Appendix E

TIMELINE OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS
RELATED TO DANILO BLANDON

DATE -- EVENT

1951 -- Blandon born in Nicaragua.

June 1979 -- Blandon flees Nicaragua with his family to the United States, and moves to Los Angeles.

February 1980 -- Blandon applies for political asylum in the United States.

1980 or 1981 -- Blandon attends meetings of Contra support group in Los Angeles.

1982 -- Blandon meets Meneses, who asks Blandon to sell drugs, with the profits going to the Contras.

1983 -- Blandon breaks with Meneses and continues selling drugs for his own profit.

Late 1983 or 1984 -- Blandon starts selling cocaine to Ricky Ross.

August 1985 -- Blandon's asylum request is granted.

July 1986 -- Meneses approaches Costa Rica DEA and offers to cooperate.

July 1986 -- Confidential informant provides information to FBI Riverside about Blandon's drug trafficking organization.

September 1986 -- Confidential informant provides information to DEA Riverside about Blandon's drug trafficking organization. The DEA opens a case targeting "Blandon, and his associates and sources of supply."

September 1986 -- Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) opens an investigation against the Blandon organization based on informant information.

October 1986 -- LASD, FBI, and DEA exchange information about Blandon's organization and conduct surveillances.

October 27, 1986 -- LASD executes search warrants on residences and businesses of Blandon and his associates, seizing records but negligible amount of drugs.

October 31 to November 3, 1986 -- FBI and DEA copy records seized by LASD during searches.

November 10, 1986 -- Riverside FBI initiates a case on Blandon, Lister, Meneses, and 1986 their associates.

November 1986 -- Based on Ronald Lister's statements about alleged connections to CIA during the October searches, FBI asks CIA if it has operational interest in Lister, Blandon, Meneses, and others in Blandon organization.

December 1986 -- CIA responds to FBI's inquiry about subjects of investigation, stating they had little information on them, and no information on Blandon or Lister

December 1986 -- FBI and DEA continue investigation of Blandon and prepare submission of case to federal OCDETF committee in Los Angeles for designation as a federal task force case.

December 22, 1986 -- Meneses and DEA informant travel to Los Angeles on behalf of DEA to engage in undercover meetings with drug dealers.

January 1987 -- Meneses and DEA informant meet undercover with Blandon and associates.

January 14, 1987 -- FBI and DEA debrief DEA informant in Los Angeles. Later, DEA informant and Meneses return to Costa Rica.

January 14, 1987 -- FBI, DEA, and LASD meet with Los Angeles District Attorney's office about case against Blandon. Agreement that case should be pursued by federal authorities.

January 21, 1987 -- Blandon case formally accepted as a federal OCDETF task force case in Los Angeles.

February 1987 -- San Francisco U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) and San Francisco FBI agree to defer prosecution of Meneses in San Francisco for drug trafficking, pending the outcome of the Los Angeles OCDETF investigation of the Blandon organization.

March-July 1987 -- OCDETF investigators attempt to get Meneses and DEA informant to return to the United States to work on the Blandon investigation.

May 1987 -- Blandon relocates to Miami, Florida.

July 1987 -- DEA informant returns to Los Angeles and meets with DEA and FBI OCDETF investigators, but informant refuses to testify.

July 17, 1987 -- Los Angeles USAO declines prosecution in the OCDETF case because of inability of investigative techniques to adequately prove criminal violations.

July 24, 1987 -- DEA Costa Rica formally establishes Meneses as a DEA informant.

September 1988 -- Blandon applies for Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) status in the United States.

1990 -- Blandon returns to Los Angeles and engages in drug dealing there.

December 1990 -- OCDETF case opened against Blandon in San Diego.

1991 -- Blandon moves to San Diego.

August 26, 1991 -- In a random search of southbound cars crossing the border, U.S. Customs in San Diego arrests Blandon and companion with undeclared currency. Blandon is not charged.

