Montana's Narco-Republicans

Time-Honored Tradition Penetrates the GOP

by Hi-line Mary

May 5, 1998

HAVRE- All across the Hi-line small talk revolves around Canada drug
smuggling allegations. Sidney has its Wolfe-Madsen murders; Lambert has its
drug flights; Fort Peck Reservation has stories of dozens of murders and
clandestine airstrips; Chinook has the Cowan murders, and its own stories of
drug flights;Whitefish has a money laundering bank scandal; and Eureka-Libby
has the Lucianos. Oh yes, the Lucianos.

Curious Montana people catch a small glimpse of puzzle piece truth in each of
the interlocking stories.

The Cowan murders were planned in a Havre casino/bowling alley. The ownership
records of the casino point back to a man in Sidney who was suspected of
dealing drugs big time. The Sidney man was also mentioned (as a suspect) in
the Wolfe-Madsen killings. Those killings may have been linked to Indian "hit
men" operating off the Fort Peck Reservation. In a startling harmony, drug
flights were observed by a myriad of witnesses as all the above events were
discussed, compartmentalized, then forgotten.

The dramas played out without the daily newspapers giving them much

All the reports were perceived as, a series of isolated vignettes, loosely
related, but more easily attributed to glitches on a mostly tranquil, rustic
Montana border landscape.

To be sure, Gene Moore warned his wife he was going to be killed because of
what he knew about the "drug cartel". Then Moore drove off in a fuel truck,
and was gunned down by area law enforcement, just outside Joplin. But that
was only another coincidence. We are told.

Some know what we are spoon fed by the corporate daily newspapers is as far
from the real truth as possible.


Heroin refineries have thrived in Marseilles, France and Corsica since the
end of World War II. The ties of Sicilian Mafia families to the French heroin
manufacturing networks were a given, from the beginning, in the US.

Prior to the renaissance of renegade pharmacy in the 1960's (with Tim Leary
and Richard Alpert leading the charge), drug distribution was orderly through
traditional Mafia channels. The drugs were grown in the Mideast, shipped to
the French refineries, and then distributed into the lucrative American
markets. The Atlantic seaports gradually gave way to the easier, safer
smuggling routes into Canada.

Why Canada ? Because Canada has a very small narcotics enforcement unit, and
a very large French speaking population in Quebec. Canada also had thousands
of miles of virtually unguarded border with its friendly southern neighbor.
Further, Canada has a history of tolerating smuggling during the years of US
alcohol prohibition. The Bronfman owned Seagrams factory, in southern
Saskatchewan, adjacent to the US border, is only one such example.

Old time mobsters Lucky Luciano and Al Capone used Montana as a smuggling
area. Capone visited Havre, and its opium dens and recreation houses during
his heyday. Luciano's love for the Eureka-Libby area surpassed his
appreciation of his last US home in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Later during the
mid-sixties Joseph Bonano secured airstrips along the Canadian border near
Eureka, Libby and Troy, Montana.

The popular film "The French Connection" gave the exotic concept of French
based smuggling into the United States a tremendous boost. Also noteworthy
was the involvement of Lucky Luciano, in the early efforts of US intelligence
during World War II. Few realized how Montana was the mob's well kept secret.

In a recent interview, film maker Ciba Banar claims he has documentation that
"fugitive financier" Robert Vesco, funded criminal activities in the United
States from his operations in Toronto. The operations according to Banar
involved drug trafficking into Canada. Again and again big names in organized
crime come up in Canada smuggling - then disappear.

Robert Vesco, thought he could disappear into Costa Rica, but he didn't.
Neither did $200,000 in $100 bills set aside to be delivered to Nixon
administration officials, Maurice Stans and John Mitchell in February, 1972.
At the same time Montana governor Tim Babcock was assisting the Nixon
national campaign efforts from Helena as much as he could. Some say that
Governor Babcock went well beyond the call of duty.

The mob strategy was to pull strings in Montana which would allow for the
revenues of the lucrative heroin markets. The Bonano airstrips in Montana
operated quietly during most of the 1970's. The Lucianos, who claimed they
were (and also claimed that they were not) relatives of Lucky Luciano,
continued to live and prosper in northern Montana. The Lucianos and the
Bonanos were allowed to prosper in Montana because of a system of corruption
which has come to be recognized as the most serious example of governmental
improbity in the United States.


The Mafia used "omerta", the code of silence, as its shield from attack from
outsiders and law enforcement. A Mafia soldier could go to prison or death
and know his family would be protected if he could keep his oath of silence.
A similar "code of silence" was held in Montana by the early day Vigilantes.
It became understood in modern Montana that actions were taken on decisions
which originated in secret places and cabals.

Helena Madame "Big Dorothy" learned of the code of silence, as she plummeted
from atop a multi-storied Helena building, after she threatened to name names
of her customers, if her wide-open bordello was shut down. Banker Bob Kropp
was bludgeoned to death after he began to feed information about the Montana
Supreme Court's system of bribery. Highway Patrolman Michael Remz was gunned
down after he trailed cars leaving a Bonano airstrip near Eureka.

