The man who started Freeway Rick and Michael Harry O Harris

mc317mc317 Posts: 2,844 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 2011 in The Reason
The "Boss" of the "REAL" Rick Ross... (part 1#)

http://www.trodgers.com/images/ricky.jpg

^^^The man who really "pushed it to the left" THE REAL RICK ROSS!

Ricky "Freeway" Ross , the name rings bells, from street dvd's documenting his lavish lifestyle to the newspaper articles alleging a CIA drug trafficking plan , Ross is a name that will live infamously in street lore.

Many in the hip hop world, first became familiar with Ross via the 2001 straight to DVD flick "100 Kilos" which made an attempt to chronicle the world that Ricky Ross is so well connected with,the world of international drug smuggling , corrupt cops, and federal conspiracy theories.

But many are unfamiliar with "the MAN behind the MAN" , refrencing the larger figure whom actually pulls the strings or directs the "traffic" perse in regards to these underworld plans that helped shaped Ricky Ross into the "superman" like kingpin that he became.

So now we present a look into the life of the man, Rick Ross had to answer to, a mentor, an icon and in some aspects a father figure to not only Ricky , but other drug lords such as L.A's cocaine cowboy Micheal "Harry-O" Harris and D.C's own Rayful Edmonds.

The man we speak of is the flashy but rather low-key figure known as Brian "Waterhead Bo" Bennett, not much is known about Bennett in the years prior to his career in drug trafficking, other than him growing up as an overweight teen with asthma in Los Angelas during the late late 70's to early 80's. Intresting to note however was Bennet's dedication to scholarly studies, unlike his two older brothers Tony and Darron Bennett who ran with the local gang sets and accumulated massive arrest records, Bennett garnered the intrest of academic administrators at a private high school in Sepulveda, where he was sponsered by a suburban white family and eventually became the first in his family to graduate from high school in the spring of June 1982, all to the delight of his widowed mother Minnie Finley whom worked 2 jobs in hopes of sending Bennett off to college.

But little to the knowledge of Ms. Finley , Bennett had not only gained the attention of colleges seeking the bright scholar for future studies, but during a social outing in Sepulveda, he became acquainted with a colombian national whom just arrived in the states , courtesy of his family's business venture. A business venture that Bennett would become quite attracted to, it so happen that this Colombian named "Oscar" was a member of Cali Drug cartel , and to Bennett this enterprise that Oscar was tied into was alot more lucrative and liberating than the 4 years of college that seemed like his only option for elevating himself as well as his family out of thier humble living conditions.

So Bennett made a choice that would change his life dramatically by insisting that Oscar take him on as a protege , didn't seem like a bad decision for both parties, for Oscar it would be the hookup he needed in breaking into a new market to peddle cocaine, considering that the market of rich young children of the hollywood elite had grown saturated, so this in fact was a blessing.

Not able nor willing to give Bennett a "one on one" course in drug smuggling, Oscar appointed a young nephew from his Cali cartel click named Mario Villabona who just moved to California in early 84'.

Almost overnight the shy overweight kid with the asthma became a "hood celebrity" in Los Angelas, due to his "wholesale connect" courtesy of the Colombian connect. According to an LAPD surveillence report on the activities of drug dealers in 1984, Bennett was a "certified kingpin" whom didn't mind letting it be known with a fleet of luxury cars, and alledgedly drove up to a South Central car wash in his 84' Mercedes Benz boasting to bystanders with the statement .."I got more keys (kilos of cocaine) in my trunk than you got on your damn back!"

By 1987, Bennet's flashiness could be considered the precursor to modern day "ballin", when he reportedly pulled up to roller rinks, nightclubs and shopping malls, in a well polished Rolls-Royce driving by one of his young hispanic drivers. By 1988 , Bennet's lifestyle became larger than life, when the staff at Caesers Palace adhered to his request to send a private learjet to fly Brian "Waterhead Bo" Bennett and a few of his[..]ociates in for a weekend of high stakes gambling and ringside seats at a championship fight.

