 for four hours. Neither meeting resulted in 302’s [FBI report of witness statements]. The agent who was assigned to my case, Scott Cruse, also was assigned to investigate the drug allegations. Chip Tatum identified Cruse as one of the Montana FBI agents involved in drug trafficking with the Nelson operation. Cruse later gave false testimony to the Great Falls grand jury to get me indicted on the wire fraud charges. By amazing coincidence, another investigator, Walter Hammermeister was on the grand jury and was able to confront Cruse. He was then booted off the grand jury! The attorney prosecuting the case was Carl Rostad.
[Reported Canadian Indictment of FBI Agent]
FBI Agent Terry Nelson was indicted in Regina, Saskatchewan Provincial Court. Blain County Sheriff Pete Paulsen; journalist Paul Richardson, then of Indian County Today, and myself, confirmed this from the RCMP in Regina. The investigator I spoke to there was Detective Leach. Tatum released more details of the flights and identified the pilots, the articles were later published under pseudonyms “Spook Houses in Glasgow,” and “Donna Does Glasgow,” by Hi-Line Mary. The investigator also identified Mike Huxtable, a Canadian National, as one of the persons indicted.
[U.S. Pressuring Canadians to Cover up Drug Smuggling]
The U.S. government pressured the Canadians to seal the file and it is sealed at present. Nelson is a dual citizen: Canadian-US and has a fancy home in Montreal. The smuggling operation also involved Chapeau Airstrip in Quebec.
Further explaining political involvement in drugs, Alexander wrote in an April 1, 1999, letter:
I came to realize that Sidney attorney, Phillip Carter, was involved in drug trafficking while acting as an investigator for Maurice Colbey, an investigator for the Montana Commission On Practice appointed in the Halvorson matter. I came upon documents indicating that then Montana Attorney General Marc Racicot and FBI Special Agent Scott Cruse were actively deflecting drug allegations against Philip Carter.
Sidney attorney Tom Halvorson had allegedly wire tapped the Richland County Attorney’s office and had obtained tape recordings of drug conversations involving then Deputy County Attorney Carter and a police detective, David Schetting discussing a large scale drug operation.
I was approached by Maurice Colbey to obtain affidavits from witnesses and did do so. The affidavits of Jeff Curry confirmed that Halvorson had solicited him to use a parabolic microphone to obtain tape-recorded conversations from the office of Phillip Carter.
The FBI via agent Cruse immediately focused on Halvorson. I still have the letter from Carter to Scott Cruse, which stated that Marc Racicot approved of the investigation! Halvorson was sanctioned by the Montana Supreme Court, but the complaint regarding the wire-taping allegation was dropped. Arnie Hove testified against attorney Halvorson in that proceeding, saying that Halvorson was making statements concerning Carter dealing drugs! Years later, Hove himself was targeted for saying the same thing.
It was only later, after I was forced out of Montana, that I found [Montana Governor] Marc Racicot was involved in the drug scheme. There are wire-fund-transfers from Banque Suisse to the Norwest Bank of Helena branch accounts directly to Marc Racicot, his family, and assistants. Those funds came from the Fabio Ochoa operation! Darby Hinz had confirmed from an independent source flights into Montana for the Fabio Ochoa organization.
Substituting One Sham Charge for Another Sham Charge
Charges arising out of Alexander’s adoption activities were dropped, and then other sham charges were filed against him on August 25, 1998, by U.S. Attorney Carl Rostad in Great Falls, Montana. Rostad fraudulently charged Alexander with obstruction of justice and interstate communication of threats or violence.
Walter Hammermeister, a grand jury member, charged that Rostad and FBI Special Agent Cruse gave perjured testimony to the grand jury in order to obtain the indictment. Alexander had raised as one of his defenses that the charges filed against him were due to his reporting of state and local government involvement in drug trafficking. His attorney, Mark Werner of the law firm, Public Defenders of Montana, undermined Alexander’s defenses by telling the grand jurors that Alexander’s charges about drug trafficking were delusional. (Alexander repeatedly tried to dismiss Werner whose conduct was aiding and abetting the drug traffickers and undermining his client’s defenses.)
