the witness hereinbefore named, having been previously cautioned and sworn, or affirmed, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth testified as follows:
1 specifically Kennedy International Airport.
2 Q. Now, do you have any knowledge of the CIA, quote, “black
3 bag,” operations at Rich Mountain Aviation?
4 A. Can we --
5 Q. Do you want to take a break there for a second and smoke a
7 A. No. I just would like to tae a break and talk to you for
8 a second.
9 MR. ALEXANDER: Sure. Let’s go off the record a
11 (Off - the - record.)
12 Q. (BY MR. ALEXANDER.) Mr. Brenneke, during the break you
13 mentioned that you may have misstated the dates of your college.
14 Do you want to correct that record?
15 A. Yes. I graduated from Seattle University in 1964, and I
16 graduated from the University of Toronto with my master’s in
18 Q. Now, I was asking you about whether or not the CIA had a
19 "black bag" operation at Rich Mountain Aviation in Mena,
20 Arkansas. And maybe a more interesting way to ask that question
21 would be, you knew that you were dealing with criminals; is that
23 A. That's correct, sir.
24 Q. You were dealing with criminals that were transporting and
25 selling cocaine in the United States?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You were working for the federal government agency known as
3 the Central Intelligence Agency. In a sort of man-on-the-street
4 vernacular, how do you keep these guys honest? I mean, do you
5 -- what precautions did you take and the CIA to know whether or
6 not they were dealing with this cargo in the manner in which it
7 was intended?
8 A. The general procedure and the procedure specifically used
9 in the case of Rich Mountain Aviation was to go through the
10 files from time-to-time to be sure that there were no papers
11 being kept back that would link the CIA to the activities there,
12 and if they were, they were removed from the file.
13 at such things as income tax returns and bank statements to make
14 sure that the people with whom we were dealing were not stealing
15 more than their fair share.
16 Q. We will -- and so you checked on Hampton, did you?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. And what did you discover?
19 A. I discovered that Mr. Hampton was not stealing more than
20 his fair share, and in general was performing the services that
21 he was -- that he had agreed to provide.
22 Q. Now, what had he agreed to provide?
23 A. He provided landing facilities, a place to store the
24 aircraft, assistance with mechanical problems on the aircraft or
25 avionics problems on the aircraft if they were necessary to get
1 it out of there, a storage area for drugs that were brought in,
2 a storage area for weapons that were taken out, a place where
3 people could rest or wait for a truck to haul them out to Nella.
4 Q. And how much did the CIA pay him for his services?
5 A. I don’t know the dollar figures. That’s -- the figure I
6 saw on his tax returns at one point indicated that he had
7 received something in excess of $10,000.
8 Q. Who would have handled the payment to Hampton for the CIA?
9 A. My understanding was that the man I was working for at the
10 time paid him, and that was Bob Kerritt.
11 Q. Bob Kerritt. Can you identify where he might reside?
12 A. Mr. Kerritt is a full-time employee of the Central
13 Intelligence Agency. And when I first met him, I checked on
14 that by waiting for him to return to Washington, calling
15 information in the D.C. area, got the phone number for the
16 switchboard at the CIA, called and asked for him by name, and I
17 got him.
18 Q. Okay. Now, how did you check on Reale; did you check on --
19 A. Well, I had already seen him. He and -- I mean, I had seen
20 him in New York. I knew who he was. And, as I say, we’d been
21 dealing with these folks in New York since 1968-69.
22 Q. When you say “we,” you mean the Central Intelligence
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. Now, did the Gotti organization, through Reale, pay money
1 to the CIA for the drugs?
2 A. Yes, they did.
3 Q. Do you know how much money?
4 A. Firsthand knowledge, somewhere in the $50,000,000 bracket.
5 Q. How do you know how much money?
6 A. Because I banked that money for them in Panama City, and
7 ultimately transferred it to other locations in Europe.
8 Q. Did they pay you in cash?
9 A. Yes, generally.
10 Q. And what do you mean “generally;” what other forms did they
11 pay you in?
12 A. You’re given -- I owned an aircraft in Mexico City for a
13 while that was payment for some work I had done.
14 Q. I see.
15 A. Occasionally there were items like that.
16 Q. So what would be the procedure for you to receive the
17 payment from the Gotti organization for the drugs?
18 A. Generally the money was -- okay. Let me restate that. The
19 money was given to us in cash.
20 Q. "Us," you mean the CIA?
21 A. "Us," meaning the people I worked with, who were also
22 associated with the Central Intelligence Agency. We would
23 transfer that money to banks in Central and South America. And
24 from there transfer via accounts that I had established back
25 in 1970 -- they were accounts which I was a beneficial
1 holder and the named signee on it.