Here he was in all his glory having just turned 23 years old, lounging in a dressing room with Sugar Ray Leonard fresh from victory after his championship bout, whom decides to show his appreciation to Bennet's apperance by giving him the champ's satin dressing boxing gown as a souvenier, he would end the weekend of "decadence" by golfing with top hotel and casino execs and tipping waitresses with 100$ gambling chips. His lavish suite would not cost him a dime!!!!

In spite of Bennet's penchent for these arrogent displays of wealth, Bennett also looked out for his family, he paid off the mortage on his mother's house on Florence Ave. and moved her to a rented home in middle class Northridge. He also bought his sister Carmen a manicure salon business, and a condo in Tarzana. He even looked out for his wayward brother Darron , by placing him in a high rise on Wilshire avenue, paying the 3,000$ monthly rent. He also invested in his own security , by frequently setting up various homes to avoid getting ripped off by other dope dealers, he also placed his wife Linda Payton and thier son in a San Fernando condo. All of this was done with cash according to investigators. All the while keeping a low profile with a fleet of 10 modest sedan styled vehicles for business use, and a Mercedes Coupe and luxury van for personal outings with him and his family.

Bennet's success was due to a team of loyal cocaine traffickers such as the Harris Brothers...David and Micheal supervised Bennet's crack operation with a "franchise" of crack houses in South Central L.A.

Micheal himself although a subordinate to the kingpin Bennett, rivaled him in the "game of flashiness" with a red Ferrari and a stunning array of high priced jewelry and fine leather outfits. But what also distinguished "Harry-O" from his enterprising crime boss, was Harry-O's ambition to pursue ventures in the world of entertainment and politics. Harry-O got acquainted with many black entertainers via his luxury limousine company, which also doubled as "hollywood transportation" for his cocaine packages, as well as owning a trucking firm , and a luxury auto leasing dealership.

To keep this enterprise intact, Micheal Harris set up a front company entitled Telesis Electrical Company that supplied custom made pagers and cellular telephones that carried a close circuit frequency broadcast from an offshore island.

Harris also pursued commercial intrests in the artistic world, by jumpstarting the career of a young Denzel Washington via the 395,000 $ investment he poured into the Broadway theatrical work known as "Checkmates" in 1988.

While Bo Bennett and Harris lived the "flashy life" they still managed to remain under the radar due to thier various business ventures. But on the other hand , things weren't looking to good for Bennet's mentor , the Colombian connect whom took him under his wing, as things would take a turn for the worse during the close of the 80's decade.
to be continued........

Replies

  • edogz818edogz818 Posts: 164
    edited January 2011
    Continue it, I got 100 questions that hopefully will be answered.

    Does Oliver North & Danello Blandon fit in? How?
  • coop1974acoop1974a Posts: 6
    edited November 2011
    mc317 wrote: »
    The "Boss" of the "REAL" Rick Ross... (part 1#)

    http://www.trodgers.com/images/ricky.jpg

    ^^^The man who really "pushed it to the left" THE REAL RICK ROSS!

    Ricky "Freeway" Ross , the name rings bells, from street dvd's documenting his lavish lifestyle to the newspaper articles alleging a CIA drug trafficking plan , Ross is a name that will live infamously in street lore.

    Many in the hip hop world, first became familiar with Ross via the 2001 straight to DVD flick "100 Kilos" which made an attempt to chronicle the world that Ricky Ross is so well connected with,the world of international drug smuggling , corrupt cops, and federal conspiracy theories.

    But many are unfamiliar with "the MAN behind the MAN" , refrencing the larger figure whom actually pulls the strings or directs the "traffic" perse in regards to these underworld plans that helped shaped Ricky Ross into the "superman" like kingpin that he became.

