Inside the Dixie Mafia: Politics of Death
by John Caylor
NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT
YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.
Preference: The following true story is a glimpse into my life from the years 1966 through October 2004, a prelude to the in-depth book due out soon "Inside the Dixie Mafia"
Sometimes you lose a piece of yourself that you can never get back, some people say that it’s your soul, drifting off to hell.
For those of us who by fate, have been cast down in this dark and bottomless pit of drugs and war in America, the nightmares never end. Every day is a bad dream turned real, the paranoia grips you at times like rigor mortis. In desperation to tell the story and warn the world of Satan’s arrival, you get hooked on the never-ending search for truth, it consumes you and occupies your life and nothing else matters until the light shines on it and frees your soul.
This nightmare upon America that has us in its grip began back in the 60’s during the Vietnam War at my hometown Enterprise, Alabama, just north of Bay County, Florida and located 6 miles west of Fort Rucker, the U.S. Army’s Aviation Center.
During the Vietnam War, merchants at Enterprise laughed all the way to the bank, when blood money from the poor boys of America, flowed down the peaks and valleys of this God forsaken place the devil has declared his own.
Starting in the forties with World War II, the U.S. Army established Fort Rucker as the training spot and headquarters for army aviation. During the early 60’s along came Vietnam and a massive buildup of hundreds of remote airstrips, facilities and influx of thousands of soldiers and pilots.
The area was a natural for the military; the climate is like that of Vietnam, hot and humid, the terrain is full of pine forests with rough hills and valleys. The inhabitants were firebrand rednecks, full of hate for commies, Jews and blacks, blood thirsty for dollars of death and destruction that war brings.
Most of the decent locals gave way to military retirees who overtook Enterprise, with its cheap land and low cost of living, dominating all aspects of business and government. The area also gave way to an influx of mobsters and thugs fleeing Phenix City, Alabama in the wake of "crime fighter" district Attorney Albert Patterson's assassination.
My father was the number one lawman and Chief of Police who welcomed all those folks with open arms. Everyone addressed him as "Chief"; he was a dead ringer for actor Carroll O’Connor, in the TV series "In The Heat of the Night."
As a young man, I developed a unique view of crime and corruption in America, one that was partly instilled upon me by classmates, kicking my head in at school until I learned to be a seasoned fighter.
Somehow, I always wound up fighting to defend the "Chief’s" honor and integrity, that he wasn’t in bed with bootleggers, whores and crooks. I just didn’t want to believe it, in fact he used to witness the Gospel of Christ, at area churches. Yet, he was a man of immense power, because he decided what was right and wrong in the community and all too often he was wrong.
I believe that my father’s power came from the cruelest parts of hell and that of his new found associates, men of money, who were the retired Army Colonels and Defense Intelligence Agency guys who made their fortunes smuggling opium in the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia.
Their dope smuggling skills were fine tuned with the aid of the fixed wing aircraft under cover of 4500 take offs and landings each day at Army airfields extending over 150 miles in all directions of South Alabama, Northwest Florida and Southwest Georgia. Geographically, the area is not quite a gas tank away from Columbia and other hot spots of Central and South America.
In 1966 along came Army Captain Clifford Wentworth from Miami. Cliff was a tall 6’4" handsome All-American type guy, smart as hell with his new law degree. Everyone liked Cliff, and Daddy who by now had become a successful real estate developer operating his own construction company, built Cliff and his wife a new home on Dixie Drive in Enterprise.
Cliff soon left for his tour of duty in Vietnam and after a year or so he was back home with his wife Brenda. Upon leaving the Army, daddy encouraged Cliff to stay and he joined a local law firm with a retired Army Col., my father’s personal lawyer who was already big time into representing potheads; in fact he was the first lawyer I ever knew to openly advocate the use of marijuana in the 60’s.
Shortly thereafter, Cliff left to set up an additional law practice in South Florida. What business my father and Cliff had between them was a dead secret as were his other business dealings.
