When the CIA, or other US government agencies, are accused of being involved in drug trafficking people are quick to call it a conspiracy theory. Often, the accusation is justified. Some recent incidences defy the usual explanations. They are not cases where the cause is several “rotten apples,” but some deep-rooted corruption at work.
The National Transportation and Safety Board, NTSB, is still conducting continuing research into a jet crash in Mexico in the autumn of 2007. The jet was carrying 3.7 tons of powdered coke and is just one of several cases that point to deep corruption within the American bureaucracy.
The jet, a Gulfstream II, that crashed was one aircraft that was affiliated with an ongoing US covert operation called Mayan Jaguar. Recently released court records reveal that the jet was just one of tens of aircraft sold to Latin American cartel organizations. Narco News reported recently that several of the jets sold through Mayan Jaguar have been used to move cocaine into Europe, via Africa. The aircraft were being observed and traced by US law enforcement and intelligent agencies that were responsible for Mayan Jaguar.
Various media stories and European investigations have linked the downed Gulfstream II jet through its tail number, N987SA. The documents reveal the aircraft was used by the CIA for flights from the US, Europe and Guantanamo Bay between 2001 and 2005. The plane was bought and sold several times during August 2007, and September 24, 2007, the day it crashed on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula carrying the cocaine cargo.
Two companies connected with those sales have been taking part in federal court proceedings. Their depositions indicate the jet was part of a unique Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) covert operation in Latin America. The program was terminated when the Gulfstream crashed.
The Department of Homeland Security is investigating two ICE agents who were connected to Mayan Jaguar. The investigation is focusing on alleged unlawful activity related to the operation. Multiple law-enforcement spokesman told Narco News that a mission like Mayan Jaguar would have required approval from several high-level officials. Officials from ICE and DHS would have been required to sign off on the operation as well as officials from the American Department of Justice and the State Department.
The systematic failure of Mayan Jaguar enjoying any law-enforcement success, despite the oversight from upper-level management, has led American investigators to decide that the actual purpose of the program was not to gather evidence sufficient to make arrests. The officials suggest that Mayan Jaguar was a overt CIA operation that used many front companies in an effort to infiltrate narco-trafficking organizations. Their goal? Gather intelligence and recruit individuals that would advance US interests.
Court documents reveal that the strategy used in Mayan Jaguar was to put transponders on planes sold to Latin American smuggling operations through an ICE front company. The company has been identified in the documents as being Donna Blue Aircraft Inc in Boca Raton, Florida.
As the investigation and court cases continue, more information may be forthcoming about how the CIA helped set up, run and finance narco-trafficking operations.
By Jerry Nelson