. . . according to the local [FBI, Terrell] claims to have contact with [CIA] by virtue of his service with the Nicaraguan Democratic Force in Honduras and Nicaragua from 1984-85. . . . [Terrell] said he is known . . . by his nom de guerre of "Flaco." . . . [Terrell] has identified his [CIA] contact as one "Rob Owens."
. . . In March 85 he and 13 other [American citizens] associated with CMA were asked by [the American] Embassy to return to [the continental United States] from the Mosquito [sic] where they allegedly were planning to enter Nicaragua to blow up a bridge. The group including "Flaco" were [sic] repatriated to [continental United States] two days later. [Terrell] was not in contact with [CIA]. . . .
Results of this Agency's traces on Jack (Terrell) were passed telephonically to the FBI. In addition... Terrell's February trip to Costa Rica was arranged by [U.S. journalist] Avirgan. Besides falsely claiming employment by the . . . CIA, Terrell claimed arms for the . . . FDN come from Miami, Houston, New Orleans, Panama and El Salvador. Further he stated that the CIA buys arms in the Dominican Republic and ships them via Fort Lauderdale to Honduras. While in Costa Rica Terrell also revealed the names of alleged CIA and Department of Defense personnel who he says are involved in Anti-Sandinista activity. Sources who encountered Terrell described him as an extreme rightist and mentally unstable.
Jack Terrell, who was a leader of the American paramilitary group . . . CMA, said FBI agents and prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office in Miami have met with him several times with at least two of those sessions becoming full-day meetings. Terrell said the investigators asked him about alleged weapons shipments from the United States to contra base camps in Central America, contra involvement in drug smuggling, and a reported conspiracy to assassinate the U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica, Lewis Tambs.
. . . on or about April 20, 1986, she received a call from another of the tenants in the building, stating that a strange woman of oriental appearance was taking the bed from the apartment previously occupied by Terrell. [The owner] went to the apartments [sic] and discovered that the bed and the . . . oriental woman were both gone. Terrell had apparently left, taking all of his possessions. Upon further checking, she determined that approximately $2000 was missing from the petty cash fund, as was about $2100 from the receipts from the soft drink machine. [The owner] stated that she had gone to the police and filed a complaint against Terrell. . . . [The owner] stated that she understood that Terrell did some very mysterious things and that it was possible that he had been forced to run and hide owing to his peculiar situation vis-a-vis international affairs.
An unsigned memorandum, dated "summer '86" and entitled "FBI Background on Jack Terrell, stated that:
. . . [his a]rrest record begins in 1957 with an arrest for auto theft. Thereafter the record indicates numerous arrests for robbery, larceny, grand larceny, and burglary.
a call from Terrell who called from Senator Kerry's office. . . . Because of FBI interest in the whereabouts of Terrell, we informed the Bureau's Counterterrorism Planning and Special Investigations Office at a 2 May meeting that Terrell was in the Washington area and had met with Senator Kerry's Staff. . . .
. . . offering to provide information on Central American groups, Iranians and African National Congress (ANC) principals. [FBI] interviewed [Terrell] in August 1985 and again in February 1986. Terrell provided in-depth details on the "La Tronquera" training camp along the Nicaraguan border with Honduras.
. . . he had recently returned from Manila where had had been offered one million USD[ollars] to establish a radio station for the New Peoples' Army by the head of the Communist Party [sic]. [Terrell] asked the case agent to put him in touch with [CIA] so that he might relate the story directly to those involved. . . . [Terrell] works for the Center for Developmental Policies . . . [in] Washington DC.
. . . has been an asset of the FBI in a number of cases. When polygraphed in connection with this case and asked whether the other voice on the tape was that of foreign secretary Manglapus, his response was described as indicating deception (this tends to confirm our initial judgment that this affair is a hoax of some kind.)