There was something about my father, he always dangled big money carrots and broken promises to get you back in the fold, like a yo-yo I kept coming back, even quitting my job as a journalist just to satisfy him. He never liked answering questions or people who asked them and I was all mouth and sixty questions. He used to get real mad at the IRS guys, the ones with the guns and badges who’d show up unexpectedly at the house wanting business records and answers to stupid questions.
During the hullabaloo cat and dog fights, Cliff calls, and says for dad to send me down to Miami, (says), that he would put me to work and take care of me. My dad issues the order and so I embark in the middle of the night for the long drive south.
Eight hours later, there I was on Miami Beach in the dead of winter 1974. What a change this was, nice balmy weather, beautiful women and a paradise filled with too many Cubans. I didn’t know how I was going to make it, I didn’t know anyone in the whole place but one young lawyer, Clifford Brown Wentworth.
The next morning, I arrived at this big office building right down there on Flagler Street and take the elevator flight up to the firm. Talk about class, money and just about everything you could want, Cliff had it.
After the hand shake and hug, Cliff looked at me and said, here’s the deal. I know you are a good photographer and I need one because I do lots of divorce cases and insurance claims. Every now and then I want you to go out and secretly photograph guys screwing around on their wives, because I represent the wives in court.
That afternoon along comes my cousin Neal from Enterprise, who is working construction in Miami, and I decide to roommate with him at an apartment complex on North Kendall Blvd.
My third day in town Neal and I are heading down U.S. 1 in his old Camaro with Neal smoking a joint, and right through an intersection two cops pull us over. Neal looked about as Colombian as you can get, dark tan and long ponytail hair, he fit the part we later called the "profile." All the women loved him, because he was cool.
As the cops approach Neal’s side of the car, I’m about to go in my pants because Neal’s still smoking the joint. Then this cop sticks his head in the car and says, "Neal Ol’ Buddy, got any extra smoke, me and my partner here are entertaining some ladies tonight and we need a few joints."
Neal smiles and says how about 2 bags of fresh gold? By now the cops are smiling as Neal reaches under his seat and pulls out 2 large plastic bags of Colombian Gold for them. The other cop says what do we owe ya? Neal just looks at them and says my pleasure! Away they go and so do we, I’m sitting there thinking, what’s the family coming to, dope dealers, this ain’t our way, maybe it’s just his own recreational stash Neal’s messing with?
A few weeks later, Neal’s laying out of work all day at home and I’m making friends with the Cubans at work who used to be somebody in Havana until Fidel came along. One of the guys who was a big time lawyer in Havana, tried to get me to join the Cuban Revolutionary Army, who were playing weekend soldier over in the Glades, compliments of our CIA.
One Tuesday night I arrived home to a house strewn with garbage, from Neal’s new puppy and Neal’s just getting up. I want to know why he doesn’t clean up the mess and why he isn’t working and he’s screwing around all night?
Next thing I know, he says, "Come on let’s take a drive, I want to show you something. Ten blocks away we step out of his Chevy Camaro and walk down the sidewalk into this apartment complex right to the middle of it.
There at apartment 26, Neal knocks at the door and says, "Hey Manny, it’s me man, Neal." The door opens and there sits this ugly little Spanish guy with a sawed off-shotgun
Pointed right in my face. I’m about to freak out, Neal tells him it’s okay; I’m his cousin John from Enterprise. Inside the 2-bedroom apartment, the living room is empty except for a rocking chair, stereo, fish tank, small couch and a table with a cash box on it and the shotgun.
Neal says, "John, don’t worry me, man, I’m doing fine at work, making lots of money." and he then takes me to bedroom one, cracks the door open and there from the floor to the ceiling were bricks of Colombian Gold. There wasn’t a foot or more of space left in the whole damn bedroom. Crap, the other one was filled the same from the floor to the ceiling. I couldn’t even use the bathroom because it was filled up too.
