OPERATION BIG BLOW
By A Former Intelligence Officer
"Marlin Three Five Zero, this is Almighty. Looking Glass Zero
Two has a suspect trace at eleven o'clock, one five zero degrees,
speed one six zero knots, heading three four zero degrees. Four
five miles on the deck, over."
"Roger, Almighty," the DEA pilot answered as he turned toward the
bogie and started his descent to 1000 feet. "How do they think
they can beat today's technology?" he mumbled to himself as he
set course for the bogie. "Almighty, this is Three Five Zero. I
have a visual on the bogie. Will maintain trail until we pass
Jamaica. Have Slingshot pick him up on the north side of Cuba,
"Three Five Zero, this is Almighty. Omaha Five Two in route at
this time. Advise when you go bingo, over."
"Almighty, Three Five Zero, roger, out."
The radios went silent.
It was so dark. A great night for a run, the pilot thought to
himself as he scanned the instrument panel of the Piper Chiefton.
He traveled alone so he could keep all the pay himself. "Who
needs the dead weight of a co-pilot anyway? This was not an air
drop. After all," he reasoned, "a 180 pound co-pilot would cost
him over $100,000." The cartel, his employer, was paying him
$3,500 per kilo for transportation of the cocaine. Lately, the
price had been driven up due to the intervention efforts of the
US military and the DEA. This was his third load this month.
The first flight went fine. He was able to deliver his 500 kilo
cargo without a hitch. But the second flight didn't gel. He was
detected 150 miles south of the Dominican Republic. So he turned
around and flew back to Colombia to wait for another weather
window. No big deal.
Tonight there hasn't been any activity in the skies above as far
as he could see. He looked at his high frequency radio to make
sure it was on the correct frequency. Everything seemed fine, he
thought. He scanned the dark skies above. Suddenly the silence
was broken. The ringer on the FH radio activitated.
"Tampico, this is San Juan. Operations called to advise you are
hot. Ten miles in trail. Return to base, over."
"Roger, San Juan," the pilot replied as he turned right 180
degrees and kept his eyes peeled above. "Yep, there they are,"
he smiled as he set course for home. "It's a good thing the boys
at Swan Island were on the job," the pilot thought. Otherwise,
he would surely have been busted on the ground in south Florida,
foiled by technology again.
The DEA pilots in Marlin Three Five Zero descended and turned to
intercept the Piper Chiefton.
"Almighty, this is Three Five Zero. They've got us again.
They're heading home," the discouraged DEA pilot radioed to
Guantanamo Bay. He was dumbfounded. How did the Chiefton pilot
detect them? "Oh well, another night shot," the DEA pilot said
to his co-pilot, as they turned back toward Gauntanamo.
As a result of the use of advanced technology, the cartels found
it necessary to begin looking at alternatives. They turned to
one of the most elusive smugglers the United States has ever
encountered, a Canadian miscreant named Mike Huxtable.
Huxtable's contacts in the mob and certain US government
agencies, would prove invaluable in formulating a bullet-proof
alternative. In less than a month, Huxtable had the cartel's
alternative in place. It was amazingly simple. Just avoid the
electronic veil set up along the southern border of the United
States. So, as he began researching the east and west coast of
the US for destination landing areas, he found that many of the
areas had beefed up security measures in place. These measures
were intended to detect flights originating from the south. His
research paid off, however, when he found that it was still
fairly easy for an aircraft to depart Colombia, fly to the
Bahamas to rest and refuel, and then, when a weather window
opened, continue the flight to Nova Scotia or Quebec. Again,
rest and refuel, then continue to a US/Canadian border landing
An associate of Huxtable's owned a ranch south of Wayburn, Canada
which provided a perfect landing zone. From Wayburn, the cocaine
could easily be flown in to Montana or North Dakota, via small
aircraft. However, the increase in air traffic to the small US
border airports could be a problem. It was time to contact one
of his associates for help. He recalled that his long time
friend, Terry Nelson, was from the North Dakota area.
Nelson had been so completely successful in corrupting other law
enforcement and political officials in southern Florida to
cooperate with the cartels, there was no doubt that in North
Dakota and Montana, Terry Nelson was the man for the job. 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 on-going investigations. Nelson then provides
this intel to his contacts. This helps obstruct any
investigation and difuse potential problems.
As Nelson went to work he quietly found that a small town in
northern Montana was a prime target. Not only could he easily
align a top Montana official, but law enforcement in the area was
easily swayed. The name of the first location acquired was
"How appropriate," Nelson bragged to his associates. "I think
we'll call this one, 'Operation Big Blow' in honor of the Chinook
More destinations followed in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.
With the northern routes opened and new overland routes through
Mexico set up, the cartels' flow of cocaine to the United States
increased over 300%.
And what about Huxtable and Nelson? Mike Huxtable's whereabouts
are unkown by this author. But Terry Nelson, a senior agent for
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, continues to provide his
valuable services to cartels and others who will pay his fee, out
of his FBI office in southern Florida...unchecked.