    So now we present a look into the life of the man, Rick Ross had to answer to, a mentor, an icon and in some aspects a father figure to not only Ricky , but other drug lords such as L.A's cocaine cowboy Micheal "Harry-O" Harris and D.C's own Rayful Edmonds.

    The man we speak of is the flashy but rather low-key figure known as Brian "Waterhead Bo" Bennett, not much is known about Bennett in the years prior to his career in drug trafficking, other than him growing up as an overweight teen with asthma in Los Angelas during the late late 70's to early 80's. Intresting to note however was Bennet's dedication to scholarly studies, unlike his two older brothers Tony and Darron Bennett who ran with the local gang sets and accumulated massive arrest records, Bennett garnered the intrest of academic administrators at a private high school in Sepulveda, where he was sponsered by a suburban white family and eventually became the first in his family to graduate from high school in the spring of June 1982, all to the delight of his widowed mother Minnie Finley whom worked 2 jobs in hopes of sending Bennett off to college.

    You got some bad info by the time Bo Bennett got in the game The Real Freeway and Harry-O were established and had direct connects of their own. now he may have been indirectly connected to Rayful by the La Blood Melvin Brooks.
  • dalyricalbanditdalyricalbandit Co-Owner Of AllhipHop.com, Super Moderator, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 48,201 Regulator
    edited November 2011
  • mc317mc317 Posts: 2,844 ✭✭✭✭✭
    First, cocaine was apparently present in South Central Los Angeles before Ross even began to sell it. In October 1996, the Los Angeles Times published a story recounting Thomas "Tootie" Reese's claim that he was introduced to freebasing in 1976. He soon learned how to make crack and became a substantial drug dealer in the black community in Los Angeles.(52) Reese was arrested in 1983 by the DEA after he made a multi-kilo cocaine deal. And Reese was not the only South Central dealer selling cocaine. When the OIG interviewed Ross, we asked whether others were dealing cocaine in the early days of his organization. Ross stated that there were "a few people I used to hear about," and he named several.

    As Ross' operation grew, he had other South Central dealers to contend with. Perhaps the most successful of these was Brian Bennett, also known as "Waterhead Bo." According to Ross, Bennett started his operation at about the same time Ross did. As discussed below, Bennett is believed to be responsible for a large, multi-state cocaine operation in the mid-1980s. Law enforcement wiretaps that intercepted communications related to Bennett's operation indicate that, in one month in 1987, Bennett purchased just under 1,000 kilos of cocaine from a Colombian source.

    Ross was also not the first crack dealer in South Central Los Angeles. Others taught him about crack cocaine. Ross told the OIG that he first learned to "rock up" cocaine powder so that it was suitable for smoking from Stefan Moore, and told LASD investigators that he learned from "watching different people in the neighborhood," including Michael McLaurin and a "pimp named Martin." Ross told the OIG that other drug dealers did not really want to show him how to cook crack because they usually got paid to make the crack. It is also worthy of note that Ross has never claimed that Blandon, or any other Nicaraguan, taught him how to make crack cocaine. Ross has specifically denied in both his interview with the OIG and in trial testimony that Blandon taught him how to cook crack.

    The Mercury News' contention that Blandon was a prime factor in the growth of cocaine in South Central Los Angeles appears to be based in part on the low per-kilo prices that Blandon was able to provide to Ross, which enabled Ross to buy cocaine in large quantities. However, cocaine prices dropped throughout the 1980s as a result of activity by South American drug cartels. During the 1980s, cocaine producers in South America -- particularly Colombia -- increased production of cocaine.

