By: David Rice
Re: Tax Dollars & Cocaine
MIAMI (ITN) * A judge ordered the government to pay $871,000
to six people arrested and beaten in Honduras after U.S. drug
agents planted cocaine on their plane in 1991 as part of a
botched drug sting.
The three crew members and three passengers had no idea the
plane was loaded with cocaine when they made a stopover in
Honduras en route from Belize to Miami. Honduran officials
also knew nothing of the planned sting.
"The incarceration of the plaintiffs was directly caused by
the action of the U.S. government," U.S. District Judge
Federico Moreno said Wednesday in ruling in the seven-day,
The six sued the U.S. government, claiming it was liable for
the bungled sting. U.S. Attorney Cynthia Everett said it
wasn't immediately known if the government would appeal.
Drug Enforcement Administration officers put about 90 pounds
of cocaine on board the Belize Air International Ltd. plane
as part of a plan to capture drug runners when the craft
landed in Miami.
But drug dogs discovered the cocaine in Honduras, and the six
were arrested and held for 12 days.
During their imprisonment, they were "blindfolded,
handcuffed, beaten, threatened with cattle prods and kicked,
all in an attempt to make them confess to a crime which they
had not committed," the lawsuit claimed.
American authorities later admitted they had bungled the
operation by failing to notify Honduras the drugs were on the
The six were each awarded between $95,000 and $155,000.
Our tax dollars at work. -- drice
... No, but you sure as hell implied it, Gerbil Boy.