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Douglas McCombs in Washington. McCombs' instructions were that Peroff should make a full report to Dos Santos on the Canadian trip (p. 29).
Peroff said he made his report the next day at Customs offices in New York. Peroff said he also turned over to Dos Santos cassette recordings he had made of telephone conversations between himself in New York and Bouchard in Montreal. These calls were made to Bouchard when the Peroffs were staying at the Ramada Inn Motel at Kennedy Airport and at the Hilton from March 16 to March 20 (p. 29).
Customs documents and independent inquiry by the Subcommittee staff established that Peroff did turn over cassettes to Dos Santos on this occasion and that he was extensively debriefed by Dos Santos concerning his March 20–22 trip to Canada. Customs reports confirmed virtually all aspects of Peroff's testimony concerning this trip. These Customs documents were made part of the hearing record.
VI. CUSTOMS KEEPS FRANK PEROFF ON BOUCHARD CASE
FIRST GOAL IS ACHIEVED
In his June 13, 1974 testimony before the Subcommittee (pp. 757– 810), Customs Agent Sidney C. Bowers said that the Customs Service sent Frank Peroff to Montreal in March of 1973 to “infiltrate” a group of Canadians, including Conrad Bouchard, who were planning to smuggle a large shipment of heroin into Canada or the United States. By late March of 1973, Peroff had achieved that goal. He had succeeded in infiltrating the Bouchard group. Moreover, Peroff had established that Bouchard did want to organize a big heroin transaction. And he did intend to rely on Peroff's Lear jet to move the drugs.
But Bouchard, hard pressed financially due to his court battles, did not have enough cash on hand to buy a big shipment of foreign heroin. So, while Bouchard and his associates tried to raise the needed funds, Peroff returned to the United States, moving back in with his family at the New York Hilton Hotel.
PEROFF AND BOUCHARD TALK FREQUENTLY
Peroff told Senators that he spent the next three weeks in his room at the Hilton. Peroff said Customs Agent Richard Dos Santos became his control agent during this period. Dos Santos testified that he formally assumed the Peroff control agent duty April 11, 1973 (p. 361). Peroff said that while he stayed in the hotel and with Dos Santos' concurrence he kept in frequent touch by telephone with Conrad Bouchard (p. 30).
Peroff said Bouchard talked about his own trial, about possible future narcotics transactions and about his plans to raise money to finance a big heroin deal through the use of stolen securities. Peroff described one of Bouchard's fund raising plans this way:
Bouchard and his people were ready and willing and proposals were made to me to try to raise cash for the narcotics deal by me going out and doing some stolen securities transactions. One specific deal that came up at this time was $2.5 million worth of Simpson-Sears debentures. A portion of this stock had already been recovered and the balance of it at the time was under the control of Conrad Bouchard (p. 30). Peroff said he asked Dos Santos and Sidney Bowers if he should go into a stolen securities transaction with Bouchard. Peroff felt he could "have done it successfully" but Bowers and Dos Santos both told him not to (p. 30).
Previous inquiry by the Subcommittee has shown how stolen securities are sold, traded and used as collateral for loans by organized crime figures. Independent inquiry by the Subcommittee statf' established that Frank Peroff was experienced in stolen securities transac
tions. Some of these transactions were tied to organized crime figures. In addition, there was information that linked Conrad Bouchard to similar transactions. However, no evidence was developed to show that Bouchard or any of his associates actually entered into a fraudulent securities deal to finance a heroin purchase involving Frank Peroff.
However, Customs records show that on several occasions Peroff reported to Dos Santos and Bowers that Bouchard wanted to join him in stolen or fraudulent securities transactions. These Customs reports were made part of the hearing record.
CUSTOMS PAYS PEROFF OWED EXPENSE MONEY
Putting himself up, his wife and their five children at the New York Hilton was getting expensive. Peroff said, pointing out to Senators that he and his family had been living there for nearly three weeks with what he considered insufficient expense money being provided by the U.S. Customs Service.
Peroff testified that from January of 1973 to April of 1973 he had spent $12,000 of his own money while serving as an undercover informant for the government. When he could get no satisfaction from federal agents that the money owed him would be forthcoming, Peroff went to Washington and took the matter up with Vernon D. Acree, the United States Commissioner of Customs, and the most senior official in the agency. Peroff said that Acree arranged for him to receive $7,900 in expense reimbursements (p. 31).