Shocked, I couldn’t understand how any one could bring this much dope down the sidewalk without getting caught? Neal says, " Cops man, the cops." Enough said, Neal lit up some gold and I tried my first and last joint.
No longer a virgin to marijuana, I decided to live and leave all these things with Neal and his business associates. It’s a good thing then, because later on, I learned from Timmy, Neal’s younger brother that Colombians just kill you on sight if they don’t like your looks. "It was an instant love or hate relationship that usually ended at first sight," says Timmy. In the mid 80’s when Timmy was 15 years old, he was recruited from Enterprise as a cocaine runner.
According to Timmy, they would meet their Colombian buddies for weekend fishing trips starting off at the Flamingo Bar, mid way down Alligator Alley in the Everglades. There they would take airboats out to staging areas and at the predetermined hour, money and cocaine fell from the sky in army duffel bags.
Back on land, this 15 year old kid was given a Smith and Wesson 45, a briefcase full on money, a new Cadillac filled to the brim with cocaine in the trunk and a map showing the route he must drive to Atlanta. Timmy worked that circuit for quite a few years until he started sampling the merchandise.
Later on Timmy was recruited locally, to load automatic weapons apparently stolen from Fort Rucker onto airplanes, and unload cocaine over at the Opp-Andalusia area some 45 miles to the west of Enterprise. Timmy refused to discuss that in detail, because he says the people involved owned the DEA and were more ruthless than the Colombians. My guess is that they were Oliver North’s Defense Intelligence Agency guys.
After resigning from the police in 1977, Thornton practiced law in Lexington. Four years later he was among 25 men accused in Fresno, California, in a theft of weapons from the China Lake Naval Weapons Center and of conspiring to smuggle 1,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States. Thornton left California after pleading not guilty and was arrested as a fugitive in North Carolina, wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a pistol. He pleaded no contest in Fresno to a misdemeanor drug charge and the felony charges were dropped. He was sentenced to six months in prison, fined $500, placed on probation for five years, and had his law license suspended.
-- Andrew C. Thornton, II, by Wikipedia
Back to 1974 in Miami, after learning not to mess with Neal and his buddies, I began to get occasional calls from Cliff. I’d then go out and shoot the pictures of those divorce case guys actually screwing around on their wives. Little did I know that those guys were Miami vice cops working narcotics? Apparently, it must have worked because Cliff had it all figured out. After I gave him the photos and negatives these guys were invited to his office for a preview.
After several months, I decided I was too young for prison for just knowing about Neal’s business, and being homesick, I decided to split Miami for Enterprise. Once back in Enterprise, I was about as welcome as the seven year itch. No one would hire me, daddy put out the word.
He was royally mad that motor mouth (sixty questions), had come back home to roost.
Luckily that same weekend, along came Cheryl, my second wife, who was drop dead gorgeous. Cheryl was a good woman who could stand up to my father and put him in his place and he didn’t like that. Next thing I know we are married and move to Clearwater, Florida just to get away from the family at Enterprise.
Over the next few years I didn’t hear a word from Daddy and frankly I was relieved to be left alone. I minded my own business and kept it that way until Cliff called me up one day and suggested that he would like to meet the new wife. We decided to get together over that next weekend in Vero Beach at the Howard Johnson’s Oceanside.
That weekend, Cheryl and I arrived shortly before they did. It was a different Cliff who wheeled in on a Harley Davidson motorcycle with Brenda attached, I didn’t know that Cliff was a bike rider; his favorite was a Mercedes sedan or Lincoln. On a bike behind him was his brother, Eddie, with wife in tow. Eddie was the publisher of a large daily newspaper (The Sun-Tattler) in Hollywood, Florida.
It was snort, snort, and snort all weekend long, except for John and Cheryl; we didn’t touch that stuff, no way! The love of money and 20 mule teams couldn’t make me snort that garbage. I then pretty much resigned myself to the fact that Cliff was in way over his head and I didn’t want any part of it, but I still didn’t have any real idea of what exactly it was and things yet to come.