2 Q. Let’s take a payment from Mr. Reale in cash, and follow the
3 procedure step-by-step as you know it for the transmittal of
4 that money from the Gotti organization to the Central
5 Intelligence Agency?
6 A. Okay. That money was delivered to us in cash. There were
7 -- there were occasions where there were wire transfers, but
8 generally -- the generally followed method was cash.
9 be stored in the aircraft on its turn trip to Panama. Once it
10 reached Panama, we would put it into a bank account. Which at
11 that time was in the Banquo DePanama?
12 Q. Banquo DePanama?
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. All right.
15 A. And the account name was the initials IFMA, which was a
16 company that I set up in Panama City in 1970, I believe, It may
17 have been ‘69
18 Q. Did you get a receipt for deposit?
19 A. No, sir. We would not get a receipt for deposit. The
20 money would be deposited there, but it would be subsequently and
21 then almost immediately transferred to -- the transfer points in
22 general followed this way; they came -- it came to Spain or
23 Liechtenstein, from there it went to either -- it went to Monte
24 Carlo, and the ultimate destination was Zurich or Geneva but, in
25 any case, Switzerland.
1 Q. The money was given to you by the Gotti -- the agent for
2 the Gotti organization?
3 A. Yes, sir. And there were other people besides the man that
4 I’ve named. And I’d have to see photographs, but I can surely
5 pick them out for you.
6 Q. Well, we can return to the manner in which the money was
7 transferred at a subsequent time. I’m truing here to identify
8 the source of the money --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. -- and the place that the money went to, and who received
11 the money. And you have said that that went to the CIA?
12 A. To CIA accounts that I established on their behalf in the
13 late sixties and early seventies. I still have the
14 incorporation papers on them.
15 Q. How do you know that the money went to the CIA itself?
16 A. Because I would transfer personally that money out of that
17 account into others.
18 Q. Did you ever talk to any people in the CIA about the money?
19 A. Sure. I talked to Mr. Kerritt from time-to-time --
21 Q. Who is Mr. Ellis, can you tell us, and --
22 A. Ellis is an employee and was an associate of Mr. Kerritt’s.
23 Robert Ellis is his name, E-L-L-I-S. He was an associate of
24 Kerritt’s. The two used to work together frequently.
25 Q. What other CIA agents knew of this operation, and knew that
1 the money came from the Gotti organization?
2 A. I’d have to say Harry Rupp would be someone who would know
3 that, because Harry at that time had a gold importing business
4 in Switzerland.
5 Q. Can you recall any conversations you had with any of the
6 CIA agents about the money, and tell us the nature of that
7 conversation, the scope of it?
8 A. Sure. When I found that we were bringing drugs into the
9 United States, and that we were receiving money which was being
10 put into accounts which I knew to belong to the United States
11 Government, as I'd set them up specifically for that purpose, I
12 called Mr. Don Gregg, who was a CIA officer with whom I was
13 acquainted, and complained about the nature of what we were
15 Q. Now, who is Mr. Don Gregg?
16 A. At that time, he was George Bush - Vice-President George
17 Bush's National Security Advisor.
18 Q. And do you recall the date that you had this conversation
19 with Mr. Gregg?
20 A. I am more than willing to look for it in my telephone
22 Q. And when you discover that, you can provide it for us?
23 A. I will provide you with --
24 Q. You have records of the conversation?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1Q. And will you make a copy of that record available for
2 this --
3 A. Yes, sir, I will. Including my handwritten notes that are
5 Q. Now, you don't have any notes with you at this time?
6 A. No, I do not.
7 Q. But do you recall the conversation with Mr. Gregg?
8 A. Very well.
9 Q. And can you tell us what you remember about that
11 A. I surely can. I was told that it was not my business, what
12 I was flying in and out of the country. That I was hired to do
13 specific things, and if I would do those things and not pay any
14 attention to anything else, we would all be very, very happy. I
15 didn't like that.
16 Q. Well, what else did he say?
17 A. Shut up and do your job.
18 Q. He said, "Shut up and do your job?"
19 A. Essentially, yes.
20 Q. Did you have any further contact with him?
21 A. I talked to him in 19 --
22 Q. "Him," I'm talking about Mr. Gregg?
23 A. Yes. Subsequently I talked to Mr. Gregg on a number of
24 occasions as well as to other people in the Vice-President's
25 office to voice my concern over the use of drugs in -- importing