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Montreal Monday, July 30 at 1:30 p.m. on an Eastern Airlines shuttle for New York.
The report was filed under the identification of “Joseph Boldrini, et al., XĂ-71-0015.” Under the title of “Synopsis” at the top his report, Bowers wrote:
Over the weekend of July 27, 28 CI SXA-3-0004 traveled to Montreal, P. Q. in an attempt to discover the intentions of Conrad Bouchard, et al., relative to a proposed heroin smug
gling venture. Bowers' code number for Peroff--SXA-3-0004—was the one given him in early 1973 by the now defunct Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDİ)). It was inappropriate for Bowers to refer to Peroff by the old BNDD number. First, Bowers, a former Customs agent, might have referred to Peroff under the previous Customs code, D-73-1, but there was little logic to his using a BNDD number. Second, Peroff had, as of July 26, a DEA number, SCI-3-0149, of his
John O'Neill testified that one of the reasons to designate Peroff a cooperating individual July 26 was to enable the agency to pay him for his work in Canada subsequent to July 26. Yet on his first trip under the new status, DEA, which July 17 was referring to Peroff as D73–1, reverted back to an even older code for him August 2. Making this point even more confusing was the fact that O'Neill, in his testimony, said he was unaware of Peroff's European informant work and the existence of a BNDD code number for Peroff.
Bowers' testimony before the Investigations Subcommittee differed considerably from his August 2 report. Bowers said, for example, that Peroff's July 27 trip to Montreal was not in connection with the proposed heroin venture at all. The purpose of the trip, Bowers testified, was to find a reason to get Frank Peroff out of jail (p. 793). It was as if the Sidney C. Bowers who wrote the Angrist 2, 1973 report was not the same Sidney C. Bowers who testified before the Subcommittee June 13, 1974.
In his testimony, Bowers told Senators that around July 16, 1973 he asked the RCMP if they wanted Frank Peroff to come to Montreal again. Bowers said he made this inquiry because Richard Dos Santos asked him to in a July 16 phone call (pp. 789, 790).
RCMP agents were not "too wild" about the idea of Peroff returning to Montreal, Bowers said. Nor were they anxious to pursue the Vesco-LeBlanc link to the Bouchard inquiry, Bowers added. The Mounties had adopted a position of "waiting and seeing” how the case would develop before they committed an investigation of their own into the possibility that Vesco and LeBlanc were tied in with Bouchard (PP. 790, 791).
Bowers was as unenthusiastic about having Peroff come to Montreal in July 1973 as the RCMP agents were. He said that when Peroff got out of jail, Dos Santos called to ask, “Can you use him up there?" (P. 792.)
Bowers said he told Dos Santos he didn't want Peroff to come to Montreal. Bowers testified that he told Dos Santos:
I don't see any need for him to come up. He is talking to Bouchard over the phone. Every time he comes up here we are just spending money that we are not getting anything out of. It is cheaper to have him talk over the phone (p. 792). According to Bowers, then, the RCMP didn't want Peroff around in late July of 1973. And Bowers himself, a DEA man on the seene, didn't want Peroff nearby. In fact, Bowers felt there was no merit to leaving Peroff behind bars. “I told Dos Santos then as far as I am concerned he can stay in jail,” Bowers testified (p. 793).
In turn, Peroff himself testified that he pleaded with Dos Santos not to make him go to Montreal. All it would do would be to make Bouchard angry and undermine the entire effort, Peroff said (pp. 122, 123). And Bouchard himself, according to Peroff, was in fact, quite annoyed and feared Peroff's presence in Montreal would undercut the heroin scheme (p. 90). But Peroff was sent to Montreal anyway.
Subcommittee Investigator Philip Manuel tried to elicit from Bowers why, against all advice, DEA in New York insisted that Peroff fly to Montreal July 27. This discussion occurred:
MANUEL. Did you make any inquiries specifically on your own to determine exactly why he was coming up to Nontreal?
BOWERS. As far as I am concerned that late Montreal trip
MANUEL. Arranged by whom and with whom?
