Drugs, Guns, Dirty Money - Cracking the Barry Seal Story
Host Bill Huffman of Who Killed…? digs into what really went down behind the scenes of an infamous drug and weapon smuggler for the Medellin Cartel that became a government informant.
What do Nicaraguan rebels, an airport in Arkansas and Colombian drug cartels have in common?
Hint: cocaine and “coincidences” that end in the murder of Barry Seal, an infamous drug and weapon smuggler for the Medellin Cartel that became a government informant in 1984.
Seal lived a legendary life that unravels in this episode of Who Killed…? with host Bill Huffman, who believes everyone deserves to know what happened to their loved ones. He shines a light on cases that might have been forgotten over time.
Seal’s life story is riddled with contradictory details and accounts that journalists continue to chase to find out what happened when the U.S. government was entangled in South American politics during the cocaine craze and ramped up the War on Drugs.
Who was Seal and what really went down behind the scenes? Let’s find out.
Risk and Reward
He was a natural aviator, the youngest pilot to operate a Boeing 787. And he was booted by Trans World Airlines (TWA) after his arrest in a conspiracy to smuggle plastic explosives to Mexico by plane.
The airport took on new meaning for Seal when he got involved with the Medellin cartel and moved his smuggling operation to Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport in Little Rock. The base became a major transit point for cocaine and heroin into the United States from Columbia. By 1983, he had flown more than 100 flights carrying between $3 and $5 billion in cocaine via Mena.
Seal earned the cartel nickname El Gordo or “the fat man.” And eventually he faced a 10-year prison sentence and would do anything to avoid serving time. So he joined forces with the DEA, knowing he was risking his life. In an interview, he said, “The old saying [is], if you can’t stand the heat, don’t work in the kitchen. I can take the pressure.”
Uncovering the Back Story
The information Seal collected helped justify the controversial U.S. support of the Contras in Nicaragua. But the risk Seal took was real, and the notorious pilot was gunned down by the cartel and six Columbian men were arrested in conjunction with his murder.
The story doesn’t end there. In fact, the aftermath is where events remain alleged. In July 2020, the FBI released more than 1,000 pages of documents on Seal. Will we find out what happened in the tiny Arkansas town that became a hub for drugs, guns and dirty money?
Check out this episode of Who Killed…? and we tell you everything we know about the legendary life of Barry Seal and his connection to the bombshell political scandal of the era.
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