It never really gripped me until October 1981, when a federal grand jury in Miami indicted Cliff and several others in operation "Sunburn", for importing a billion dollars worth of Colombian pot. Back home in Enterprise everyone was in shock and my dad ranted on about the indictment being pure horse manure.
Cliff, being the lawyer and mastermind of the group, got word of the indictments and he immediately fled the country heading south to Colombia. There from what I’ve been able to piece together from various DEA and intelligence sources, his business associates Pablo Escobar and Carlos Lehder put him up in a safe house.
At that time there was no Cartel in Columbia, but there sure as hell was one in Enterprise. According to former DEA agents Bobby Spencer and John Kreppine, Cliff and the boys had established a far-reaching network over the Southeast U.S.
At one point, they even had a commercial airline flying into Columbia. Agent Kreppine had it in for Cliff, and according to Kreppine, Cliff almost got some of his agents killed during operation Sunburn. Whose side was Cliff really on? Isn’t it normal for DEA guys to get whacked in the line of duty?
Not only did they use army airstrips, one was set up at a farm belonging to Brenda’s family in Cottondale, Florida, 40 miles south of Enterprise, with the Houston County Sheriff’s department flying cover in helicopters alerting them to snoopy DEA agents.
They were so successful at smuggling; I believe after the indictments, Cliff turned the whole operation over to Carlos Lehder Rivas, who was also a pilot. They weren’t going to let this shit end, the money was too easy, everything was in place, but I’m convinced that there was hidden force at play here.
Carlos Ledher Rivas was a good pilot, fresh from U.S. prison on car theft charges at Miami and Chicago; Lehder Rivas was pretty much an independent.
During those years in the late 70’s and until 1981 cocaine smuggling was reserved for false bottom suitcases and a condom swallower.
Ledher Rivas was a member of MAS -- The "Death to Kidnappers" group (Spanish: Muerte a Secuestradores, MAS) is a non-state death squad run by Colombian drug traffickers for the limited purpose of countering and containing their main enemies, namely Colombian leftist revolutionaries, politicians, and the Colombian state. The group formed after the kidnapping of Jorge Luis Ochoa’s daughter.
The drug traffickers' alliances with leftist rebels against the government, or with right-wing elements in the security forces against leftist revolutionaries, have been purely tactical in nature and intended by the drug traffickers at preserving their relative autonomy in a fractured and weak Colombian state.
MAS was founded in December 1981 by drug traffickers Carlos Ledher Rivas and Jorge Luis Ochoa Vásquez. The leader of the Medellín drug cartel, Pablo Escobar Gaviria (d. 1993), was also believed to be among the patrons of MAS. This group was originally directed particularly against guerrilla groups, such as M-19, that had been kidnapping drug kingpins for ransom. Eventually it became a right-wing death squad that targeted leftist politicians, students, and other activists. MAS is believed to function as an umbrella organization for a number of right-wing paramilitary groups of which 128 could be identified by 1988.
Although there has been evidence of collusion in the early 1980s between drug traffickers and leftist guerrillas, who shared at least a common enemy in the Colombian government if not a common ideology, such a relationship was problematic at best, probably more on the level of mutual extortion than cooperation.
By the late 1980s, the drug traffickers began attacking the leftists in earnest. On 11 October 1987, Jaime Pardo Neal, a leader of the FARC-associated Patriotic Union (UP) Party, was killed by agents of a major drug trafficker.
On 22 March 1990, traffickers also assassinated UP Presidential candidate Bernardo Jaramillo Ossa at Bogotá airport and on 26 April 1990 killed M-19 Presidential candidate Carlos Pizarro León-Gómez. Ironically both candidates had opposed extradition of narcotics traffickers to the United States.
MAS is also suspected of perpetrating the January 1989 killings of 12 members of a judicial commission investigating death squad activity in Colombia.