December 9, 1991 -- Los Angeles Police Department arrests Blandon with a large amount of cash, but drops the money laundering charges against him because of the ongoing San Diego OCDETF investigation.

May 5, 1992 -- Blandon is indicted by federal grand jury in San Diego on drug conspiracy charges as a result of the San Diego OCDETF investigation.

May 15, 1992 -- DEA arrests Blandon on the federal indictment. Blandon is held without bail, and several weeks later, Blandon begins to cooperate with DEA.

October 13, 1992 -- Blandon enters into a plea agreement with the government.

November 1992 -- Blandon's wife and daughter receive legal permanent resident status.

December 20, 1993 -- Blandon receives a reduced sentence of 48 months and 5 years probation based on his substantial assistance to the government.

September 1994 -- San Diego USAO files a motion asking the court to reduce Blandon's sentence further based on his continued cooperation. The court reduces Blandon's sentence to time served, and Blandon is released after having served 28 months in prison.

October 1, 1994 -- Blandon receives legal permanent resident status from the INS.

March 1995 -- Ricky Ross is arrested by DEA in San Diego after selling drugs to Blandon and an undercover DEA officer.

August 1996 -- Publication of San Jose Mercury News articles.

December 1996 I-- NS moves to rescind Blandon's LPR status.

 

TIMELINE OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS
RELATED TO NORWIN MENESES

DATE -- EVENT

1943 -- Meneses born in Nicaragua.

1963-64 -- Meneses is arrested and convicted in San Francisco for shoplifting, misuse of slot machines, and statutory rape.

1976 -- Nicaraguans arrest Meneses for car theft but later release him.

1976-1980 -- DEA receives information that Meneses is a drug trafficker in Nicaragua and is smuggling cocaine to the United States.

July 1980 -- San Francisco DEA Special Agent Smith opens a case against the Meneses organization.

September 11, 1980-- Meneses is denied admission to the U.S. at San Ysidro because he lacks a valid visa.

September 1981 -- Smith opens another case against the Meneses organization.

November 1981 -- DEA and local police arrest Jairo Meneses but prosecution is declined since no narcotics were found at his residence.

May 1982 -- Smith opens a case on Roger Meneses, who is arrested and pleads no contest to possession of marijuana.

January 1983 -- Smith opens a case on Ernesto Meneses, but develops no evidence and later closes the case.

1983 -- San Francisco U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) declines an IRS tax case against Meneses due to weak or insufficient evidence.

October 1983 -- DEA San Francisco opens another case against Roger Meneses and his associates. By February 1984, nine persons are arrested, including Roger Meneses, who receives a six-year sentence.

January 1984 -- DEA San Francisco opens a case on the Meneses organization, including Norwin and Jairo Meneses.

November 27, 1984 -- DEA San Francisco arrests Jairo Meneses and Renato Pena.   After the arrest, Norwin Meneses flees to Costa Rica.

January 23, 1985 -- DEA San Francisco opens another case on Norwin Meneses.

July 1986 -- Meneses approaches DEA office in Costa Rica and offers to cooperate.

Fall 1986 -- FBI San Francisco begins collecting information on Meneses to build a historical drug trafficking case against him.

December 22, 1986 -- Meneses and DEA informant travel to Los Angeles on behalf of DEA.

January 1987 -- Meneses and DEA informant meet undercover with Blandon and associates.

January 14, 1987 -- FBI and DEA debrief DEA informant in Los Angeles. Later, informant and Meneses return to Costa Rica.

February 1987 -- San Francisco USAO and San Francisco FBI agree to defer prosecution of Meneses in San Francisco pending the outcome of the Los Angeles investigation of Blandon in which Meneses was being used as an informant.

March-July 1987 -- Los Angeles OCDETF investigators attempt to get Meneses to return to the United States to work on the Blandon investigation, but are not successful.

July 1987 -- DEA informant returns to Los Angeles and meets with DEA and FBI there, but refuses to testify.