Montana newsmen were willing accomplices. Strange deaths were dutifully
reported. But the obvious specter of high-level corruption was utterly
ignored. Frank Luciano fled the United States for the Caribbean, amid little
fanfare. Luciano's involvement in laundering funds to the Caymen Islands was
disregarded. Al Luciano was indignant that stupid people were saying that,
he, (of all persons!) was related to Lucky Luciano.

The traditional organized crime route for heroin and cocaine in Montana
lasted for more than thirty years. It served its purpose well. But the
pipeline was supplanted by another organization who needed better security.


Col. Oliver North became a controversial figure during the Reagan
administration scandal known as the Iran-Contra affair. The scandal involved
off-the-books efforts to fund the resistance to Marxian governments in
Central America. The funding efforts became entangled in Oliver North's
scheme to finance the operation with sales of cocaine in the United States.

Much of the operation coincided with the use of Arkansas airstrips in and
around the small town of Mena. CIA operative Barry Seal was involved in the
drug enterprise. After Seal was indicted, when the airstrips around Mena came
under heavy surveillance, the southern smuggling operation was shifted to
Canada and Montana. Barry Seal flew into the Canadian border area with
Montana and North Dakota several times before he was assassinated.

The Seal flights were likely made to coordinate the new smuggling operation
from Canada. Mike Huxtable, was helping with the flights through Canada,
including both Chapeau airstrip in Quebec and another outside of Weyburn,
Saskatchewan. The Weyburn staging area supplied "protected" landing strips in
Sidney, Chinook, the Fort Peck Reservation, and Havre in Montana. Eventually
hundreds of flights were made into Montana bearing billions of dollars worth
of cocaine and heroin.

The safety of the illicit cargoes was protected by obtaining the co-operation
of corrupt police and prosecutors in Montana. The coordination of involvement
of the county attorneys in the scheme was managed by Marc Racicot, then in
the Montana Attorney General's office.

Marc Racicot received payments for his efforts, which were deposited in
accounts in the Norwest Bank of Helena. Marc Racicot took it upon himself to
squelch investigations involving drug allegations against prosecutors in
Sidney and Chinook. Many of the witnesses were intimidated and several died
under highly suspicious circumstances.

The investigations in Sidney and Chinook eventually lead to conclusions that
the ring's criminal activities were much more broad than had been originally

Unusual curses also beset Racicot's political opponents during this time.
Incumbent Attorney General Mike Greely fell into disgrace after he was
arrested for DUI outside Billings. Greely claimed someone had tampered with
his drink. Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Waltermire was killed in a
plane crash after returning from Glasgow on a day where Waltermire met with
concerned individuals about local corruption. In the fall of 1996, Democratic
candidate for governor Chet Blaylock died enroute to a debate with Racicot in
which Blaylock had promised his supporters he would raise corruption issues.

Greely, Waltermire, and Blaylock were the most formidable opponents in the
three successive state wide elections Racicot was involved in.

Along with the administration of the smuggling investigations, Racicot took
an unusual interest in the Hi-line area. In spring, 1996 then governor
Racicot made a series of phone calls to a Phoenix newspaper, and (according
to editor Ron Paulson) threatened the editor several times over an article it
had published implicating Racicot in the drug trafficking. Later Paulson
claimed Racicot had offered $10,000 to Paulson to disclose the persons on the
newspaper's distribution list in Montana.

Shortly thereafter in May, 1996 Racicot gave statements to several Montana
newspapers claiming that a Bulgarian writer Krassimir Ivandjiiski, who had
written an expose of drug trafficking in Montana, "did not exist".
Ivandjiiski, when contacted at his office in Sofia was furious about
Racicot's remarks. The major significance of the February, 1996 Ivandjiiski
article was that it was the first discussion of Marc Racicot's intention to
seek a place on the year 2000 Republican ticket as Vice President with one of
George Bush's sons.

As Racicot assistant, Mary Jo Fox, lobbied with the Republican National
Committee to make Racicot a player for the year 2000 national campaign, the
Lee Enterprises newspaper chain kept up a steady torrent of pro-Racicot
articles which focused on his claim to be "the most popular governor in the
United States". The claim was based on Racicot's popular vote totals against
Chet Blaylock's successor, (who replaced Blaylock upon his death shortly
before the 1996 election). The jocose claims became even more transparent
when Republican straw polls in the south completely ignored Racicot as a
serious candidate. Most Republicans could not pronounce the surname "Racicot"
for instance.

As the Lee Enterprises newspapers churned out article after favorable article
on Racicot, the favorite-son candidate was busy monitoring the growing
scandal around the Fort Peck Reservation and a tribal group there who claimed
corrupt law enforcement had been involved in smuggling from Canada. The
tribal claims were made even more convincing when a host of former
intelligence operatives supported the assertions: Chip Tatum, Charles Hayes,
David Hume, Ron Gold and others. The offices of Rep. Hill and Senator Baucus
also became interested in urging an investigation of the strong, credible
corruption allegations.