In those early years minute amounts of the white powder would flow into the country and the price was sky high. Only the rich and famous could afford to snort that crap. In the U.S. things had been put in place to change that. At their 1980 convention, the American Medical Association endorsed cocaine as the drug of choice to kick the cannabis habit.
The good doctors of America decided that cocaine was not addictive, was less harmful than that evil cannabis weed, and they thought that everyone trying to kick the habit should switch.
In Colombia, Pablo Escobar, another independent criminal, was also looking for ways to expand and with Cliff’s network already in place all they needed to do was get some new airplanes and fresh pilots.
Now comes U.S. Intelligence operative Barry Seal, who along with Carlos Lehder Rivas, flies up to Enterprise shopping for new airplanes and pilots.
At Ozark, Alabama, less than 20 miles from Enterprise, CIA asset Carol Williams at Southern Aero supplies the boys with all the aircraft they need. Williams taunted U.S. Customs agents and liked for everyone to know he was an agency guy who sold everything from helicopters to fixed wing aircraft to drug traffickers.
It’s not against the law to sell and export aircraft, Barry and his brother bought a flat iron Huey from Carol one time and paid with two lawn trash bags full of $100 bills.
Seal and Lehder Rivas recruited pilots from retired army aviators living locally at Enterprise, Ozark and Dothan. In late 1982 time frame, cocaine began to fly into the area by the ton and it came to pass, "The Enterprise" began.
Debbie Seal, Barry’s widow, confirmed most of this when she and former NBC producer Daniel Hopsicker author of "Barry and The Boys" visited with me and narcotics agent Johnny ____of the Alabama Bureau of Investigation at my mother’s house at Enterprise during February 1999.
Debbie also confirmed that Barry had been deeply involved with New Orleans Mafia Boss, Carlos Marcello and piloted many of Marcello’s aircraft. J. Edgar Hoover, former FBI Director personally tried to deport Marcello from the United States on 19 separate occasions. Marcello who spent time in prison at Texarkana, Texas, has always been a key figure in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
During the visit, Debbie Seal provided me with the assassination team photo taken in Mexico City during the February 1963 time frame, this was after we shared information and I was able to establish credibility with her.
Being the only source alive to hear Barry’s taped conversations with his handler from the DEA, Debbie was anxious to verify facts in those lost tapes.
Barry Seal always carried a big bag of quarters in his car and an Olympus Pearl Recorder and a box full of fresh tapes. He never used anything except a payphone and he recorded everything!
When he was on our side and undercover in another country he was given a little black box to activate once a week in the woods to enable U.S. space communications satellites to pick the signal up at certain times. This is the only way our government knew he was still breathing somewhere else on the planet.
Barry would complain that he was a clay pigeon and sitting duck when he was told that he would have to testify about the Bush Administration’s involvement in cocaine smuggling to a Baton Rouge federal grand jury.
On the tapes Seal raised hell "You really expect me to tell those people the truth, that the United States government is in the drug business? In Baton Rouge everything that is said to a federal grand jury is on the street in 10 minutes!"
Shortly before his murder by a hit team affiliated with Col. Oliver North’s Black Ops guys, Barry had a subpoena to testify at the federal courthouse in Panama City, Florida, in the federal cocaine smuggling trial of James Charles Elmore from Ozark, Alabama.
For many years everyone speculated that the Cartel had it done because Fabio Ochoa’s shooters were sitting in the courtroom when the federal judge announced the address of a halfway house where Barry would be spending his nights.
Criminal charges related to Barry Seal’s murder were dropped when Ochoa’s defense attorneys informed the court on July 29, 2003, they were going to introduce evidence that Oliver North’s Black Ops guys were responsible for doing Barry with 19 bullet holes.
When North's people put Barry's headlights out, he had George Bush's private telephone number in the trunk of his caddy.