July 17, 1987 -- Los Angeles USAO declines prosecution in the Blandon OCDETF case because of inability of investigative techniques to adequately prove criminal violations.

July 24, 1987 -- DEA Costa Rica formally establishes Meneses as a DEA informant.

September 1987 -- Meneses travels to the United States on behalf of DEA to work undercover cases.

November 1987 -- Meneses returns to the United States on behalf of DEA to work undercover cases.

July 1988 -- Meneses returns to the United States on behalf of DEA to work undercover cases.

September 1988 -- Meneses attempts to enter the United States, claiming to be working on a DEA case. He is denied entry.

February 8, 1989 -- Federal grand jury in San Francisco indicts Meneses on cocaine trafficking charges based on his 1984 and 1985 activities. Indictment is sealed.

April 12, 1989 -- Arrest warrant for Meneses is entered into FBI's law enforcement database. FBI opens a fugitive file on Meneses.

May-August 1989 -- Meneses travels to United States on behalf of DEA to work undercover cases.

June 1989 -- FBI San Francisco receives information that Meneses is residing in Costa Rica and asks the FBI Panama Legat, which covers Costa Rica, to try to locate him through DEA.

October 1989 -- FBI sends another cable to the FBI Legat in Panama regarding Meneses.

December 23, 1989 -- DEA Costa Rica deactivates Meneses as a CI.

January 1990 -- Assistant Legat in Mexico City, who is given responsibility for Costa Rica because of political turmoil in Panama, contacts DEA Costa Rica about Meneses.

May 10, 1990 -- DEA Costa Rica reactivates Meneses as an informant.

August 16, 1990 -- DEA Costa Rica deactivates Meneses as a CI.

December 31, 1990 -- DEA San Francisco initiates another case against Meneses based on new informant information.

September 1991 -- Based on information gathered by DEA Guatemala, DEA cases are opened in Guatemala, Houston, and Los Angeles targeting Meneses and Enrique Miranda.

September 1991 -- DEA Costa Rica reports that Meneses had recently contacted it and offered to provide information about a large cocaine smuggling case. DEA special agent meets with Meneses several times in Managua.

November 3, 1991 -- The Nicaraguan National Police arrest Meneses, Miranda, and   three others in Managua for drug trafficking in Managua.

August 16, 1992 -- Meneses is convicted in Nicaragua and sentenced to 25 years in prison. His sentence is later reduced to 12 years.

May 25, 1995 -- FBI San Francisco places Meneses case in "pending" status.

November 14, 1997 -- Meneses is released from Nicaraguan prison.

 

TIMELINE OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS RELATED TO RONALD LISTER

DATE -- EVENT

1967-1968 -- Lister is employed at the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD).

1969-1973 --Lister works as a police officer in the Maywood, California Police Department.

1973-1980 -- Lister works as a police officer in the City of Laguna Beach, California Police Department.

June 1980 -- Lister leaves the Police Department and begins a private security business.

1981 -- Lister and Blandon meet.

1982 -- Lister and Meneses meet through Blandon. Lister, Blandon, and Meneses attempt to sell weapons in El Salvador.

1983 -- FBI investigates Lister's security company Pyramid International Security Consultants.

1984 -- FBI investigates Lister regarding a violation of U.S. export laws.

1985 -- ATF investigates Lister regarding illegal arms sales.

July 1986 -- FBI opens file on Lister regarding a foreign counterintelligence matter.

October 27, 1986 -- LASD executes search warrants on Blandon organization. LASD finds no drugs but seizes various documents relating to Lister's business. Deputy sheriffs state that Lister referred to his CIA contacts at the time of the search.

November 1986 -- Based on Lister's statements about alleged connections to CIA and other intelligence agencies, FBI asks CIA if it had operational interest in Lister and others in the Blandon organization. CIA responds that it has no information on Lister.

July 1987 -- Federal OCDETF case against Blandon organization is closed, but tax investigation of Lister continues.