Marc Racicot in his official capacity began to respond to the allegations by
using heavy handed truth suppression techniques. The most cruel example was
Racicot's intimate management of harassment of Chinook publisher, Mike Perry.
Perry had tracked evidence that two Havre residents were murdered because of
their stated intention to provide information highly damaging to a Chinook
prosecutor who was said to be involved in drug smuggling. A rival newspaper
was formed, and operated at a loss, eventually forcing Perry to sell out and
leave the state.

(Nota Bene: It was recently discovered the rival editor was singled out in
an unsuccessful scheme to reimburse him (for the costs of destroying
Perry's business), when Racicot attempted to orchestrate a secret land
purchase for a new Montana prison. The land belonged to the corrupt editor.
The prison scheme also came at the same time Marc Racicot appointed shadowy
Glendive attorney, Richard Simonton, to the bench. Simonton, had purposely
set out to damage the drug corruption allegations. Lawyer Simonton had been
given full rein to harass Arnie Hove.)

Circle attorney Arnie Hove, who also had uncovered related Canada smuggling
corruption evidence, was also targeted by a wrongful "Helena endorsed effort"
to have his kids removed from his home. Attorney Hove had powerful evidence,
and it took radical overt efforts to suppress truth Hove and witnesses were
communicating to the District Court. Still, despite the oppression, Racicot
did not fully succeed.

Another attack, on another front, was directed at Bozeman state senator Casey
Emmerson (R-Bozeman) who attempted during the 1996 legislative session to
promote legislation for a state inspector general. Emmerson , a conservative
Republican, also spoke strongly in private of impeachment proceedings if
witnesses came forward who were able to substantiate the payoffs to Racicot.
Emmerson was immediately subjected to personal attacks (about his record as a
high school teacher during the 1960's) and was wrongfully discredited.

In each circumstance it was demonstrated that Marc Racicot was working behind
the scenes to stymie investigations or publicity around the drug smuggling.
Those who knew the truth were continually saddened at the boyish, smiling
image Racicot presented in television ads for Montana charities. Those who
knew that Racicot's financial dealings with drug cartel representatives were
documented, also knew Racicot's former campaign treasurer, Howdy Murfitt was
attorney for the Norwest Bank system in Montana where the illicit funds had
been deposited.


President Bill Clinton will not finish his term as president. The scandals
which surrounded him for years did heavy damage. This week Webster Hubbel and
Susan McDougall were indicted again on federal charges. Campaign funds from
Chinese sources to the Democratic National Committee have created a cloud
over the future and very existence of the Democratic Party.

This should be apparent to any observer when the left leaning (Washington
D.C. based), Progressive Weekly, is now one of the most outspoken critics of
the Democratic presidency.

As early as August of 1996, key Democrats, including former DNC chairman
Strauss, urged Clinton to resign. The ante has reached the highest of all
possible stakes. The Democrats can only act decisively now, to undue their
horrible predicament.

Bill Clinton, as governor of Arkansas, was involved in a drug scheme similar
to what is going on in Montana. His associate Dan Lassater laundered hundreds
of millions of dollars into financial institutions along with Arkansas state
agency accounts. Bill Clinton was compromised from the beginning in the
scheme. Much of the Arkansas drug involvement was also linked to the
Whitehouse under the Reagan and Bush administrations. The greatest corruption
allegations in those years, Iran-Contra, also implicate former Arkansas
Governor Clinton. The same illicit operations still exist today, and were
transferred to Montana when Arkansas came under too much scrutiny.

Persons at the highest levels of the Democratic Party know this. Separate
credible sources confirm that the Montana drug scandal allegations were among
the issues raised when key Democrats met with Clinton prior to the national
convention in the summer of 1996. This explains why the US government has
apparently intervened in a Canadian criminal proceeding against Mike Huxtable
(and a US official in Miami), involving large scale drug smuggling into the
United States.

In order to survive, the Democrats are forced to make the smuggling
operations a national issue. They have no other real choice.

This is no different than what occurred in Columbia and in Mexico.
Politicians in both those Latin countries wrecked the justice system with
corruption . We Americans must realize that our justice system is also
corrupted by drug trafficking. If the Democrats act decisively Oliver North,
George Bush and other well known Republicans will be implicated. They should

Such decisive action will cushion the fall of Bill Clinton and will prevent
America from shifting into a Mexico-like one party system.


Marc Racicot built a story book empire in Montana alongside Last Chance
Gulch. The ruthless, evil methods Racicot employed masked his phantasmal
have-a-good-day image.

The sweet appearance contrasts sharply with the dark, wicked things going on
around the Governor. Marc Racicot became involved in narcotics smuggling. He
compromised his sworn duties and all his ethical responsibilities. The
calamity- the banging, the yelling, the fireworks were all put in motion
years ago. Montana's Marc Racicot is about to be utterly destroyed. In his
destruction, and perverse vanity, the Republican Party will suffer mightily.
You will see Marc Racicot wake up from a dream- screaming.

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