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The matter was left up in the air, Dos Santos said, until later on then Dos Santos, or someone else from DEA, was to call back Grant and give approval or not give it to have Peroff arrested. But neither he nor any other DEA employee he knew of ever called Grant, Dos Santos said (p. 349). Senator Huddleston said:
Yet it is fairly obvious that somebody had to tell the Florida authorities where lír. Peroff was and where he could be arrested? "Absolutely, yes, sir." Dos Santos said (pp. 349, 350). But, adding to the mystery, Secret Service Agent Peter Grant denied he had anything to do with Peroti's arrest. "I didn't even know Mr. Peroff was arrested," Grant said (p. 841).
Dos Santos did not conceal his ill feeling toward Frank Peroff and his attitude that he didn't care whether Peroff went to prison or not. Dos Santos just wanted to be rid of the man. “There comes a point, Dos Santos said, "when you say to yourself whether it is conscious or subconscious, this guy--we got to get the hell away from this guy ... It is like being shell shocked." (P. 350.)
Dos Santos said, by July 18, 1973, he was prepared to let Peroff go to jail because Peroff had "created the conditions" that led to his imprisonment. Peroff had gotten himself into this predicament, Dos Santos said, and he, as his former control agent, was willing to “let the chips fall where they may. Let him do whatever the hell he wanted to do and talk to whoever he wanted to." (Pp. 351-353.)
Returning to the issue of what Dos Santos told-or chose not to tell-Peter Grant, Senator Huddleston said:
I still find it difficult to understand why you could hear a fellow suggest, whether it be a Secret Service man in the White House or not, that your key man in an important investigation might be arrested, or perhaps he asked, "Should he be arrested, or do you plan to have him arrested, or should you tell the authorities where he is so he can be arrested," and you made no reaction at all.
You didn't say, “That is a bad idea,” or “a good idea,” Is that correct? "That is correct," Dos Santos replied (p. 353).
Senator Huddleston asked Dos Santos if his response to Grant would have been different if Peroff “was scheduled to leave the next morning for Costa Rica to pick up $300,000" from somebody like Robert Vesco (pp. 353, 354). Dos Santos replied:
Yes, sir. Well, Senator I think if you are going to be hypothetical, you should also recognize that Mr. Peroff would not have called the White House to complain about government agents or government agencies, so the conditions would not have been there (p. 354).
Senator HUDDLESTON. The deal might have been arranged between the time he made his telephone call to the White
House and the time Mr. Grant called you. Suppose that had
Dos Santos. You are making it very difficult for me to dis-
Dos Santos. Yes, sir.
Senator HUDDLESTON. But under the circumstances you didn't see any reason to offer an objection at all?
Dos Santos. I backed off from offering a recommendation.
Senator HUDDLESTON. I think you said you did not give him any encouragement.
Dos Santos. That is correct, sir (p. 354).
GETTING PEROFF OUT OF JAIL
No matter who was or wasn't instrumental in having Peroff put in jail, the fact was that from July 22 to July 25 Peroff was in the Queens County House of Detention. Now federal agents were faced with the problem of getting Peroff out of jail. Again, though, the Subcommittee was confronted with considerable diversity of opinion from federal officials as to why the government decided to effect his release from prison.
Peroff testified that he learned the government would arrange his release from prison on the evening of July 24. That night, Peroff said, Dos Santos and Judy Peroff came to see him after regular visiting hours. Peroff said Dos Santos told him that he would get him out of jail only if Peroff resumed his informant role in the Bouchard inquiry—and if he did exactly what he was told. Peroff testified:
Dos Santos told me he would arrange my release his way, providing I agreed to continue the case exactly as I was told to. He did not want any explanations; he wanted only yes
and no answers (p. 86). The first thing Dos Santos wanted him to do was the one thing Peroff felt he most decidedly should not do-go to Montreal. Peroff said he tried to tell Dos Santos that he was expected in Costa Rica, that he had spoken with someone in the Central American nation July 20 and that final arrangements were being made for his arrival there. But Dos Santos insisted he go to liontrcal-or stay in jail. Faced with those choices, Peroff said, he agreed to go to Montreal (pp. 86, 87).
Ilis bail hearing the next day, July 25, was interrupted, Peroff said, when the prosecuting attorney asked the judge for a brief postponement because he had moments before received a call “that was very relevant to this case." (P. 87.)
His court-appointed attorney then informed him that the U.S. Department of Justice had intervened in the case and arranged for his release through a "gimmick bond," Peroff said. Peroff testified that the attorney told him that as soon as he was released from jail he was to meet Richard Dos Santos. Peroff said he was set free and Dos Santos. was waiting for him outside (p. 87).
Peroff said Dos Santos took him to the office of the Queens Deputy Chief District Attorney, Carl M. Bornstein. Bornstein asked Dos Santos if Peroff could be allowed to work for him on an inquiry his office was conducting. Dos Santos told Bornstein that Peroil might take on that assignment later but not now because Peroff"was leaving town right away,” Peroff testified (pp. 87, 88).
Back at the Hilton Inn at Kennedy Airport, Peroff was reunited with his family. Dos Santos remained and the two men talked for several hours, Peroff said. It was agreed that Peroff would fly to liontreal July 27. Peroff said he called Conrad Bouchard and told him he was coming (p. 88).
THE BORNSTEIN AFFIDAVIT
On July 25, 1973, the day Frank Peroff was released from jail, Carl M. Bornstein was the Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney for Queens County, New York. In that capacity, Bornstein arranged for Peroff to be set free.
Bornstein described how he came to arrange for Peroff's freedom in an aslidavit given to William B. Gallinaro, Subcommittee Investigator, June 6, 1974.