August 24, 1988 -- Lister is arrested by Costa Mesa police for selling two kilograms of cocaine to an undercover police officer. Lister's house is searched and his expired police badge and credentials are found. Lister agrees to work as an informant for the Costa Mesa police.

October 23, 1989 -- Lister is arrested by DEA San Diego for supplying two kilograms of cocaine to a person who sold the drugs to an undercover officer. Lister agrees to cooperate with DEA.

June 8, 1990 -- Lister enters into a formal cooperation agreement with San Diego USAO.

December 20, 1990 -- Lister is released from prison to cooperate with DEA.

January 22, 1991 -- Lister pleads guilty to drug charges as a result of his October 23, 1989 arrest.

April 22, 1991 -- Lister pleads guilty to tax fraud for filing false tax returns in 1985 and 1986.

July 22, 1991 -- DEA executes a search warrant on the Markon Corporation where Lister was working while he was out on bail. Seized evidence indicates that Lister was still engaged in illegal activities, including money laundering, and Lister is rearrested.

July 1991 -- San Diego USAO moves to revoke Lister's bail.

January 15, 1992 -- Lister is sentenced to 97 months prison and 60 months probation.

January 28, 1993 -- Appeals court overturns Lister's conviction on tax charges but affirms his conviction and sentence on drug charges.

June 1996 -- Lister is released from prison.

 

TIMELINE OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS RELATED TO RICKY ROSS

DATE -- EVENT

1979 -- Ross enrolls in Los Angeles Trade Technical College.

1981 or 1983 -- Ross begins dealing cocaine in the Los Angeles area.

1983 or 1984 -- Ross begins purchasing cocaine from Danilo Blandon.

1985 -- Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) begins first, unsuccessful investigation of Ross for drug trafficking.

October 1986 -- Ross is arrested in Los Angeles on federal charges for conspiracy to distribute cocaine in St. Louis, Missouri. The case is dismissed for lack of evidence.

January 1987 -- LASD and Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) form a task force targeting Ross, which becomes known as the "Freeway Ricky Task Force."

April 1987 -- Ross is arrested for allegedly dropping a kilo of cocaine while fleeing on foot from task force officers and for allegedly shooting at an officer. The charges were later dismissed for police misconduct.

1987 -- Ross moves to Cincinnati, Ohio and continues drug trafficking there.

March 1988 -- An Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) case is initiated against the "Ricky Ross organization" in Seattle, Washington, but he is not prosecuted there.

April 1988 -- Ross is identified, but not prosecuted, as source of cocaine for an Oklahoma City dealer supplying gangs in Seattle.

April 26-27, 1989 -- Ross is alleged to have sold 7.3 kilograms of cocaine in Dayton, Ohio and to have asked an informant to run a crack house.

June 1989 -- Ross and nine others are indicted on drug charges in Cincinnati.

September 5, 1990 -- Ross pleads guilty to drug charges in Cincinnati.

May 1990 -- Ross begins cooperating with Los Angeles United States Attorney's Office in the "Big Spender" cases involving corrupt Los Angeles deputy sheriffs.

February 8, 1991 -- Ross is sentenced in Cincinnati to 121 months incarceration and three years supervised release.

August 1991 -- Ross testifies for the prosecution in one of the "Big Spender" trials.

February 5, 1992 -- Los Angeles Assistant U. S. Attorney (AUSA) advises Cincinnati   AUSA by letter of Ross' cooperation in the "Big Spender" trials.

February 7, 1992 -- Cincinnati AUSA files motion for downward departure to Ross' sentence in Cincinnati.

March 25, 1992 -- The federal court in Cincinnati reduces Ross' sentence to 51 months, to be followed by three years supervised release.

November 1993 -- While still in federal prison, Ross is arrested on Texas state warrant for conspiracy to possess cocaine. Ross pleads no contest, and is sentenced to ten years, to run concurrently with his federal sentence in Cincinnati.

November 1993 -- Ross completes his federal sentence and is transferred to a Texas state prison, where he begins serving nine months.