    In 1985, the DEA began investigating Mario Ernesto Villabona Alvarez, a Colombian drug source, and soon discovered that Brian Bennett, who became one of the largest traffickers in Los Angeles, was one of his customers. During an intercepted telephone conversation in April 1988 between Villabona and an individual in Cali, Colombia, Villabona was given an accounting of money owed by Bennett for 1987 and 1988 cocaine deliveries. In addition to 985 kilos of cocaine that had been sold to Bennett's operation at the end of 1987 for between $9,500 to $10,000 a kilo, another 1,791 kilos was sold to Bennett's operation during January and February 1988 for between $9,000 and $9,500. At the time of his arrest, the Bennett-Villabona drug organization was selling approximately a ton of cocaine per week, according to law enforcement sources quoted in news coverage about the arrest. DEA agents also determined that Villabona was supplying other South Central Los Angeles dealers including Michael Harris, Jimmy Washington, and Mike McCarver. McCarver alone was buying thousands of kilos of cocaine.

    It is unclear whether Villabona's tie to these South Central dealers preceded Ross' connection to Blandon and Moreno. The OIG was unable to precisely determine when Villabona began dealing with Bennett. Nevertheless, it is apparent that other South Central drug dealers forged ties to Colombian dealers without the assistance of Blandon or any other Nicaraguans associated with the Contras. If Ross was indeed the first to establish a connection to Colombia, others followed closely in his wake.

    It should also be noted that the prices at which Villabona sold cocaine to Bennett reflected the drop in cocaine prices that occurred during the 1980s in Los Angeles and across the country. Ross stated that he bought his first kilogram from Blandon for $40,000. We believe this occurred in 1984. According to Ross, Blandon sold him 13 kilograms of cocaine for $10,000 a kilogram in 1987. The Villabona conversation suggests that Blandon was simply charging Ross prevailing rates for cocaine, not fantastically discounted rates as was alleged by the Mercury News.
  • mc317mc317 Posts: 2,844 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rap a lot

    The earliest allegations against James A. Prince as a possible narcotics violator date back to a 1988 El Paso traffic stop. A man who has been identified as a cousin of Prince and an unidentified man were stopped in a car registered to Prince's Houston used car lot. Authorities found 76 kilograms of cocaine in a hidden compartment. This is alleged to have been the event that inspired the initial DEA investigation. Fast Forward to 1999, in addition to the arrest and misdemeanor plea entered by Brad "Scarface" Jordan, a federal jury convicted Stevon Todd McCarter and his cousin former Houston police officer Cedric Rogers of conspiring to steal $30,000 from an alleged drug dealer in November 1998. Rodgers trial lasted all of four days before a jury convicted him of using his unmarked police car to stop a car containing the $30,000. The plan came undone when other police officers arrived on the scene. There were questions raised in relation to a possible sting operation involving former Houston drug kingpin Johnny Binder Jr.

    JOHNNY "J" BINDER JR.

    Known as Big J., Johnny Binder Jr., dominated Houston's crack trade during the 80s. He was noted for his chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce, expensive jewelry and penchant for self-promotion. Binder invested the proceeds of his venture in a nightclub and operated a concert promotion business that did business with Coca-Cola. Binder's actions were those of a self-absorbed egomaniac hell-bent on self destruction. Binder travelled with an all-female entourage that always accompanied him as he made his way to a section of courtside seats he kept at the old Summit arena. In keeping with his image, Binder made sure to delay his image as long as possible to ensure all eyes were on him. What made Binder's act so revolting to some, drew the attention of others. One of them just so happened to be the man now known as James Prince. It is no coincidence that Binder is known as Big J., whereas Prince is known as Lil J. Binder's reputation was well established by the time he began to amass a crack empire that would ultimately control as much as 80% of the Houston market. A notorious jacker with a violent streak Binder ran up a string of 34 arrests before he was sentenced to lengthy prison term in 1980. Three years later a curious string of fortuitous events allowed Binder regain his freedom just in time to establish himself as the dominant force in Houston's crack trade.