The Department of Justice filed an in Limine motion on February 22, 1999, seeking a court order barring Alexander from raising that defense, which would keep any information concerning the Montana drug trafficking and government involvement out of the record. The Justice Department’s motion stated in part:
For example, the obstruction count of the indictment itself is predicated on evidence that proves the defendant attempted to have his then counsel, Mark Werner, pursue an unsubstantiated claim that his prosecution was politically motivated and retaliatory to his efforts to reveal drug trafficking in the Sidney, Montana area.
This was bizarre. The Department of Justice attorneys were calling Alexander’s attempts to report the drug trafficking an obstruction of justice. Something like this was done to me by U.S. Attorney David Levi in Sacramento, California, when I sought to report high-level criminal activities. Levi and federal judges held me in criminal contempt of court for trying to report to a federal judge (under Title 18 USC Section 4) the criminal misconduct that I and several government agents and deep-cover agents discovered. It was one of hundreds of examples of DOJ attorneys covering up and obstructing justice while simultaneously filing sham charges against those courageous individuals who sought to report the criminal activities! (Further details are found in the third editions of Unfriendly Skies and Defrauding America.)
Charging U.S. Attorney Seycora with Criminal Acts
A September 18, 1997, letter by private investigator Darby Hinz charged Assistant U.S. Attorney Seykora with making serious false statements and omissions in Seykora’s September 15, 1997, internal memorandum. The Hinz letter charged Seykora with “a sophisticated attempt to suppress witnesses in Sidney and Chinook who may have information related to official misconduct.” The Hinz letter referred to an investigation that began in the spring of 1991. It referred to an alleged request by County Attorney Phillip Carter to Mullen, requesting Mullen to haul drugs from Canada into Montana and other points in the United States, and the misuse of prosecutor power to retaliate against Mullen when he refused to engage in the criminal activities.
Private Investigator Reveals Official Involvement in Drugs
In an April 18, 1999, motion titled “Ex Parte Motion To File Under Seal,” Alexander filed a motion with an attached affidavit by private investigator Darby Hinz. The affidavit was filed under Title 18 USC Section 4, and addressed the matters of “drug corruption in eastern Montana.” That motion and affidavit stated in part that U.S. Attorney Carl Rostad gave false testimony to a federal grand jury; that Rostad continued to seek an indictment against Alexander after receiving uncontroverted information indicating his innocence; that FBI agents gave false testimony, and refused to contact witnesses willing to give evidence of official involvement in drug trafficking.
He affidavit continued, stating that former Deputy County attorney in Sidney, Phillip N. Carter, had asked Mullen to use his trucking company to haul drugs for Carter ; that an individual residing in Richland County, Montana, purchased illegal drugs from Sidney Detective David Schettine during 1994/1995; that’s attorney Mark Werner stated—contrary to the evidence and while attorney of record for Alexander —that “there was no evidence to support prosecutorial misconduct, police misconduct, malicious prosecution or other issues material to Mr. Alexander’s case.”
Werner, protective of the heavy government involvement in drug trafficking, reportedly stated to a federal grand jury, “Mr. Alexander was delusional based on Mr. Alexander’s concerns expressed to him regarding the allegations of drug trafficking.” Not only was this attorney obstructing justice relating to the widespread drug trafficking, but he was undermining his own client and encouraging the grand jurors to indict his client! (Thirty years of dealing with attorneys makes this arrogant misconduct no surprise.) Werner’s law firm had several conflicts of interest in representing Alexander, one of which was its desire to protect involvement in drug trafficking by county and state personnel.
The affidavit continued, stating that FBI Agent Scott Cruse was under Department of Justice investigation for drug related misconduct; that the investigation targeted Scott Cruse in a Canada to Montana smuggling operation involving Mike Huxtable of Canada, and Miami, Florida FBI Agent Terry Nelson.
Drug Money to Montana Governor Racicot ?