. . . strongly denied the television news report implicating him in an attempt to assassinate [the] rebel leader. ["]The charge is categorically false, and I have not plotted to kill anyone, and I have not paid money to anyone to undertake matters on my behalf.["] According to Manglapus the source of the story came from [sic] Jack Terrell, an ex-convict with questionable credibility. Manglapus admitted that he got to know Terrell during an occasion at the International Center in Washington, where Terrell said that he was working. . . . Terrell went to Manila to meet him but he was not aware that he was already terminated from the International Center.
While Manglapus was in exile in the United States, he was associated with the Center for Development Policy. . . . The American behind this present story, Terrell, came to Manila about two years ago purporting to represent the Center for Development Policy. He informed Manglapus that he was a shrimp trader. Manglapus admits that he unwisely took Terrell into his home and confidence. He failed to check out Terrell's credentials. He has done so since through an American lawyer and understands that Terrell has a prison record, having served eight to ten years "in Alabama" for armed robbery. Manglapus also notes that Terrell perjured himself in some matter related to Contra affairs.
. . . Jack [Terrell] was by his own account a colonel in the US Army who served in Vietnam and in Guatemala. He knew more about the Iran-Contra affair than did Col. Oliver North who was accused of selling military equipment to Iran to raise funds for the Contra rebels. Jack was forbidden to testify because he knew too much, and was liable to spill the beans on the American high officials. And he was in the Philippines to be out of the reach of US investigators.
He claimed to be a scion of a wealthy Southern family with interest in the railroad line. Disowned when he refused to enter the family business, he joined the US Army which became his second family, and was due to retire in two years. . . .
He left [the Philippines] to join the war in Iraq, fearful on not surviving it, saying that he had to go because he did not want to lose his retirement pay. . . .
In 1992 Terrell wrote:
I've lived this life and it didn't count.
. . . . My sister said to me: "You have lived a lie."
21. . . . because of this question being answered, a misconception took place and it was reported in Castro's file, that he was part of the 2506 Brigade. According to the files of this Directorate, [Frank Castro] did not work for the CIA during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, nor has he ever been an employee of the CIA in any capacity . . .
On October 8, Frank Castro . . . revealed FDN interest in opening FDN front in Costa Rica, separate from ARDE. Castro . . . . [said] the FDN would be willing to provide info[rmation] on where they might establish bases, individuals they can trust, how they can operate without interference from [the Government of Costa Rica], etc.
Frank Castro, a Cuban, is Pastora's assistant in his drug trafficking business. This Cuban has a group of combatants who pretend to be "Contras," but in reality work for the FSLN in Nicaragua (and Pastora knows it).
According to a November 22, 1983 DO memorandum, OGC had asked for a search of DO records for information concerning Castro. The memorandum noted that Castro was being prosecuted in Texas for drug trafficking, and DoJ had asked CIA about Castro's claims of affiliation with CIA. A handwritten, unsigned, undated note filed with the DO memorandum stated, ". . . DoJ is willing to drop [sic] if he was in fact associated [with] Agency."
In 1979, Frank Castro was local drug trafficker and no longer involved in the anti-Castro movement. In 1981 [Castro] was arrested by Miami police on narcotics charges and in October 1982 was out on bond awaiting trial. Also in 1982 [Castro] was under court order not to leave Dade County, Florida.
Also on July 12, 1984, a cable noted that:
Popo Chamorro had picked up a considerable amount of money in Santo Domingo that has been contributed to [Pastora's] movement. He did not say how much or from whom the money originated.
A handwritten note on the cable indicated "Frank Castro?"
When queried ... about who controls "Rene," (a Cuban-American who has approximately 30-40 armed Nicaraguan combatants deployed in northern Guanacaste [Province], Costa Rica) [it was] acknowledged that Frank Castro of Miami controlled "Rene". . . . All available information indicates that the group under Rene's command is not presently associated with either the FRS or MDN/ARDE. Previous reporting indicated that approximately seven Cuban Americans were deployed with this unit which previously (early June) was located at "Monico," [Hull's] [landing zone].