Debbie had a $14 million dollar insurance policy on his life and the IRS tried to confiscate it until she started making a few waves of her own and then received a speakerphone call from some people in Washington.
Debbie says, that the people would not identify themselves but they all agreed that if she would keep her mouth shut she could keep the money.
Back to September 1980, at the Ramada Inn at Dothan I'm standing there with Congressman Bill Dickinson, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and my early 70's newspaper boss Terry Everett, and I’m introduced to CIA Director and Vice Presidential candidate George Bush.
Ramada Inn owner, Bob Miller, formerly from Houston who took up with one of my ex girlfriends, makes the introduction. He then turns around, grabs me by the arm and says, "This is the man who is really going to be President, not that stupid son of a bitch Ronnie Ray Gun, you watch what I say, he’s going to make everyone rich."
After the November election Bush and Oliver North began to show up quite a bit. Terry Everett was persuaded to run for congress and he is now Rep. Terry Everett, (R) Alabama. As far as I know Terry has always been on the straight and narrow, unlike his longtime pal Bill Dickinson who used to show up at Terry's office on Friday afternoons with a bottle of whiskey under each arm.
Bill Dickinson was not an honorable man. My father's first cousin, John Hugh (Pat) Caylor, did federal time for perjury trying to cover Dickinson's rotten ass at Fort Rucker. Pat was always the Romeo of the family, a dark haired handsome looking guy, but he would lose it over a bottle of whiskey and once side-swiped 9 parked cars in Daleville, Alabama.
Pat was rewarded with $500,000 for keeping his mouth shut about international arms theft and trafficking by Dickinson and his associates at the Pentagon. In March 1981, after a surgical procedure, I was forced to recover at my father's house in Enterprise where Pat would often come and chat with me for hours about powerful men from Washington with suitcases full of money.
Doris his pretty wife and mother of his children left him while he was in the federal pen and he was confessing to me almost daily over a two-week period. The secret stories Pat told were confirmed almost 9 years later by refuted Dixie Mafia member and Barry Seal associate, Billy Grice.
Billy Grice is a former Fort Rucker, Alabama, supply supervisor who took a bad rap to the Atlanta federal pen for Dickinson after exporting billions of dollars in stolen arms during the Arab-Israeli 6 day war. Billy was my father's favorite when he was chief of police, Daddy would often give him confiscated handguns from his office desk drawer.
But Billy was bitter as hell over the fact that Dickinson and other Washington politicians he went down for didn't take care of his family while he was in prison. It didn't help much that two of my father's favorite detectives Jake Heath and Larry Baxter robbed Billy's house of a freezer full of cash and emptied his closets of $500 suits.
Billy is smart as hell and has a photographic memory -- he can rattle off names and telephone numbers of everyone of importance in the murky world of smuggling. He was the legal whiz of the Atlanta federal pen, law library buddy to Walter Moody, later convicted in sham proceedings of murdering federal Judge Robert Vance and Savannah attorney Wayne Robinson, in the 1989-90 (VANPAC) mail bomb attacks on the federal judiciary.
At Atlanta, Billy formed solid friendships with Aryan Brotherhood member Doyle Ray Henderson and others who robbed armored cars and smuggled cocaine into the United States. Doyle Ray Henderson was also a key suspect in the VANPAC case, although in 1989-90 when the bombings occurred he was incarcerated at Leavenworth federal penitentiary.
The Aryan Brotherhood
The Aryan Brotherhood got its start on the West Coast in the 1960s.
The Brotherhood, which has members in prisons throughout the United States, exhibits an intense hatred of Blacks and Jews, and reportedly engages in extortion, drug operations, prostitution, and violence in prisons.
Many Brotherhood members sport an identifying tattoo consisting of a swastika and the Nazi SS lightening bolt.
The Brotherhood has ties to Aryan Nations, an Idaho-based paramilitary organization that advocates racial violence and white supremacy.