    Was it luck or some other guiding force that intervened on Binder's behalf? After spending 3 years behind bars, state Judge Joe Kegans issued an order releasing Binder from custody after a woman incarcerated in a California state women's facility admitted that she and another man known as "J" had committed the Westheimer robbery that led to Binder's incarceration. Texas Gov. Mark White formally pardoned Binder shortly thereafter and in a settlement, Binder received $25,000 from the state of Texas as compensation. Binder reportedly used that $25,000 to launch his drug operation following his release. By 1987 Binder's reputation drew the attention of the national news media as U.S. News & World Report included him in a feature entitled "The Men Who Created Crack." From a room at the Stouffer Hotel, Binder served several Houston Rocket's players including Mitch Wiggins and Lewis Lloyd. Binder's popularity and high profile made him a priority DEA target. It also didn't help that Binder seemingly had an inside source that allowed him to taunt the DEA agents who trailed him.

    It would take 4 years before authorities compiled enough evidence to secure an indictment against Binder and 27 other people in case charging him with operating "Houston's biggest crack cocaine ring. Joining Binder on trial was Martha Marie Preston, the owner of a popular nightclub called Myosha that was financed by Binder. Among Myosha's list of distinguished patrons were Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire, city councilmen Ernst McGowen and Anthony Hall "later occupied the city attorney's office," U.S., District Judge Kenneth Hoyt and police chief Lee Brown "later elected Mayor." Hall even admitted to receiving $40,000 in legal fees paid by Preston in association with the club's operation. Binder publicly claimed the indictment was punishment for a $6 million civil suit he filed against the DEA after he and 3 of his female companions were stopped and searched. Binder claims the agents took $9,000 from him and strip searched his companions in the back of his Rolls Royce. Binder publicly announced his intention to leave Houston and move to Los Angeles where he'd been when the indictment was announced.

    DIAMOND PRODUCTIONS

    Indeed Binder did run a music promotion business called Diamond Productions. Binder used the venture to book several acts at a string of nightclubs owned by former Rockets star Robert Reid. Binder claims Reid later pulled out of his contract for fear of tarnishing his reputation as a born again man of God. Binder claimed he was against drugs and pointed to his efforts to close one Houston area crack house as proof. As the trial dragged into 1988, a federal judge granted Binder special permission to to travel to South Carolina where he joined the "Dope Jam Tour." Binder was associated with several acts appearing on the Coca-Cola sponsored rap tour that included such acts as LL Cool J, Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, Kool Moe Dee, Boogie Down Productions, Eric B. & Rakim and Los Angeles rapper Tracy "Ice-T" Morrow. Binder was remained on the road with the tour as it traveled south into Daytona Beach and Miami, Florida. Coincidentally the tour was billed as "The Dope Jam Tour--Say No to Drugs," and was intended to combat rap's outlaw image. Binder and Preston were later acquitted of all charges in September 1988. His streak of luck was fast coming to an end as U.S. District Judge David Hittner would sentence Binder to a 40 year federal prison term 4 months later. The case arose from an undercover sting which netted the purchase of an ounce of cocaine from an apartment rented by Binder.

    In the aftermath of his acquittal Binder turned to the media in an effort to discredit the agencies and derail the ongoing investigation into his drug operation. Emboldened by his successful evasion of prosecution Binder openly accused local, state and federal law enforcement officials of pursuing out of spite. He charged them with trying to pin a kidnapping and cocaine case on him without success. J. Prince later borrowed from the book of Binder to successfully derail an investigation into Rap-A-Lot records yet and still there was more to come from Binder. Following his acquittal in September 1988, Johnny Binder had promised to "leave Houston and start a new life," with all the hyperbole he could muster, "There's nothing but one safe thing I can do and that is to get out of Houston with a quickness if I want to stay alive." His co-defendant Martha Marie Preston took a rather conciliatory and low profile approach stating "Maybe this is part of a test in life. Maybe God is testing me." It was an interesting exchange as both chose to issue separate public statements despite the intimate connection of their issues. Nonetheless Preston would soon discover "God" nor the law were through testing her yet.

