in the broadening scandal kicked off by two CIA and Dept of Homeland
Security-linked airplanes busted in Mexico with multi-ton loads of cocaine
point to a level of criminality and turpitude well beyond the corruption
at U.S. Customs in South Florida to which officials have already admitted.
A central figure in the Customs corruption
probe is Guyanese pilot Michael Francis Brassington, the
MadCowMorningNews has learned, a name
familiar to readers who have followed the unfolding and still largely untold
story of the activities and associates of the terrorist hijackers while in
Michael Brassington was
the co-pilot on a drug running Lear jet
(N351WB) caught by DEA agents at Orlando Executive Airport in
July of 2000 carrying 43 pounds of heroin.
The Lear jet’s owner, Wallace J
Hilliard, also owned the Venice FL flight school where, at that
very moment, the two terrorist pilots who crashed airplanes into
the World Trade Center Towers, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, were receiving
Today's $64,000 Question
In the current Customs
scandal Brassington is under suspicion for trafficking drugs, passports,
people, currency, and diamonds into the U.S. through two airports in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida, with the assistance of high-level officials in U.S.
Customs and the FAA.
Brassington’s participation in the rampant Customs corruption in South Florida
raises questions about whether the criminal turpitude of officials there may
have contributed to the breech in American national security which allowed 19
terrorist hijackers, whose identities in some cases were already known to
authorities, to roam freely in the U.S. before the 9/11 attack.
In other words, was a dirty operation engaged
in drug trafficking and weapons smuggling, run with assistance from the highest
levels of the U.S. Government, responsible for creating the opening which
allowed 19 terrorists to murder 3000 people?
The Alphonso Bowe Smuggling Group, LTD.
We first learned of Brassington’s recent
activity from a former Customs Agent, who was able to confirm that Brassington
was the co-pilot when Wally Hilliard’s Lear jet was busted in Orlando.
When Brassington entered the U.S. through
Customs at Fort Lauderdale International Airport on April 6th, 2004, the agent
on duty was a rookie Customs inspector working the night shift at the General
Sanders was the unlucky Inspector
charged with checking Brassington through Customs that night. When he
entered Brassington’s name into his computer, the July 2000 heroin bust
came up on his screen.
Nor was that Brassington's only red flag.
“In the 'active lookout' it
stated Brassington was known for bringing in suspect passengers,” Sanders
“Brassington handed me a manifest for the
flight from Executive Flight Support, which I found out later was
owned by Wally Hilliard, and managed by Afphonso Bowe,” Sanders stated. "So
Brassington apparently still has some kind of financial relationship with
Huffman Aviation flight school owner Wally
Hilliard is the owner of Executive Flight Support FBO (fixed base of operations)
in Nassau. Alphonso Bowe manages the facility for him.
“The charter company Brassington was flying
for is controlled by a family suspected of running an organized drug
ring," said Sanders.
“In the Customs computer system, the
terminology used to describe the criminal organization associated with Executive
Flight Support is the ‘Alfonso Bowe Smuggling Group.’
"Here's my card. Call us when she comes out of the coma."
Other indications that Michael Brassington
might be operating with a wink and a nod' from corrupt government officials can
be found in recent documents.
An “unusual” relationship
between Brassington and U.S. officials is hinted at in the sometimes harsh
an NTSB decision affirming an emergency order of revocation issued
against the pilot in 2005 for a variety of violations,
including a spectacular near-fatal crash at Teeterboro Airport
in New Jersey in February 2003.
The airplane accident for which he was facing
the music was so colorful it led the local evening news that night in New York
Brassington's much-maligned charter company
was flying a Challenger
business jet which overran the runway during an aborted takeoff, ploughed
through the airport fence, and went flying across a busy highway, slamming into
a moving automobile
before coming to rest after crashing into a warehouse.
plane was demolished. Injuries were remarkably few, except for an innocent
civilian driving down the street minding his or her own business…
“One passenger in the car remains in a coma,”
a story about the crash reported dryly, “while lawyers wait in the wings.”
