One of the two owners of the DC9 (tail number N900SA) busted
at an airport in the Yucatan
last week after lumbering in from
Caracas, Venezuela carrying an
astonishing 5.5 TONS of cocaine was
appointed in 1993 to the Business
Advisory Council of the National
Republican Congressional Committee
by then-Congressional Majority
Leader Tom Delay,
plane's registered owner,
“Royal Sons LLC,” a Florida air charter
company, was at one time housed in a hanger
at the Venice Fl. Airport
school Huffman Aviation.
Also of major significance is the
fact that photos of the DC9, seized
last Monday in Ciudad del Carmen,
reveal that the plane is painted
with the distinctive
blue and white color color scheme of
official U.S. Government planes.
Moreover, to reinforce the effect,
or subterfuge, the plane carries an
official-looking Seal painted on its
side, which reads: SKY WAY
AIRCRAFT, PROTECTION OF AMERICA'S
SKIES, around an image of a federal
eagle clutching the familiar olive
branch in its talons. Many have been
fooled into concluding that the
plane belongs to the U.S.
This has obvious and highly
serious national security
implications, which go well
beyond the obvious glee involved in
playing political "gotcha" with
people caught face-down with their
noses buried, Tony Montana-style, in
over five tons of cocaine.
Who, exactly, are
the "Royal Sons?"
DC9 was purchased several years ago
in a partnership between "Royal Sons
Motor Yacht Sales, Inc. DBA Royal
Sons" and a company owned by
Brent Kovac called Skyway
Communications Holding Corp, which
jointly signed a loan with United
Bank and Trust Company in St.
Petersburg, FL. for $1.5 million.
Skyway Communication's principal
Kovac must have been looking
well forward to
justify the purchase; the company
was then in the middle of losing $40
million in less than three years,
between 2002 and its last annual
report before bankruptcy in January
Tom DeLay seemed to mind. He and
buddy Brent Kovac's press release
deserves special mention.
Tom Delay, Majority Leader, has
appointed Brent C Kovar to serve as
the Honorary Chairman, Business
Advisory Council,” read the headline
of an August 7, 2003 release from
PrimeZone Media newswire and press
Business Advisory Council, explained
the release, was part of the
National Republican Congressional
Committee, “dedicated to making sure
that small business has a voice in
appointed “in recognition of his
valuable contributions and
dedication to the Republican Party,”
and was "expected to play a
crucial role in the party's efforts
to involve top businesspeople in the
process of government reform both at
the state and federal levels."
While the release left the
specific nature of Kovar's
"crucial role in the GOP' efforts" a
bit vague, a look at the other
owner of the DC9, dubbed
"Cocaine One," offers clues
which help fill in the blanks.
of America's Skies?"
But the "Royal Sons"
connection may prove even
familiar blue-awning flight
school was at 400 E Airport, its
hangar (see picture below)
was several hundred feet down the
runway, at 224 E Airport Ave. Royal
Sons used this same address,
apparently during the same time
frame that the flight school was
serving as the home-away-from-home
of terrorist ringleader Mohamed
close look at Royal Sons reveals
evidence indicating that the firm is
part of a cluster of
related air charter firms being used
dummy front companies to
provide “cover” for CIA flights.
The companies involved include
Royal Sons, Express One
International, Genesis Aviation and
United Flite Inc.
All four companies appear to be
engaged in an inter-locking and
time-honored Agency scheme going
back 50 years: using frequent
cosmetic transfers of aircraft title to
make positively identifying the ownership of any one
plane at any given time as difficult
as finding the pea under the shell in a game of
While none of the firms has been identified as
a CIA aviation contractor, they have
also not previously been the focus
of the sort of unwelcome attention
that getting caught with five tons
of cocaine provides.
Tell us again...What happened
to the pilot?
When the story first broke,
observers immediately noted that it
embarrassingly thin in certain
crucial details. For example,
initial reports stated that the Mexican Army had
been waiting for the plane when it landed.
Yet when Mexican Gen. Carlos Gaytan
held a news conference, he told
reporters that his soldiers had
unable to apprehend the plane’s
the slippery fellow had gotten away.