  • mc317mc317 Posts: 2,844 ✭✭✭✭✭
    James Smith and Cliff Blodget joined forces in 1987 to launch Rap-A-Lot. A small room in a ram shackle house on the corner of 12th and Shepherd served their office. The property also housed the aforementioned used car lot run by Prince that was involved in the El Paso drug case. The official company bio is common fare for start up rap labels. Business struggles early, owners hock their goods on street corners, parking lots, swap meets and out of the trunks of their cars waiting for their big break. For Blodget and Smith Rap-A-Lot's ascent coincides precisely with the descent of Binder's Diamond Productions. As mentioned earlier Diamond Productions was the premier player in Houston's rap scene prior to Binder's legal issues and the meteoric rise of Rap-A-Lot. Binder's production adventures brought him into contact with Lyor Cohen. Cohen was the premier promoter of rap in Los Angeles booking acts from across the country at Club Mix on Sunset. Among the local acts frequently appearing at Club Mix was Tracy "Ice-T" Morrow. As mentioned earlier Ice-T was one of the acts featured on the Coca-Cola sponsored Dope Jam Tour. He failed to make an impression upon the rap world despite appearing in the 1982 film Beat Street. That would change when switched his style and began wrapping about the drug and gang related activities that were so prevalent in urban Los Angeles during the mid 80s.

    His debut album Rhyme Pays was the first rap album released under the Sire and Warner Bros labels in 1988. Morrow's adoption of the Ice-T persona fit the Los Angeles market just fine as it closely mirrored the actions of high rollers and ballers like Freeway Ricky Ross and the Harris brothers. There are many stories and accounts of Michael Harris and his exploits in the entertainment industry, few if any have attempted to go into any great detail in regard to the factors that pushed or led him there. Johnny Binder was on the scene as an active participant in these formative years. Rhyme Pays proved a moderate commercial success but more importantly Ice-T who'd attended Crenshaw High "a school dominated by the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips," clicked with the Harlem 30s and Hoover Groovers, proved an important connector of competing interests. There are three things that work rather well in convincing competing gang members to set aside their grudges is dope and music, both of which are avenues to the ultimate goal of getting money.

    The Rollin 60s and Hoover's were mortal enemies as were the Harlems and the Hoovers. Whereas relations between the 60s and the Harlem's were subject to change depending upon who the actors were involved in the drama. Morrow's links to Harris "who is often said to be a member of the Bounty Hunter Bloods," hails from a crip neighborhood known as Avalon 40s. It is an often repeated mistake that has gone uncorrected "until now."
  • mc317mc317 Posts: 2,844 ✭✭✭✭✭
    6 Cocaine Traffickers Admit Guilt : Drugs: International ring was a major supplier of crack to L.A. gangs. The pleas may make the case against alleged ringleaders easier to prove.
    December 13, 1989|HENRY WEINSTEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER
     
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    Six members of an international drug trafficking ring that distributed 1,000 kilograms of crack cocaine a week in the United States pleaded guilty Tuesday in Los Angeles as seven other defendants--including the two alleged ringleaders--went on trial in federal court.

    The guilty pleas could ease the prosecution's task of proving the complex case, which involves events that stretched from South-Central Los Angeles to a small town in Denmark.


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    One of the defendants who pleaded guilty was Stanley McCarns, 37, of Los Angeles, who was described in court documents as "a high-level member" of the Villabona-Bennett drug ring. The other five who pleaded guilty were arrested last year in Detroit and prosecutors said they were considered lesser figures in the case.

    The two key defendants in the case, Mario Ernesto Villabona Alvarado, a Colombian, and Brian (Waterhead Bo) Bennett, face life in prison without possibility of parole if convicted of all the charges against them. The charges include conspiracy, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute it, money laundering and running a continuing criminal enterprise.