. . . personnel from the FRS, recently in Miami, had contacted Frank Castro and [another non-U.S. individual], the latter reportedly is closely associated with Sarkis G. Soghanalian. Castro was reported as having "connections" in Colombia and the Dominican Republic, and was presently located in the [Dominican Republic].
commented that Frank Castro of Miami . . . continues to support Rene Corvo and his 40-60 man unit. Although no details were available, [it was] commented that Corvo may be involved in drug trafficking operations, supported by Castro.
2. . . . Frank Castro, a Miami-based Cuban American with ties to anti-Sandinista guerrillas, is installing or attempting to install a cocaine processing laboratory in northern Costa Rica. Castro is exploiting widespread paramilitary activities in northernmost Costa Rica as a cover for drug trafficking. [Reportedly] . . . Castro sent [an individual], Castro's middleman, to Costa Rica to purchase a ranch (finca) with landing strip near the Nicaraguan border. Reportedly involved with Castro and [this individual] is Rene Corvo, whose independently led anti-Sandinista paramilitary activities in northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua were subject of [a previous report]. [It is] said Corvo reportedly traveled briefly to Colombia following Corvo's return to Costa Rica [on or about] 29-30 Nov from Miami. [It was] inferred that travel to Colombia might be drug-related.
3. Request [Headquarters provide information concerning] Castro, [the individual cited above] and Corvo. There are no [local] traces on [this individual] or Corvo. Castro appears [in files] as anti-Communist Cuban American well-known in the exile community in Miami and also known to be involved with the anti-Sandinista struggle. . . . We would be particularly interested in knowing latest info[rmation] linking Castro to drug trafficking.
There are also fears that Corvo, who has received support from Frank Castro, may be exploiting the military infrastructure in northern Costa Rica as cover for engaging in drug trafficking. Castro, a Cuban-American based in Miami and well-known as an anti-Communist, may be involved in drug trafficking as well.
. . . about ties between [John Hull] and Frank Castro, who has a reputation among Cuban-Americans as an anti-Communist, a right-wing terrorist, and a drug trafficker. [Nunez] told [the FBI Special Agent] that [Hull] knows that Castro should be avoided.
This was followed by a February 27, 1985 cable in which John Hull was discussed. In part, the cable said that a CIA officer "does not believe that [Hull] is involved with Frank Castro in any narcotics trafficking activities."
. . . consider Rene Corvo and Frank Castro as dangerous and counterproductive in the anti-Sandinista endeavor, however anti-Communist both may be. . . . [There have been] reported allegations that Castro may engage in drug trafficking. [Certain people] shun [Pastora], while Corvo and Castro have continued to support him.
. . . In 1981 he was arrested on four counts of [sale, delivery] and importation of narcotics (case was dismissed); . . . Castro pled guilty to carrying a concealed weapon, [adjudication withheld] fined [$]500.00. In 1983, Castro was [subject] in DEA case [involving conspiracy], importation of 425,000 lbs. of marijuana . . . Beaumont, Texas. Castro was also the main subject in the Miami Police Department Tick-Tock case in 1981.
Frank Castro is a potential subject in the Rene Corvo; et al; neutrality matter . . . where allegations have been made by several individuals that Frank Castro, along with Francisco Chanes . . . plotted to assassinate U.S. Ambassador Lewis Tambs in early 1985. . . . The allegations are that Frank Castro, as drug king Jorge Luis Ochoas [sic] representative, offered several individuals who are subjects in the above investigation, one million dollars, if they killed Ambassador Tambs.
. . . In 1983 he was the leader and main supporter of another paramilitary training group operating in Naples, Florida. The group trained dozens of Nicaraguans and anti-Communist Cubans who later travelled to Central America to combat the Sandinista Nicaraguan government.