Peroff said the money issues were settled, however, only after he agreed to continue to serve in his undercover capacity on the Bouchard case. He also had to agree to have his family move out of the Hilton and take up residence in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Peroff added.
Peroff said that Customs officials told him to "forget about the heroin laboratory" objective, that the government's interest had shifted away from locating a secret drug manufacturing facility in Marseilles. Now the thrust of the inquiry, Peroff said, was "fully directed at Conrad Bouchard and Giuseppe Cotroni." Peroff said he was also advised by the Customs officials that the reward of $250,000 no longer applied since the effort to locate the Marseilles heroin lab had ended (p. 31).
In his testimony before the Subcommittee, Peroff did not go into detail about what frame of mind he was in at the time he vowed to see Customs Commissioner Acree. But inquiry by the Subcommittee staff shed light on what was going through Peroff's mind and the events leading up to Peroff's meeting with Acree.
BACKGROUND ON PEROFF'S MEETING WITH ACREE
From February 15 through February 27, 1973, Frank Peroff was in Montreal meeting with Conrad Bouchard and others concerning a plan to have Peroff, in a private jet, fly into Marseilles, visit a secret heroin laboratory, pick up a shipment of the drug and smuggle it into the U.S. or Canada.
When he returned to Rome, Peroff said, federal agents were enthusiastic about the Marseilles trip and offered him a $250,000 reward if he would help them locate it. Peroff said he didn't want to get involved
but he did. He and his family moved to New York March 16, 1973 and, when they would not stay in an apartment selected by the Customs Service, the family moved into a $66 a day suite at the New York Hilton.
Peroff continued contact with Bouchard, made one trip to Montreal aboard a Customs-sponsored Lear jet and by early April of 1973 had penetrated the Bouchard drug conspiracy. But, it was during this period, Peroff said, that the interest of federal agents changed. No longer was shutting down the Marseilles plant an objective. What mattered was obtaining evidence that Bouchard and his associate, Giuseppe (Pepe) Cotroni, were smuggling drugs. And, with the shift in emphasis, Peroff said, also came a disclaimer, The quarter of a million dollar reward no longer applied. Peroff began asking, if the $250,000 reward is gone, what did he get out of this? He answered his own question, concluding he was to get very little. .
According to an April 4, 1973 memorandum written by Richard Dos Santos, Peroff was angry at the new turn of events. Peroff was demanding to know why he wasn't told in Rome, before he uprooted himself and his family, that the $250,000 reward was not in his future. The Subcommittee obtained a copy of the April 4 memorandum and it was made part of the record.
Dos Santos wrote that during the last week in March of 1973 Peroff was becoming "increasingly disenchanted” and highly critical of the way federal agencies were treating him. Dos Santos said:
He (Peroff) now claimed that his efforts were being directed at certain individuals in Canada while he could be making a huge sum of money by going for a lab. Dos Santos said Peroff was insisting that since the government had enticed him into this effort with a lure of a reward of a “huge sum" it was now incumbent upon the same government to make some “ironclad guaranties” that he be rewarded for his contribution to the investigation. Dos Santos said Peroff was demanding assurances that he would be paid for his work on the Bouchard case and that he and his family would be protected when this was all over.
Customs Agent Dos Santos described his role with the Peroffs at this time as being that of a babysitter. But, as events developed. Dos Santos was getting involved in the case more and more. He reported to Washington Peroff's unhappiness. Accordingly, Paul Boulad, a ('nstoms agent working out of headquarters in Washington, called Dos Santos at 5:30 p.m. April 3, 1973 and spelled out for him the terms of the relationship the Service would have with Peroff. Dos Santos wrote in the substance of what Boulad told him in a memorandum to his boss, Albert Seeley. The Subcommittee obtained a copy of the memorandum. It was made part of the hearing record.
Dos Santos, quoting Boulad, said Customs would pay the cost of flying Peroff's family to Puerto Rico and would pay for lodging them for one month. Then “if the anticipated case is successful," Customs would relocate the family,
In addition, Peroff would be allowed to take out "travellers insurance” on himself to protect his family during his travels for Customs. But, Dos Santos said, Customs would not assume responsibility for