Court documents obtained by the
shed new light in the murky tale of
an American-registered DC9
caught carrying an astonishing
5.5 tons of pure cocaine in Mexico
in early April.
The company which owned the seized
"Cocaine One" DC9, SkyWay
Aircraft of St. Petersburg FL, leased
a 70,000 square foot “repair” facility
at DFW Airport in Dallas for more
than $20,000 a month...in a building
owned by a man called “George
W. Bush’s biggest supporter”
and “the power behind the throne”
during Bush’s first Presidential campaign.
SkyWay, a company with no products,
and thus nothing needing "repair,"
announced in July 2003
“their newly established Part 145
repair station” in a building owned
by LIT Industrial Texas Limited Partnership,
a venture of Texas real estate giant
Trammel Crow, the flagship corporation
in the far-flung empire of billionaire
speculator Richard Rainwater.
Ranked among the 100 wealthiest Americans,
Rainwater backed George W. Bush in
four separate business ventures, including
the Texas Rangers baseball team from
which Bush, who had been drilling
“dry holes” until then, profited handsomely.
In a heated 1994 Governor’s race,
Texas Democratic Governor Ann Richards
charged Rainwater “owned" her
Republican opponent Bush.
SkyWay "TV repair shop"
rent: $20,000 a month
documents in the SkyWay’s Federal
bankruptcy proceedings in Tampa reveal
that SkyWay signed a lease costing
$21,000 a month in base rent and operating
Why would a start-up company which
doesn’t (and never will) have any
products, spend $20 grand a
month to rent a facility to
“We were told we were going to use
the facility to service monitors and
video equipment which airline’s use
to provide onboard entertainment,”
an ex-employee explained. “But when
you think about it, fixing TV monitors
on planes in a facility costing more
than 20 grand a month doesn’t seem
real economic, does it?”
SkyWay shared the facility with another
firm, Airbase Services Inc.
A month after the DC9 was
seized in Mexico, Airbase filed for
The registered owner of an airliner
caught with more than five tons of
cocaine had been leasing, for no easily-discernible
purpose, an expensive airport property
owned by George W. Bush’s biggest
amazing discovery. We thought:
Eyebrows will be raised.
seems to confirm our suspicion that
tracking the parties involved in the
massive cocaine shipment "might
could" lead to top officials
in the Bush Administration or the
But we never thought it would lead
to them so quickly...
think its a fair question to ask:
What was the nature of SkyWay’s connection
to Richard Rainwater, and to George
figure shows extra-Judicial initiative
Court documents in the SkyWay’s Federal
bankruptcy proceedings also provided
more detail on the DC9’s ownership,
which has been hotly disputed.
the time of the bust, April 10, it
was registered, not to SkyWay, which
had already gone bankrupt, but to
a SkyWay insider who had somehow wrested
control of the planes for himself.
an example of ‘extra-judicial
initiative,’ Frederic Geffon
of Royal Sons Inc. registered the
plane, N900SA, first in the name of
his own company, Royal Sons Inc.,
and then in his own name.
Bankruptcy trustees are currently
negotiating a settlement with Geffon.
They told us that SkyWay creditors
had to date received no money from
this beneficial (to Geffon) change
Also last week, a second group of
investors, mostly from Kentucky, have
filed a lawsuit against Sky Way in
in Hillsborough County court, accusing
the company and its principals of
fraud, civil theft and conspiracy
to defraud, among other charges.
The company "shamelessly
used the tragedy of 9/11 to
concoct an elaborate scheme of fraud
designed to prey upon the vulnerable
mind set of the American public,"
the lawsuit states.
Dinner with Bush a "brief encounter"
lawsuit states that investors were
told that “Sky Way's management team
was invited to dinner with President
Bush to discuss its operational status.”
But the "dinner and talk was
nothing more than a brief encounter
along with a host of other political
contributors," the lawsuit states.
The investors appear to have a reason
to feel bitter. They, and their money,
never stood a chance.
SkyWay Aircraft appears to
be a classic example of a “dummy front
company.” The purpose of the firm
was not to make money. They had nothing
to sell. Even if they did no one would
buy it. In their self-proclaimed niche
market, the main competition of this
barely-there firm was... Boeing.
Here we recall that terror flight
school Huffman Aviation wasn’t in
the business of being a flight school.
Nothing about the actions of the two
principals there made any business
They were losing $40,000 a month at
their Naples location when they blithely
decided to pay twice what it was worth
in cash to buy a second flight school
things don’t make
sense, sometimes its because
they do make
sense... just in some other
way.” one former
Huffman executive told us darkly.
