Chicago Public Radio on crashed drug plane

In the comments to the weird story about the crashed drug plane with ties to the CIA, Mongip pointed to a "much more detailed, objective and intriguing investigative report on this plane," from Chicago Public Radio.
The new owner? "Donna Blue Aircraft"[3] a corporation recently registered in South Florida to two Brazilians.

[Reporter Kevin] HALL: one of these mailboxes-are-us type of business.

Donnablueaircraft dot com was registered just ten days before they bought the plane[4] So is this just a Front Company? Investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker visited Donna Blue’s listed address… He found an empty office suite, a blank sign, and six unmarked police cruisers parked in front.[5]

[Investigative journalist Daniel] HOPSICKER: It’s a phony front company.

Exactly who these Brazilians are is a whole 'nuther story.

HOPSICKER: Non-US citizens are not allowed to own N-Numbered Planes…and…neither one of these guys appears to be a US Citizen.

HALL: he didn’t check either box as to whether he was a US citizen.

After just two weeks, the plane was sold again in another mysterious transaction. The only evidence for this is an anomalous bill of sale with the name of the new owner: “Clyde O’Connor” He’s a well-known guy around Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport.

HALL: I had the sense they seemed to have known more about him than they were letting on, he seems to be a veteran around that area, who’s got a bit of a checkered past.

O’Connor’s been involved in at least two plane crashes and he was cited for Criminal Air Safety Violations in 2001.

[Florida reporter Bob] NORMAN: He’d gone through bankruptcies, a divorce, he’s a chronic traffic offender.

Florida reporter [and Blogger @ the Broward Palm Beach New Times] Bob Norman tried to track down O’Connor.

NORMAN: He’s a slippery guy, … and where the money’s coming from, I think that’s a big question.

Kevin Hall was wondering about O’Connor’s money too.

HALL: …seems to own a $450,000 house, so he seems to be doin pretty well even though his businesses are going bad

He has two corporations registered in his name, but they’re run out of Post Office Boxes and their phones are disconnected. Bob went looking for O’Connor at Ft. Lauderdale executive airport. He just missed him.

NORMAN: I don’t know why he was there but it was the talk of the airport.

So Bob reported he had been seen around the Ft Lauderdale airport days after the crash. The same day his story came out, O’Connor left the country in a hurry.[6] He flew to Canada and was arrested right away for lying about the guns in his bag.[7] Then, he paid several thousand dollars to get his plane back and then flew it to the Azores. He still doesn’t appear to be under investigation for any wrongdoing, despite being the cocaine plane’s owner of record. This really gets Bob Norman’s goat…

NORMAN: This is a trail that needs to be investigated, Clyde O’Connor needs to be investigated.

And according to the bill of sale… He was the lawful owner of the plane.

SLACK: Even though the paperwork may not be on record and filed, presumptive ownership transfers on the date of sale.

There’s another big question about Clyde…

ROOT: Who actually piloted the plane out of the US was it Mr. O’Connor, who wasn’t certified?…

So did he fly it illegally or did someone else fly it? And also: who gave O’Connor the money to buy the plane? According to the Brazilian owner, O’Connor was buying the plane on behalf of someone else… Then who’s he buying it for? There was another name on the bill of Sale: Greg Smith, the only person involved in the deal not to have left the country. So Dan Hopsicker tried to get his side of the story,

HOPSICKER: The pilots aren’t talking to the press so I asked someone who I know does business with the two pilots to call and Greg Smith blurted out ‘it was Don’s money’…

That’s Don Whittington, a convicted drug smuggler, tax evader and champion race car driver.

Several of his planes were named in investigations of the CIA rendition program[9] but we’ll get back to him later. So What do we know so far…Weve got a crashed drug plane in Mexico…It’s got a history of government use…It changes hands twice in a couple weeks before crashing…

Link | Link to MP3



  1. ~sigh~

    CIA drug trafficking

    no one cares, it’s just the way the world works.

  2. So what’s the story? The CIA is smuggling plane loads of cocaine into the United-States to fund black projects and sustain Bush’s habits??

  3. i think its a known fact that elected officials need millions of dollars for campaigns, some of that inevitable comes from drug money whether it is direct or indirect involvement is irrelevant. It is the complacency, the lack of integrity is what is most damning.

    Bush doesn’t enforce the borders,he let’s them remain wide open despite a Global War on Terrorism. Meanwhile, most drugs cross the border undetected, only a small fraction are caught, just enough for authorities to look tough on crime.

    I think many of the skeptics out there are just so jaded from seeing these scenarios played to death in film and tv, it just seems laughable, or acceptable, so when it really happens, no one cares.

  4. This administration has become absurdly implicatable in some many wrongdoings that I find myself completely numb to these revelations. I figured out years ago that Republicans holding office and plentiful cheap cocaine go hand in hand so it is inevitable that a connection with a government entity would eventually surface.

    Now what I would find amazing is if this story were to end in a meaningful arrest or will another bunch of middlemen be scapegoated into a short jail term.

  5. Doesn’t everyone know that the CIA’s been involved in the drug trade for decades now?

  6. All I keep thinking as I read about this is: how the hell do I get in on this government immunity money-train that deals in drugs, airplanes, and millions in cash?

  7. Good story.

    It’s lame, however, for Chicago Public Radio to report on the estimated values of peoples’ homes as if the estimates provide any real insight into someone’s honesty.

    A lot of people live in $450,000 homes.

  8. Nice story. Complete with a patsy and everything.

    The CIA runs drug people. Read Gary Webb’s book, Dark Alliances. Read up on the opium trade. Research the recent surge in Afghanistan’s heroin production.

    Isn’t it time for everyone to grow up? Large central governments can never be trusted. This was a truism for many a generation and somewhere along the line we and our parents and grandparents were hoodwinked into believing in this representative democracy. Our great grandparents and older generations knew better though. They knew that democracy meant vigilance and responsibility. But that was before the creation of the new socialist man and brain washing on a massive scale.

    Sorry for such a dark post but this stuff is really getting old.

  9. I know Clyde O’Connor personally – today is his birthday – albeit, I have not seen or spoke with him in about 10 years – when I googled his name, I am literally shocked to read all of this – nonetheless, Clyde, if you read these – Happy Birthday. Jennifer

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