The Crimes of Mena:

No funds for Mena





BILL ALEXANDER, M.C.                         233 CANNON HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING
     ARKANSAS                                       WASHINGTON, DC 20515
                                                        (202) 225-4078
   COMMITTEE ON
  APPROPRIATIONS


                    CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES


                          January 26, 1989


   Gov. Bill Clinton
   State Capitol
   Little Rock, Arkansas

   Dear Bill:

   The investigation into alleged drugs and gun smuggling at Mena
   airport can be cleared up by a local grand jury that will require
   state funds. Deputy Prosecutor Charles Black of Mt. Ida, the state
   police and congressional investigators are interested in convening
   such a grand jury, which is probably the only way that the matter
   will be resolved and laid to rest once and for all.

   Black estimates that about $25,000 will be required, because
   witnesses will have to be brought in from out of state. This figure
   cannot be paid for out of local resources. Black knows of witnesses
   who will testify that planes loaded with guns went to Central America
   and returned loaded with drugs.

   Certain DEA agents have stated that the late convicted smuggler Barry
   Seal was flying weapons to Central America in violation of U.S.
   foreign policy and in return, the federal government secretly allowed
   Seal to smuggle drugs back into the United States. Congressman Bill
   Hughes' Subcommittee on Crime has learned independently that at the
   time Seal was working on the famous Nicaraguan "sting" operation for
   the DEA and the CIA in 1984, he was still running drugs. Sources in
   Mena indicate that smuggling activities at Mena continued after
   Seal's murder in 1986 and are still continuing.

   My involvement in the case stems from two sources: I initiated a
   General Accounting Office investigation into drug trafficking from
   Latin America to the United States, and secondly, because of my
   position as the senior ranking Democrat on the Appropriations
   Subcommittee that handles Justice Department funding.

   Prosecutor Black, State Police Investigator Russell Welch, and others
   who have been involved in the investigation have done an exemplary
   job, but they have been frustrated by the failure of some federal
   officials to proceed with the case. The only way to get the matter
   cleared up is to convene the local grand jury. Otherwise it will
   continue to fester and be a thorn in the side of local, state and
   congressional resources. I hope you will grant Mr. Black's request
   for funding in this matter.
 
   With kindest regards, I am.
 
                                  Sincerely,


                                  BILL ALEXANDER
                                  Member of Congress




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