In the 1980s, Brotherhood members challenged a Missouri prison's ban on inmates receiving literature from Aryan Nations and similar groups. Nevertheless, the courts upheld the ban.
The Turner Diaries
The Turner Diaries was written in 1978 by William Pierce, head of the National Alliance, one of the largest and most organized neo-Nazi groups in the United States.
The novel has become a "Bible" for right-wing extremists. It calls for the violent overthrow of the Federal government, and the systematic killing of Jews and nonwhites.
Pierce's book has reportedly inspired a number of people connected to vicious crimes including Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of bombing the Murrah building in Oklahoma City.
Billy Grice became good at winning freedom for Atlanta inmates forcing the justice department to transfer him to the federal prison at Maxwell Air Force Base where he befriended former U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell who was there serving time on corruption charges. Billy typed Mitchell's briefs for him in criminal matters because according to Billy, "Mitchell was schooled only in corporate law."
When Billy was set free from federal prison in the mid 70's he claimed to have sent out over 300 resumes for employment to the people he went to jail for.
Not a one of them called or would take his telephone calls. Billy, being a good pilot, decided to launch his own cocaine smuggling career.
Apparently it was highly successful, so much so that he enlisted refuted Dixie Mafia associate, next-door neighbor Milton McGregor, to launder his money.
McGregor was a former civilian wage grade employee for Billy at Fort Rucker who used to bum cigarettes from him, began a career in the pari-mutuel racing industry when he opened Victoryland Dog Track in a 1984 partnership with Paul Bear Bryant, Jr.
The Duo enlisted the aid of my former neighbor, Montgomery Advertiser-Journal reporter Milo Dakin to soften attitudes and lobby Alabama legislators on gambling. Milo, who died in 2003, was a tall well-liked Louisiana chap, who served them well by buying the Alabama legislature.
As a result of their political clout, McGregor and associates have been instrumental in the drive to bring casinos and gambling to the Southeast. Based upon my extensive research and personal knowledge of the matter, I believe that Billy always has and continues to be a major player.
Enterprise has always been the hub where they audit the books and keep it straight between competing groups. It was also the place to put together murky smuggling relationships, Good old Ollie North personally autographed his picture for my dad long before that "kiss my ass speech", to Congress. Barry Seal and Ollie loved to hang out in the Wiregrass area, they were brazen as hell about it, after all, they were above the law.
One thing I’ve always noted since the 1980 introduction to Bush, Sr., is that cocaine lurks in the shadows of his associates. Strange how things happen, several days after the introduction someone goofed, and two Colombian nationals were arrested by the DEA at Bob Miller's Ramada Inn with a couple of kilos of coke.
They just posted large bonds and were promptly taken to the airport for a flight back to Colombia. They apparently never responded to the letters requesting them to come back to the U.S. and be prosecuted for the big bad felony of importing cocaine.
What about Cliff, daddy's partner? Well, as the story goes, all ends well that goes well. Three years later, I ran into him, after the United States forced Columbia to make him leave. He was arrested shortly after stepping off a flight to meet Brenda and the kids on some Caribbean Island.
Upon his sentencing for importing a billion dollars worth of dope, Cliff said, "You know Johnny, I told that federal judge that I was a disgrace to my legal profession and my country, and very much wanted to make amends to that and that I was ready to face it."
He said "Mr. Wentworth, for your high crimes against the United States of America, I hereby sentence you to 6 years in a federal correctional institution, with 5 years and 6 months suspended for restitution in the amount of twenty five thousand dollars."
Cliff dug deep into his pocket, pulled out a quarter and with that All-American grin, he flipped it to me, as he was off to serve his time on golf courses at Elgin Air Force base. I never saw him again, he just vanished from the face of this earth, Brenda, the kids, Eddie and the whole family, gone, no crap -– crime must really pay!
In 1987, Lucy Morgan, an investigative reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, who spent nights with Brenda and the kids when Cliff was on the lam, told me Cliff was in the witness protection program.