Collected Articles About The Mena Airport


"IRS says smuggler owes $29 million, seizes his property"
THE BATON ROUGE STATE TIMES 
February 5, 1986

       Admitted drug smuggler Adler Barry Seal will lose his property if
he does not appeal the Internal Revenue Service's seizure this week
of property, boats and aircraft which the IRS intends to sell to
recover $29,487,718 in allegedly delinquent taxes.
        Thirty-five IRS agents made seizures Monday and early Tuesday
that included Seal's home at 8216 Oakbrook Drive and an office
building and vacant lot at 2301 North St., IRS spokesman Henry Holmes
said today.
        Agents removed a computer, Oriental rugs, art work, jewelry,
silver and luxury furniture from the home, and confiscated two
automobiles from the property.
         Holmes said the taxes were levied against estimated revenue from
Seal's drug smuggling activities during 1981, 1982 and 1983. A tax
lien filed in the case was compiled using testimony Seal gave as a
witness in a Florida trial held in June 1985, he said.
         "In his testimony, Seal detailed his cocaine-smuggling activities
 in '81, '82 and '83," Holmes said. "What he testified to was that he
 was involved in 50 trips during those three years."
          However, Seal said Tuesday, his testimony was taken "out of
 context" and he already has paid his taxes.
          "The agent who delivered the levy said he based the entire amount
 of the levy tax upon out-of-context, immunized testimony from a
 federal trial in which I was a government witness," Seal said. "I
 still contend that I have paid taxes and reported every dime that I
 have personally netted from all sources."
           Among the items seized Monday were:
           _ A 65-foot shrimp boat named "Captain Wonderful"  docked in Port
              Allen.
           _ An 85-foot boat called the "Lauren Lea" docked in Morgan City.
           _ Aircraft, including a helicopter and a twin-engine Beechcraft
              in Baton Rouge and a Convair C131 Constellation and a twin-engine
              Grumman Albatros located in Mena, Ark.
            _ An apartment complex at 8531 Rush Ave., used as rental
               property.
            _ Three acres of property in Livingston Parish.
            _ Five lots of property in the Summerfield South Campsite in
               Ascension Parish.
            _ Another 11 acres of land in Ascension Parish.
          Holmes said Seal has two avenues of appeal: He could ask the IRS
to conduct an internal review to revise the assessment and the
seizure, and he could ask a U.S. District Judge to review the IRS
action. Most people go through the IRS's appeal procedure first
before they consider taking the matter to court, Holmes said.
          If Seal does not respond to the letter of assessment IRS wrote
Jan. 30, the IRS will issue what Holmes called a "statutory notice of
deficiency." That letter means the assessment is considered final
within the IRS review process, leaving Seal's only appeal in the U.S.
Tax Court.
          Holmes said he did not know exactly what period of time Seal has
to exercise his rights of appeal.
          Holmes would not comment on the estimated income from Seal's
trips, but he said IRS officials used Seals' testimony concerning the
amounts of cocaine smuggled on each trip and its estimated value to
calculate his tax liability.
          Normally, Holmes said, seizure is not considered as an option
until further along in a delinquent tax case, but a "jeopardy
assessment" was made in the Seal case.
         "We make a jeopardy assessment and immediate seizure when it
looks like the property may be moved out of the reach of the
government," Holmes said.
          Seal, who is serving a six-month sentence at the Salvation Army
Community Treatment Center, said some of the property seized by
federal agents are owned by another person.
          Seal said he has retained a tax attorney to file litigation to
have the property reclaimed.
          Seal's sentence is part of a plea agreement with federal
prosecutors in a cocaine possession and distribution case.
          U.S. District Judge Frank J. Polozola reaffirmed the sentence
last month after defense motions aimed at changing the sentence were
denied.
          Seal has said incarceration was not part of a plea agreement he
made with federal prosecutors before becoming a prosecution witness
in a host of drug cases involving large-scale drug smugglers.
           At the time of his sentence, Seal cited his smuggling of large
amounts of cocaine from his home in Baton Rouge as a reason that his
sentence be changed.
          "I"m trying desperately to understand the logic behind Judge
Polozola's ruling," Seal said. "At the sentencing, he said he wanted
to make sure I didn't bring any more drugs into the middle district.
         "I brought 20,000 pounds of cocaine into the middle district of
Louisiana, nowhere else, and I never left my house," Seal said. "I
did it all by phone."

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