In another section of the affidavit, it stated, “funds were paid into an account at a financial institution in Switzerland, Banque Suisse, by the conspirators to current Montana Governor, Marc Racicot. The payments were made to allow the drug shipments through Montana.” Another section of the affidavit said:
A statement from … pilot J.J. Smith [concerning] drug flights from Canada into northern Montana. The statement corroborates the accounts of Chip Tatum … in part. Smith is currently a federal prisoner having been convicted of participation in a drug smuggling conspiracy, which according to official documents involved the smuggling of 20 tons of cocaine into the United States from Colombia and Venezuela.
Referring to FBI attempts to have witnesses give perjured testimony, the affidavit stated:
Although not presented at trial, three videotape statements from witnesses who claim that FBI agents solicited them to give false information … the solicitation of witnesses to give false testimony by FBI agents is part of a scheme to harass or discredit attorney Arnie Hove. The harassment may be directly linked to Mr. Hove’s cooperation with the internal investigation conducted by the Department of Justice referenced herein.
Controlling the Grand Jury
The affidavit referred to the request of AUSA Carl Rostad to the judge for removal from the grand jury of a juror who was aware of the Justice Department misconduct. (Removal of non-cooperating jurors is another tactic used by Justice Department attorneys to make grand juries rubber-stamps for DOJ indictments.) The affidavit said that attorney Phillip N. Carter of Sidney, Montana, and Donald Ranstrom of Chinook, Montana, were also implicated in the investigation of the smuggling operation.
Hinz ended the motion and affidavit stating: “Based on information and belief, I allege that sealed criminal indictments may now exist in Regina, Saskatchewan Provincial Courts as to individuals Terry Nelson and Mike Huxtable. Such indictments have been confirmed to Montana law enforcement personnel as well as journalists who inquired with the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police ] in Regina [Canada].”
Explaining the Sudden Disappearance of Chip Tatum
In other pages, and in my third edition of Defrauding America, I describe Chip Tatum‘s government-related drug smuggling activities and his sudden disappearance. Alexander explained in an April 3, 1999 letter that in one of the last of over 150 telephone conversations with Tatum, why Tatum was no longer available:
During the last months before Tatum left the United States, he was approached by [FBI Special Agent] Terry Nelson and offered $750,000 to back off the story. Eventually Tatum reached a settlement with the “government” and an agreement to clear up his record. The person who approached Tatum with the $750,000 offer was Nelson’s brother-in-law, Mr. Olson.
Large Numbers of State and Federal Officials Implicated
Montana will surely be more in the news as this drug-smuggling frontier is addressed by more of the media that is willing to report these matters. The heavy involvement of state and federal personnel in obstructing justice in drug-related matters in Montana is one more example of these criminal and subversive activities.
Another Insider With Suspicious Ties To the Drug Problem
Selected by President Bush for a Key Government Position
Evidence surfacing in the Iran-Contra investigation by Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh showed that the senior George Bush was in the loop with drug smugglers. Young George Bush, after becoming president of the United States, appointed Marc Racicot to head the Republican National Committee. He was one of several with questionable ties to the drug problem that was favored by the young George Bush upon becoming president.
Washington Weekly Exposure of Montana Drug Activities
Wesley Phelan’s articles in the Washington Weekly documented interviews with numerous people who reported the Canada-to-Montana drug trafficking and the involvement of key politicians and law enforcement personnel. Phelan interviewed over 20 people who had information about the Canadian-Montana drug operation. In a March 2, 1998, article, Phelan described his contacts with Ron Gold, a former special agent for Army Intelligence, who did numerous interviews confirming what Phelan wrote in his earlier article. Phelan also reported what he learned from other investigators.