Frank Castro was also one of the founders and main supporters of the Miami Cuban and Nicaraguan group named the Saturnino Beltran Commandos operating near the Costa Rica/Nicaragua border area. Unsubstantiated allegations have been made that Castro and others have used this Contra camp as a front to traffic drugs between Colombia and the United States.
. . . Castro has very good connections with [the] Medellin Cartel Ochoa brothers. Castro is also known to travel [frequently] between Miami, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Castro has [opened] a food processing [plant] in Costa Rica. Miami Police Department detectives believe Castro may be currently addicted to cocaine.
[Another individual], a.k.a. "El Nino," . . . former subject in the MPD Tick-Tock drug investigation and current part owner of [a] Travel Agency . . . is a close associate and partner of Castros [sic]. [He] . . . is a pilot and resides [in] Hialeah, Florida.
. . . that DEA/Miami requested a meeting . . . . to discuss the development of case involving Frank Castro and [a specifically named] Cuban exile. . . . These individuals also figured in a narcotics case involving Cuba. Both men claimed to be working under the direction of [CIA]. Station assured DEA that we were not in any way involved with these persons.
To what extent did CIA have information indicating that the Government of Nicaragua, the Government of Cuba, or Nicaraguan- or Cuban-sponsored individuals were involved in alleged drug trafficking activities of individuals associated with the Contras?
There is a growing body of evidence that high-level officials of the Sandinista government have been conspiring with Colombian drug traffickers to smuggle cocaine from Nicaragua into the US. . . . Despite recent publicity on Nicaragua's role in the drug trade and indictments issued in the US against [Federico] Vaughan and some of the other key participants, the prospect of hard currency earnings probably will keep the Sandinistas involved. This could result in a serious setback for US law enforcement and drug interdiction efforts.
Potential Disinformation and CIA-Contra Drug Allegations
Were there indications of foreign government efforts in the 1980s to promote allegations that Contras were engaged in drug trafficking?
Allegations by Tony Avirgan and Martha Honey of CIA and Contra Involvement in Drug Smuggling
4. The transportation and sale of thousands of kilograms of cocaine from the Republic of Colombia, through Costa Rica on the land owned or managed by Defendant John Hull in Northern Costa Rica into the United States, where it was sold and distributed inside and beyond the State of Florida;
5. The purchase of . . . lethal military equipment . . . the money for which purchases being obtained from the sale of said cocaine inside the United States and said money being delivered for such sales of military equipment inside the United States; and
10. The conspiracy to bomb the United States Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica, and to assassinate Lewis Tambs, the United States Ambassador . . . for the purpose of obtaining a $1 million "bounty" offered for the death of Lewis Tambs by Defendant PABLO ESCOBAR, a portion of which monies would be used to fund the Defendants' criminal enterprise.
On 29 May 1986 Daniel Sheehan filed a lawsuit captioned Tony Avirgan and Martha Honey v. John Hull et al in the United States District Court of Southern Florida in which they asked for $24 Million in damages. This suit tracks the allegations contained in [an earlier cable] and was not unexpected. The complaint is essentially a artfully [sic] woven story about alleged excesses of the Nicaraguan resistance and its supporters in Central America with the La Penca bombing at its center.
After two years of protracted and extensive discovery of scores of witnesses across the United States, Costa Rica, and elsewhere, the plaintiffs were unable to produce a single witness who could state that the defendants exploded the bomb or were responsible for the assassination attempt. . . . The attorneys for the plaintiffs, The Christic Institute, must have known prior to suing that they had no competent evidence to substantiate the theories alleged in their complaint. . . . Based upon the affidavit of plaintiffs' counsel, the plaintiffs were permitted to conduct two years of discovery. This discovery failed to produce any admissible evidence regarding causation. . . . This abuse of the judicial process requires that the plaintiffs make the defendants whole by paying the fees the defendants have been forced to expend for attorneys in this action.
The Judge awarded the defendants a total of $1,034,381.36.