    When the two men were arrested a year ago, federal officials said they had severed a major link between the Cali, Colombia, drug cartel and cocaine-dealing Los Angeles street gangs that had been forged by Villabona and Bennett.

    The trial of Villabona, Bennett and the five remaining defendants is expected to last about two months before U.S. District Judge William J. Rea. Prosecutors plan to introduce evidence of drug seizures in Missouri, money laundering, and wiretaps conducted in Los Angeles, Denmark and Italy.

    Villabona, 29, allegedly a ranking member of the Cali drug cartel, was arrested Nov. 19, 1988, at his home in Malibu. Bennett, 25, was arrested the same day at a $500,000 home he had recently purchased in Tempe, Ariz.

    Drug agents said Bennett and Villabona formed their enterprise sometime in 1986.

    "This is the single most important partnership ever established between a major South-Central (Los Angeles) drug dealer and the Colombians," Deputy Chief Glenn Levant of the Los Angeles Police Department said at the time of the arrests. He added that Bennett "was supplying thousands of rock houses from Los Angeles to Detroit."

    The indictment alleged that Villabona and Bennett ran a sophisticated organization, replete with its own mortgage company. The organization owned several check-cashing outlets and other businesses throughout the Los Angeles area, all of which allegedly served as fronts for drug dealing and money laundering.

    Villabona, Bennett and the remaining defendants--Maria Barona, Luz Martinez, Jimmy Washington, Michael Harris and Michael McCarver--have pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them.

    Defense attorneys attempted to keep a considerable amount of evidence from being introduced at the trial, including potentially incriminating transcripts of wiretapped conversations. The defense lost virtually all of those motions and, at that point, negotiations over the guilty pleas began in earnest.

    McCarns agreed to plead guilty last Thursday after a man who is an unindicted co-conspirator in the case "rolled over" on him, exposing McCarns to charges beyond the five counts he faced in this case, according to sources close to the case.


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    McCarns, who has been described as Bennett's "right-hand man," agreed to testify for the prosecution and, in return, will receive a prison term and be placed in the federal witness protection program. The length of his sentence is expected to come to light soon when his plea agreement is unsealed.

    The indictment charged McCarns with arranging for the transportation of 1,000-pound quantities of cocaine, including a shipment from Los Angeles to St. Louis that was intercepted on Nov. 6, 1988, by police in Springfield, Mo., when they stopped a truck for speeding. He also was charged with renting pagers under the names of third parties for use by other members of the cocaine trafficking organization.

    Bennett's defense lawyer, David Kenner, said he was "not entirely certain what the terms" of McCarns' plea were, since the plea agreement is still under seal.

    "We assume it (the agreement) left McCarns in a . . . situation where he'd be willing to say anything," Kenner said.

    Janet Levine, one of McCarns' lawyers, declined to comment on the details of the plea agreement because it is under seal. Assistant U.S. Atty. Russell Hayman, chief prosecutor in the case, acknowledged that McCarns had pleaded guilty, but declined to discuss the terms.

    The five Detroit defendants--David Paz, Jairo Sanchez, Miguel Rodriguez, Joseph Gough and Michael D. Robinson--all pleaded guilty Tuesday to conducting a financial transaction involving the proceeds of the sale of dangerous drugs.

    The men had been arrested in Detroit last November by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents who seized $5.4 million in cash being delivered by representatives of the Bennett organization to alleged Colombian money launderers, according to the indictment in the case.

    Manuel U. Araujo, Paz's lawyer, said that the charge his client and the other Detroit defendants pleaded guilty to carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, but he expects the sentences to be in the range of nine to 11 years.

    Araujo and other lawyers for the Detroit defendants said their clients had not been required to testify at the trial as a condition of their pleas.

    Jury selection began Tuesday and opening arguments are expected to be presented late next week.

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  • pralimspralims The real daddys second cousin of the devils neice that dates the brother of the owner of AHH. Posts: 13,730 ✭✭✭✭✭
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