For all this, Brassington's punishment seemed
remarkably light to one NTSB administrator, who put his feelings into a
“My expectation of the Administrator in
pursuing egregious safety violations of this nature is that she would pursue
every violation demonstrated by the evidence. (Yet) for reasons not
explained in the record, (italics ours) the Administrator chose to
allege a violation of the safety check requirement for only the flight
on January 2, 2005.”
The CIA drug plane scandal began when two
American-registered planes with ties to the CIA and the Dept of Homeland
Security were caught in Mexico’s Yucatan, a popular refueling stop between
Colombia and the U.S.
The first, a DC9 airliner (N900SA)
busted carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine, had been painted to impersonate aircraft
from the Dept of Homeland Security.
The Gulfstream II business jet
(N987SA) caught in September
with at least 4 tons (estimates vary) had been used in the CIA’s extraordinary
rendition operation for several years. Prior to that, pilot Greg Smith flew for
both the CIA and DEA in operations in Colombia during the 1990’s, Narco News
reported, and mainstream media sources in Colombia state the Gulfstream was
often seen there.
The scandal mushroomed exponentially last
month when Mexico’s Attorney General announced that the sale of the two drug
running American planes had been part of
a huge 50-plane deal
between Mexico’s dominant Sinaloa cartel, and unnamed sellers.
The Mexican Attorney General’s announcement
diplomatically left the American side of the equation unstated. But if the
Sinaloa Cartel hadn’t purchased the 50 planes from the pages of Trade-a-Plane,
they had, presumably, dealt with as-yet unnamed drug lords in the U.S.
Drug Lord-less U.S. goes it alone... again.
The problem is immediately obvious. Top DEA
officials have stated categorically that there are no American drug
Once again, the U.S. is alone among nations.
The scandal also claimed its latest victim
yesterday, with the arrest of the Chief of Staff and head of intelligence of the
Judicial Police, Ricardo McGregor, in Mexico City.
McGregor is accused of giving a “heads up” to
suspected Sinaloa cartel money man Pedro Alphonso Alatorre to move large
sums from one of his money exchanges in advance of the arrest for paying $50
million in laundered money to buy 50 planes in the U.S.
Customs corruption in Mexico and Latin
America is an ingrained and decades old practice historically used by political
leaders there for personal purposes and to pay off political debts.
But in the case of the two downed American
planes, Mexican authorities have so far charged, in addition to McGregor, dozens
of government employees and officials, from local police officers to Federal
Police, Civil Aviation officials, Airport Administration personnel, and even two
pilots working for Mexico’s National Water Commission.
A pilot who 'disappears'
This is not to say that things are jes’
all right south of the border, and that no sleight of hand is being
One example: when the Gulfstream business jet
crashed, Mexican newspapers reported that government authorities caught the
Edic Munoz Sanchez, who had been
injured in the crash. They even published his mug shot.
In later reports, however, his name has been
completely dropped. When seven people were charged with being present at the
scene recently, his name was absent.
He has been "disappeared."
In stark contrast, American authorities have
been totally silent. No officials have been charged, with no indication
given that even the American owners of the two planes at the time they were
caught are under suspicion.
"Eleven months and change and we're gone"
Well, maybe not entirely
silent. There has been a certain amount of discreet passing-the-buck at the DEA
in the form of denials by officials there of either any DEA investigation or
involvement in the case.
Several DEA sources have stated that the
reason there is no DEA investigation ongoing is that, because the case involves
corruption in a U.S. Custom’s “rogue operation,” it is being investigated
internally by the Inspector General’s Office in the Dept. of Homeland Security.
However, the MadCowMorningNews has learned
that the existence of any federal investigation in the scandal
remains a matter of speculation.
An official in the Dept. of Homeland
Security’s Inspector General’s office, Tamara Faulkner, told the
MadCowMorningNews in a phone call last week that the Department’s practice is to
neither confirm nor deny the existence of any internal investigation conducted
by the Inspector General’s office.
So, let's see... Two
American planes carrying ten tons of cocaine worth at least several hundreds of
millions of dollars get caught red-handed. No Americans are charged with any crime.
And you and I, the American people, are not entitled to know if there's any
What we want to know is: how does that make you feel?
But don't tell us. Tell them.