MANUEL. Why would anybody do such a thing?
Bowers. Because he was locked up (p. 793). Bowers went on to say that Peroff's visit to Montreal was not related to the DEA inquiry of Bouchard and heroin anyway. It was designed as an effort to have Peroff meet with Bouchard to learn what his legal strategy was for his ongoing trial. Bowers reaffirmed this assertion in his statement to the DEA-Customs inquiry. Accordingly, Bowers said, the entire trip-Peroff's airfare and expenses-were paid for by the RCMP (p. 794).
But, as if to re-emphasize his earlier assertion that the Mounties were reluctant hosts for Frank Peroff, DEA Agent Bowers volunteered the fact that the RCMP specifically tried to keep Peroff out of Montreal July 27. If Peroff had to come, Bowers said, the Mounties wanted him the following week, not the 27th (pp. 796, 797).
Manuel asked Bowers if during the July 27 trip to Montreal if Peroff had demanded advance money from Bouchard. Bowers replied, "I don't know.” (Pp. 794, 795.) But in his August 2 report Bowers asserted :
During this meeting, the CI pressed Bouchard for some advance funds indicating that the money was needed to heli) make installment payments on the CI's aircraft. Bouchard indicated he would try to arrange for some.
At the hearings, Manuel said to Bowers:
Mr. Dos Santos has testified before this Subcommittee under oath as has Mr. John O'Neill. Mr. Dos Santos has testified with respect to Peroff's trip to Montreal on July 27 that it was in furtherance of the Vesco-LeBlanc or possible VescoLeBlanc involvement. Mr. O'Neill has testified that at least one of the purposes for Mr. Peroff to go to Montreal on that trip was in furtherance of that same investigation or that same possible involvement of Vesco and LeBlanc.
I am wondering, Mr. Bowers, if you can explain to the
were not aware of that purpose ? Bowers replied:
I am not sure that I can. All I can say is that I hadn't seen Frank since the May trip. This was almost two months
later. I hadn't had any conversations with him (p. 797). This answer was in conflict with Bowers' own words in his August 2 report in which he wrote that the purpose of Peroff's July 27 visit to Montreal was "to discover the intentions of Conrad Bouchard, et al., relative to a proposed heroin smuggling venture."
Manuel asked Bowers if Peroff and Bouchard met Saturday, July 28, 1973. "I don't know," Bowers testified (p. 797). But, according to Bowers' August 2 report, Peroff met for one hour and 45 minutes with Bouchard on July 27 but "attempts by the CI to meet with Bouchard throughout July 28, 1973 were unsuccessful.” Manuel asked Bowers if Peroff could have met Bouchard July 28 and he, Bowers, not know about it. “I suppose that is possible,” Bowers said (p. 797).
Manuel asked Bowers if he knew of, or knew the purpose of, the description of an executive jet being phoned hy Richard Dos Santos to Corporal Claude Savoie to be relayed to Peroff. Bowers said he was "vaguely aware” of the description of the jet having been forwarded to Peroff during the July 27 trip (p. 798).
Manuel asked Bowers if the passing of the jet's description to Peroff was related to confirming in Bouchard's mind the purported fact that Peroff was capable of flying into Costa Rica in an executive jet. Bowers replied:
No. As I recall the situation there was that Bouchard in talking with Frank over the telephone had put somebody on the telephone and began to ask him pointed questions about the aircraft, the type of aircraft, range, speed, instruments and Frank needed that information to help back up his story
MANUEL. His story for what purpose ?
Bowers. To act as a vehicle for smuggling a large quantity
MANUEL. Specifically, at that time what was that plane going to be used for within the context of the case ?
Bowers. This was the whole, pardon the language, scam that Frank had been putting down to Bouchard since February, that he was, that he had available an aircraft which would be suitable for transporting a large quantity of narcotics and that Frank was a vehicle for introducing these narcotics into the North American Continent.
MANUEL. But why specifically at that time was Bouchard or Bouchard's associate asking pointed questions about this particular plane?
BOWERS. I don't know.