(He insisted on anonymity, because
“I have a family, and I don’t want
anything bad to happen to them,” he
"Murky is as murky does"
exactly this same way, now-defunct
SkyWay Aircraft was never a real business
either, in the sense of being a corporation
set up to make money for its shareholders,
a fact which angry investors have
now begun to realize.
While burning through $40 million
of investor’s money in three years,
the bankrupt firm’s only accomplishment
was amassing a mini-fleet (actually,
just two) DC9’s, one of which was
painted to impersonate an aircraft
belonging to the U.S. Dept of Homeland
And SkyWay’s resident “boy genius,”
Brent Kovar is no Bill Gates or Steve
Jobs. People willing to go the extra
mile to steal from widows and orphans
aren't troubled by much. Kovar's neighbor
lent him $300,000, one former exec
told us, for a few days as a personal
loan, without even bothering to write
it up. His chances are slim to none,
apparently, of getting his money back.
SkyWay Communications Holdings Corp.,
a “holding company” that “held” only
one company, SkyWay Aircraft, lost
nearly $40 million between 2002 and
its last annual report in January
Skyway, "has left a trail of
tangled litigation and angry investors,
including 24 Kuwaiti and Saudi nationals,"
said an article in the August 26,
2005 Tampa Business Journal.
Investors "poured money into
a company that promised to protect
airplanes from terrorism and provide
high-speed Internet at 30,000 feet.”
a bankruptcy hearing, federal Judge
Paul M. Glenn called the case "murky."
"I have a great deal of concern
about this case," Judge Glenn
said. "There's a great deal we
How come we don't got no drug lords,
an American-registered DC9 airliner
was caught red-handed, or red-winged,
with 5.5 tons of cocaine, researchers
into the murky world of international
narcotics smuggling—the number one
industry in the world in terms of
foreign trade—were excited about the
prospect that the case would reveal,
at long last, the identities of the
industry’s titans, figures heretofore
shrouded in mystery.
a nation of entrepreneurs whose globe-trotting
verve is the envy of the world, it
has been a puzzling oversight that
the United States of America officially
has no authentic native-born Drug
seemed to do okay in other areas of
organized crime…Our stock swindlers
and fraud merchants, for example,
are the envy of the underworld. John
Gotti could hold his own with any
Russian Mobsters. And the Yakusa wasn’t
kicking sand in anybody’s face.
Yet it seems we have neglected to
nurture any home-grown American
What does this say to ambitious American
youngsters, looking for role models
for future careers? Were we fated
to import them forever from South
America, like we do with junior
The hope of course was that at long
last we would now learn the names
of Drug Lords whose first names weren’t
“Pablo” or “Juan..."
that the massive seizure in Ciudad
del Carmen, in a remote corner of
Mexico’s Yucatan, would give American
youth role models from their
'Meth for sex' trades no longer real
Alas, our elation was short-lived.
The FAA accepted back-dated documents
stating the plane had been exported
before the bust. The
registered owner wouldn’t say to who.
The FAA claimed it wasn’t their problem.
They didn’t care what you did with
the planes. They just registered them.
The DEA was even worse. They deliberately
undervalued the amount seized by a
whopping $400 million dollars. Asked
if they were investigating the American
side of the 5.5 ton bust, the Tampa
DEA office issued a terse no comment.
The DEA website has press release’s
issued at about the same time as the
Arrested and Thousands of Marijuana
Plants Seized in East Bay Area,” heralds
“38 Members of a Palm Beach
County Crack Gang Face Federal Charges,”
another announced. A third release
headlines this less-than-amazing fact:
“Meth Sold For Sex On Wind River Indian
a world where they're already
re-making Miami Vice, this
seems a little tame. We wondered:
did the DEA have to go undercover
to see the "Meth Sold for Sex!"
Were there secretly-recorded video
of the transactions?
"Half a billion here, half a
billion there, and pretty soon you
got a Congressional Majority"
there is nothing from the DEA—not
one peep—about an American registered
plane carrying more than a half billion
dollars worth of product destined
for the U.S.
the lobby of the CIA there’s an inscription
on the wall which reads: “Ye
Shall Know the Truth, and the Truth
Will Set You Free.”
DEA puts one up in their lobby it
should say: “Mum’s the word.”
The chief shared characteristic of
the people involved seems to be the
ability to act with impunity and without
regard for legal consequences. Their
actions regularly make a mockery of
the concept of “Equal Justice Under
Law” which schoolchildren are taught
is the basis of American government.
Call them what you will. We call them,
a little melodramatically perhaps...
the Masters of the Universe...
people able to do things for which
ordinary people ordinarily pull Federal
ROBB TILLER ON
THE SCANDAL THAT WON'T GO AWAY