Bornstein said that in late July of 1973, a DEA agent, Richard Dos Santos, requested a meeting with him. Bornstein said Dos Santos explained that a DEA informant, Frank Peroff, was being held in the Queens County House of Detention. Bornstein said Dos Santos explained that Peroff was working as an informant in "a major investigation of narcotics” and that the DEA was requesting Peroff's release from jail so that Peroff could return to the case.
From Dos Santos and from a review of court records, Bornstein learned that Peroff was being held in connection with a complaint and fugitive warrant issued in Florida. Bornstein said he then agreed to Dos Santos' request. Bornstein said he directed an Assistant District Attorney, Andy Donlevy, to handle the case in court and to arrange for Peroff's release on bail in a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.
Bornstein said Perofi signed all the appropriate papers. Then he was set free.
Bornstein said while the necessary paperwork was being processed he and Dos Santos talked about Peroff's value as an informant. The idea was discussed that Peroff might be of use to Queens County prostentors. Bornstein said, adding that Dos Santos was agreeable to this suggestion. Bornstein said:
Mr. Dos Santos further told me that it would be okay with him if we were to utilize Peroff and talk to him to develop information or evidence provided we did not utilize in such a way that he would have to testify in court. I told him we would appreciate this and I agreed that if he did provide
this information we would not put him "up front." Once he was out of jail, Peroff stayed on in New York for "a few days," Bornstein said. During these few days, Bornstein and Dos Santos talked again about potential uses of Peroff in Queens County police work. Then, Bornstein said, Peroff"left the New York area”
and, as he understood it, went "to an undisclosed place” with Dos Santos.
Upon their return, Bornstein again met with Dos Santos and again they talked about how to utilize Peroff in local police inquiry.
During one of these discussions—either before Peroff went away or when he returned—the name Robert Vesco came up in the conversation. Bornstein described it this way:
Either during conversations before they left or in conversations that occurred shortly after they returned, the name Vesco was mentioned by Dos Santos, Vr. Dos Santos and I were talking alone and he mentioned the scope and magnitude of the drug investigation and told me in substance that Vesco was involved in it.
OʻXEILL TESTIFIES ABOUT PEROFFS RELEASE DEA Group Supervisor Joll. Vill said in the DEA-Customs inquiry that when Peroff was in jail.dy, Frank's wife, called him. She promised Frank would cooperate with DEA in the future and assured him that Perofis heart was in the right place,” O'Neill said.
His response, O'Neill said, was to tell Judy Perofi that it was Frank who had chosen to sever his association with DEA and if there was to be a reconciliation Frank-not DEA-would have to make the first overture.
Possibly moved by Judy Peroff's pleas, O'Neill told Dos Santos to talk to the Queens County District Attorney's office and see what could be done to help Peroff. But, O'Neill said,
... I wanted S/A Dos Santos to realize that the Drug Enforcement Administration would take no forceful action on Peroff's behalf. If Peroff was able to get himself out of jail we would be willing to cooperate; we would not go to the District Attorney and make a plea on his behalf, however, we would let the District Attorney know of Peroff's cooperation in the past with Customs and BNDD in Paris and with the Secret Service in Rome and also let the District Attorney know of our interests in other investigations that were pending. I am not sure how forceful S/A Dos Santos was, however, it must have worked because Peroff was again free on the streets and was again cooperating with this office in re
gards to Bouchard. O'Neill elaborated on these points in his testimony before the Subcommittee. He said his supervisor, Wayne Valentine, discussed the fact that Peroff was in jail and that Valentine concurred in his decision to have Dos Santos ascertain what could be done to help Peroff (p. 588).
But, for the second time, Valentine was made to seem to "concur" in a major decision in t?e Bouchard inquiry but by his concurrence he was not truly involved in the deci ion itself.
The first occasion this uncertainty about Valentine's role in decisionmaking occurred when Valentine himself testified that while he had not himself participated in the decision to jail Peroff he did coneur in it (p. 677).
Now it was O'Neill saying the same thing about Valentine's role in getting Peroff out of jail, O'Neill's remarks were contained in this exchange.
MANUEL. Did Mr. Valentine concur with your concion
O'NEILL. No, sir (p. 588). In this instance-the matter of Peroff's release from jail-the question of Valentine's concurrence, and what it implied, is academic anyway. Valentine denied he ever discussed with O'Neill, or anybody else, the possibility of effecting Frank Peroff's release from jail. Manuel asked Valentine: Did you
in any way instruct Mr. O'Neill to have Mr. Peroff released from jail once he was arrested?
VALENTINE. No, sir.
MANUEL. Were you aware that a DEA agent was in the process of or did in fact cause Mr. Peroff's release from the Queens County jail?
VALENTINE. No, sir. MANUEL. You were not aware of that? Should you been aware of that in your capacity?
VALENTINE. Not normally.
MANUEL. Should any of your superiors have been alerted to that, especially in light of the fact that this man had been calling the White House? To me this is not a normal circumstance when an informant calls the White House. I would think that everybody up and down the line would want to be briefed and aware of what was going on here. I take it from your testimony that that is not the case. Is that correct?
VALENTINE. No, it is not correct.
MANUEL. Please explain to me in your own way exactly what happened.
VALENTINE. Without being able to recall the situation itself, I am sure I did brief the superiors once I found out the call was made to the White House. Insofar as getting a person out of jail that would cooperate with the government, the basic decision and recommendation is made by the agent who is developing his portion of the investigation.
In other words, he has intelligence or he has conferred with the individual who is under indictment, incarcerated or pending charges in either the state or federal court,
He evaluates the information in terms of what the charge is against the defendant being held and the potential as far as utilizing him as an informant for DEA.
At that point if he can proceed without the front office in a sense becoming involved he would discuss it with his group supervisor and then proceed.