Amazingly, the “disappeared" DC9 pilot
who slithered through a crack in
the line of Mexican troops ringing
the airport had also had the
presence of mind to take his
name with him when he fled.
days later, the pilot remains unidentified.
To compensate, General Gaytan quickly
pointed out that his men had, at least,
managed to arrest the plane's
co-pilot. But suspicion had
already been aroused. It seemed
almost exactly like what had
happened when terror flight school
owner Wally Hilliard's Lear jet got
busted with 43 pounds of heroin
aboard. Somehow, his
pilot got off scot-free, too.
"Being connected means never having
to say you're sorry."
Could the reason involve some official
sanction enjoyed by the drug trafficking
operation involved? This explanation
would seem to be ruled out, wouldn't
it, if the traffickers get
not...There's another major
"anomaly" in the story, which points
towards a simpler explanation, which
credits the sharpness and dedication
to their jobs of low-level agents or
grunts, foot soldiers, literally, in
the drug war. The record is replete
with examples of how these people
regularly stumble onto situations
they were never meant to see...like
an illicit but 'protected'
The result is that, sometimes, cases
get made, and people get arrested,
initial news accounts
indicated the bust was the result of
a tip to Mexican authorities from
U.S. officials, later reports from
reporters on the scene tell a far
different tale, one indicating that
the chain of events was triggered,
not by high-level contacts between
two vigilant drug-fighting
governments, but by soldiers
patrolling the airport.
Only then did local army officials deploy troops
to the airport.
Here's what the soldiers saw: two Mexican pilots
arriving in a small
Falcon business jet and spending
several days conspicuously slouching
around the airport. While they
probably didn't say what for, they
didn't have to... Because they
did offer to pay
DC-9 to make an emergency landing, at a time when
the airport was officially closed.
John Gotti would had called the two
pilots "fucking dunskies." Nobody
knows what their bosses are calling
them now, but the men would be
well-advised to consider how it was
that they got...literally...caught
holding... while the
gringo pilot got away.
Carrying water for somebody, sure.
Both of the detained Mexican pilots,
published reports at the end of last
week revealed, were
employees of the Mexican
government's Federal Water
Commission. But they may not
only pilots drawing government
paychecks who participated in the
massive drug move.
pilot of the DC9 may also be cashing
checks which--while not
stamped with Uncle Sam's name on the
front--are still ultimately being drawn
from U.S. government funds.
reinforced this suspicion. While the Venice Airport is
a tiny facility with barely a dozen
businesses strewn along the runway, no one we spoke to
at Royal Son's former
Venice Airport address could recall the company
having been there. Nor did the names
of the firms two principals,
Frederic Geffon and Ron Gregory,
ring any bells.
would not be the first
discovered hiding inside Huffman
Britannia Aviation, once
“housed” inside the flight school, was
later revealed to be all-but non-existent
during a major brouhaha in
Virginia after being awarded, for no
apparent reason aviation
observers were able to fathom, a fat government aviation
contract for which a
local Lynchburg firm was
clearly much better qualified.
“Don’t touch my bags if you please, Mr. Custom's
as the MadCowMorningNews
has been pointing out to anyone
owner Wally Hilliard had his own
Lear jet busted by DEA agents,
during the same month Mohamed Atta
arrived at his flight school,
unhappy to discover 43 pounds of
The Orlando Sentinel
“the biggest heroin
bust in Central Florida history.”
Two surreal details of the
5-ton cocaine bust deserve
to two such
world-class drug busts in a matter
of only a few years does not
by itself indicate that the
sleepy retirement community of
blue-haired widows is about to
replace Palermo or Caracas as the
and be seen in the
international narcotics trade, it
seems fair to say the tiny
rural Venice Airport is clearly the
But the most surreal
detail this side of the Salvador
Dali museum is that the cocaine was packed into 128
identical black suitcases...
This is clearly every baggage
handler's worst nightmare.
But what's been giving us bad dreams
is what was stenciled on the side of
each of 128 pieces of identical
black luggage. They were marked:
We've been at a loss
to understand what this could mean.
A libertarian battle cry? Or
an admonition to nosy Customs
agents, that “Gentlemen
do not search each other's luggage.