MANUEL. Did they have some immediate plan in mind that this plane was going to be used for, to your knowledge?
Bowers. Not to my knowledge. Just a plan that they had been discussing for six months.
MANUEL. To your knowledge, did this plane have anything whatever to do with Peroff going to Costa Rica?
Bowers. At that point, I hadn't heard of Costa Rica.
MANUEL. To your knowledge, did Peroff have any discussions with Mr. Bouchard during his trip to Montreal concerning the possible involvement of Vesco and LeBlanc in the narcotics case?
Bowers. No. To my knowledge, I don't know (pp. 798800). Bowers' testimony also conflicted with Peroff's. Peroff said he gave Borvers details about the proposed trip to Costa Rica (p. 88). Bowers denied knowing anything at that time about the Costa Rica plan (p. 799).
Bowers said Peroff left Montreal Monday, July 30 because the Mounties had agreed to pay his expenses for three days and on the 30th the three days were up (pp. 801, 802),
Bowers said he could not remember all the details of Perofl's departure from Montreal but he did recall that RCMP Corporal Claude Savoie notified him that Peroff would "be on the 1:30 shuttle or something." (Pp. 802, 803.)
Senator Huddleston asked Bowers why he was never told by DEA New York that there was a Costa Rica angle to the Bouchard case. Bowers said that as DEA representative in Montreal he was in almost daily contact with the Mounties but, at the time, he also encouraged New York agents like Richard Dos Santos and others to deal directly with the RCMP (pp. 805, 806).
In light of that reply, Senator Huddleston asked Bowers if the RCMP and the New York DEA agents were, in fact, communicating about the Costa Rica angle yet "felt no need to keep you advised."
Bowers answered, “Literally advised? Oftentimes not every contact, no." (P. 806.) Senator Huddleston made this observation:
It seems like that was a major feature of this whole case, a matter of going to Costa Rica and the method of going and it would have been something in a daily conversation of the case [that] ought to surface.
I guess you are right, Senator. All I can say is that there were a lot of other things going at the time. We were expecting 10 kilos to come in any moment. I was in a brouhaha with the region about handling the informants on one thing (p. 806).
BOWERS' REPORT DOES NOT MENTION JET DESCRIPTION
Nowhere in Sidney Bowers' report was there mention of the fact Dos Santos had relayed to Peroff, via the RCMP, the description of a Lear jet, the aircraft so essential to Bouchard's smuggling plan. O'Neill defended this omission from Bowers' report, O'Neill said the description of the Lear jet-and the fact that it had been given to Peroff to give Bouchard-did not constitute information relevant to a report of the inquiry. O'Neill made the observation in this discussion:
MANUEL. Is this the cover story that was supposed to be used for the plane which Mr. Peroff was going to use to fly to Costa Rica? Was that Mr. Bouchard's belief?
O'NEILL. You would have to ask Bouchard. I would presume that if Sauve got together with Peroff on this, yes. The answer is yes.
MANUEL. To your knowledge, did Mr. Peroff relay that information to Mr. Bouchard ?
O'NEILL. I know he spoke about it. The information was yes, that he did speak to him about it.
MANUEL. He did relay that information to Mr. Bouchard and that information specifically was in relationship to the possible furtherance of the investigation of Vesco and LeBlanc and the trip to Costa Rica; is that correct?
O'NEILL. That is correct.
MANUEL. That is correct. Now, in light of that I wonder if you can explain to the Subcommittee why none of that information that Peroff had a cover story for a plane, that he relayed to Mr. Bouchard, that this information was in furtherance of the Vesco-LeBlanc information, does not appear anywhere in Mr. Bowers' report of Peroff's trip to Montreal. Why is that?
O'Neill. Because you would only in reports of investigation write the relevant high points of the thing. Sitting down and saying, sitting down and going into minute detail about what, it is a white, with gold and the number of it, that would not
MANUEL. None of it appears [in Bowers' report), not even the fact that there is a cover story, not much less the details of it, not even
O'NEILL. Mr. Manuel, you think that this is something that is not done every day. This is something that is done every