September 1994 -- Ross is paroled by State of Texas and released from prison.

October 16, 1994 -- Ross calls Blandon collect in Nicaragua and they discuss a drug deal. At this time, Blandon is working undercover for the DEA.

December 4, 1994 -- Ross returns a call from Blandon, and requests six kilograms of cocaine.

December 16, 1994 -- Ross introduces Blandon, who is in Los Angeles, to "Chris," who asks Blandon to deliver 50 kilograms of cocaine to Atlanta, Georgia. Ross tells Blandon that Chris would be in charge of the business, but that Ross would remain in charge of the money.

February 23, 1995 -- Ross negotiates a 100 kilogram cocaine deal with Blandon involving a $200,000 downpayment.

March 2, 1995 -- Ross and others are arrested in Chula Vista, California, during the delivery of the 100 kilograms of cocaine to Blandon and a DEA undercover officer.

March 19, 1996 -- Ross is convicted by a federal jury on cocaine conspiracy and distribution charges.

September 9, 1996 -- Ross' defense counsel files a motion to dismiss Ross' conviction and a motion for the production of certain evidence.

November 19, 1996 -- Ross is sentenced to a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment based on his two prior felony convictions.

 

TIMELINE OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS
RELATED TO ENRIQUE MIRANDA

DATE -- EVENT

1958 -- Miranda born in Managua, Nicaragua.

1977 -- Miranda joins the Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional (FSLN).

1979 -- Miranda's request to resign from FSLN is denied and he is sent to Bulgaria and Cuba to study military intelligence. Upon his return he was named head of military intelligence operations.

1981 -- Sandinistas tell Miranda to recruit Norwin Meneses to smuggle drugs for the Sandinistas.

1982-1985 -- Miranda directs Sandinista cocaine smuggling into the U.S.

1985 -- Miranda resigns from the FSLN. Miranda allegedly makes contact with U.S. Embassy and CIA personnel in Nicaragua and Panama. He states that after he refuses to make a public declaration about Sandinista military strength, his relationship with the CIA was terminated.

September 1985 -- Miranda returns to Nicaragua, is arrested by the Sandinistas for treason, and is incarcerated.

1989 -- Miranda is released from prison for medical reasons and ordered to a military disciplinary unit, from which he subsequently escaped.

November 3,  1991 -- Miranda and Meneses are arrested in Nicaragua for cocaine trafficking.

1992 -- Miranda testifies against Meneses in his trial in Nicaragua.

August 1992 -- Miranda is sentenced to fourteen years in a Nicaraguan prison.

July 1995 -- Still incarcerated, Miranda somehow obtains a passport from Nicaraguan authorities.

November 13, 1995 -- While on a weekend medical pass, Miranda fraudulently obtains a visa from the United States consulate in Nicaragua, and fails to return to prison.

November 1995 -- Miranda travels to the United States via Costa Rica.

January 5, 1996 -- Miranda is established by the DEA in Miami as a confidential source.

May 3, 1996 -- Miranda is debriefed by the DEA in Costa Rica.

November 21, 1996 -- Nicaraguan National Police (NNP) contacts Miami FBI seeking Miranda's arrest.

December 2, 1996 -- Miranda is arrested at his residence in Miami for being in the United States illegally, based on his fraudulently obtained visa. Miranda signs voluntary departure form and returns to Nicaragua in the custody of the NNP.

December 1996 -- Miranda is returned to Nicaragua prison and receives an additional sentence of fifteen months for his attempted escape.

December 23, 1996-- Two DEA agents meet with the NNP and Miranda in Managua.

January 3, 1997 -- U.S. Representative Maxine Waters interviews Miranda in prison in Nicaragua.

July 1997 -- Nicaraguan judge who imposed the additional sentence grants Miranda's conditional freedom on medical grounds. Nicaraguan judge who imposed the original sentence subsequently blocks Miranda's early release.