In his March 2 article, Phelan described his interview with Legal Advocate Melissa Buckles for the Assiniboine-Sioux tribe on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana. During this interview, she described the many drug airplanes and helicopters landing at night at the remote Indian reservation, the many drug-related killings occurring on the reservation, and her charge that FBI agents in the Glasgow, Montana office were involved with protecting the drug operations. She described the cover-ups by the Billings Bureau of Indian Affairs office, and similar drug activities at other Montana Indian reservations including Fort Belknap. She described a letter Gold sent to FBI Director Louis Freeh on December 15, 1997, and never answered. That letter stated in part:
1. South Florida FBI Agent Terry Nelson is a target of an internal agency investigation involving the drug operation….The drug smuggling operation occurred in flight routes to Nova Scotia and Chapeau Airfield in Quebec; then over to Weyburn, Saskatchewan and down into North Dakota and Montana. The major shipping zones in Montana were Sidney, Chinook, Havre and clandestine airstrips on the Fort Peck Tribal Lands. Alternative routes into Eureka, Libby, Whitefish, and Shelby may also have been used.
3. Corrupt Montana authorities in Chinook, Sidney and the Fort Peck tribal lands coordinated protection of the smuggling operations. A prominent Montana state official received payments into accounts in the Helena Norwest Bank branch in conjunction with the multi-ton shipments of Colombian Cali-cartel heroin and cocaine.
6. FBI agents operating out of the Glasgow office assisted the Nelson smuggling operations and involved Fort Peck tribal police as well as other tribal members in illicit activities.
10. Two Glasgow FBI agents involved in the drug operation likely compromised dozens of investigations on the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap tribal lands. Witnesses are available and have information directly linking the Glasgow FBI agents and other officials to drug related activities and violent civil rights abuses.
In other parts of her letter, she described the many murders of people exposing the drug-related activities, including forty people murdered on one reservation alone. She added, “There are people in Montana who are clearly scared and are begging for help.” Freeh never responded to her letter and none of the witnesses were contacted.
FBI Director Cover-up: What Else Is New!
Buckles wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, making reference to Gold’s letter to Freeh, the failure of the FBI Director to respond, and then gave details of the serious drug smuggling problems and the involvement of Montana and FBI agents in the trafficking. She never received a response.
Coast Guard Intelligence Officer Supported the Findings
Another person interviewed by Washington Weekly investigator Phelan was David Hume, a former police officer and former intelligence officer with the U.S. Coast Guard from 1978 to 1991. Hume confirmed the southbound flow of drugs from Canada into Montana, adding, the drugs from Colombia “go out as far east as Bermuda and then go up to Nova Scotia. Then they would come south and be able to off-load their drugs.” Hume talked about the minimal or lack of radar coverage that permits aircraft to fly undetected from Canada into Montana. He confirmed Weyburn, Saskatchewan, as being a key drug transshipment point. He wrote:
My sources all agree that many state and local officials in Montana, and many agents of the federal government, are involved in one way or another with smuggling drugs into the state. These claims are not new, nor are my sources the only ones making them.
Further provocative information is provided by the following letter:
NORWEST BANK OF HELENA 04-12-99
350 N. Last Chance Gulch
Helene, MT 59601
Phone (406) 447-2000 ext. 2026 Sent via US Mail
Re: Wire Transfer Funds/Norwest Bank of Helena
Dear Mr. Hansen:
I have received information concerning the electronic transfer of funds to the Norwest Bank of Helena from offshore accounts. The funds originate in the Swiss financial institution Banque Swisse and are traced to your branch. My information indicates that the fund may be linked to international drug smuggling and laundering from Canada by a Colombian group linked to Cali/Medellin cartel member Fabio Ochoa. Additionally, the funds may have been illegally in Swiss account/accounts without proper declaration and identification for U.S. tax purposes.
My major source is concerned because of the sensitivity of the matter, and the safety of several of the witnesses could be jeopardized and requests that the matter be referred to federal authorities or investigators outside the State of Montana. My source is prepared to co-operate with the authorities and co-ordinate efforts with other witnesses, provided that they are recognized and protected according to law. It is my understanding that wire fraud transfer records exist which substantiates these claims.
I am prepared to meet with investigators or the appropriate federal agency immediately in regards to the above.
Very Truly yours,
Note: Much more was later discovered about the drug smuggling operation, including the direct involvement of FBI agent Terry Nelson. This information will eventually be added.