 

TIMELINE OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS
RELATED TO JULIO ZAVALA AND CARLOS CABEZAS

DATE -- EVENT

January 1982 -- OCDETF investigation initiated against Julio Zavala, Carlos Cabezas, and others for trafficking cocaine in the San Francisco area.

January 17, 1983 -- Twelve persons, some in wetsuits, arrested while attempting to unload 430 pounds of cocaine from a Colombian vessel in San Francisco Bay. The case becomes known as the "Frogman case."

February 15, 1983 -- Zavala, Cabezas, and others are arrested in San Francisco pursuant to warrants. $36,020 is seized from Zavala's house at the time of his arrest.

June 4, 1984 -- Zavala's attorney submits to the court signed documents from two Contra leaders in Costa Rica stating that the money seized from Zavala's house was Contra money. Zavala's attorney requests leave to take depositions of the Contra leaders in Costa Rica.

June 22, 1984 -- The court grants the motion to take the depositions.

July 6, 1984 -- Zavala pleads guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

July 25, 1984 -- Assistant U. S. Attorney (AUSA) handling the case begins preparations to travel to Costa Rica for the depositions.

July 30, 1984 -- CIA learns of the proposed depositions in Costa Rica. It mistakenly believes that one of the persons to be deposed is a former CIA asset. In fact, the person to be deposed was someone else, and not a CIA asset.

August 2, 1984 -- Memorandum written by a CIA employee stating that she and lawyer from CIA Office of General Counsel are scheduled to meet with the prosecutor on August 7, 1984.

August 1984 -- CIA representative meets with the AUSA handling the case.

August 24, 1984 -- A cable written by the CIA representative who met with the AUSA states that the depositions in Costa Rica were canceled at the request of the CIA and with the concurrence of the AUSA.

October 2, 1984 -- Check in the amount of $36,800 is delivered to Zavala's attorney.

November 1984 -- San Francisco U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) tries Zavala on several remaining charges against him.

November 27, 1984 -- While testifying for the prosecution in Zavala's trial, Cabezas claims that he was told by one of his cocaine suppliers that the money the supplier made in drug trafficking was being used to help the Contras.

March 29, 1985 -- Zavala is convicted by the court of six criminal charges, including a continuing criminal enterprise charge.

March 16, 1986 -- The San Francisco Examiner publishes an article which suggested a "link" between defendants in the Frogman case and groups associated with the Contra revolution, and also suggested that the USAO returned the money seized from Zavala because it was Contra money.

March 19, 1986 -- U.S. Attorney Russoniello writes a letter to the San Francisco Examiner about the return of the money and the prosecution of Zavala.

October 8, 1987 -- Cabezas claims in an interview with the FBI that beginning in December 1981 he had participated in a cocaine trafficking enterprise for the benefit of the Contras.

January 28, 1988 -- I n an interview with the FBI, Zavala denies involvement in drug trafficking for the Contras.

 

TIMELINE OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS RELATED TO
FORMER DEA SPECIAL AGENT CELERINO CASTILLO, III

DATE -- EVENT

1979 -- Enters on duty with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), first assignment is in New York City.

October 1985 -- Transfers to the DEA Office in Peru.

August 1986 -- Transfers to the DEA Office in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

September 1986 -- The Salvadoran police serve a seach warrant on Walter Grasheim's residence in El Salvador.

October 1986 -- Castillo opens the investigation concerning Walter Grasheim and Ilopango Airport.

November 1986 -- Case closing report is issued on the Grasheim investigation.

February 1987 -- Doug Everett, DEA, Intelligence Analyst, travels to Central America to evaluate allegations linking various Nicaraguan political organizations to the drug trade.

April 1989 -- Castillo and deTriquet are allegedly denied access into CIA hangar at the Ilopango Airport.

December 1991 -- DEA moves to have Castillo removed from his position as a DEA criminal investigator based on various misconduct allegations.

June 1992 -- Castillo accepts a disability retirement in lieu of the proposed removal.

1994 -- Castillo publishes his book: Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras & the Drug War.

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