Clipped From The Palm Beach Post
M Falcon cealed hinges to reveal the entrance to a walk-in vault stocked with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and kilos of cocaine. I had last been in California in March 1980, nine months earlier, to talk to Pat Gregory and Rich Gorman, the agents who had devoted a large portion of their lives to Cen-tac-12 and the pursuit of Falcon. I had heard then how Falcon had arranged the shooting of one of his own executives, Albert Barruetta, by a mysterious assassin who resembled Clint Eastwood. Someone knocked on my hotel door. I opened it and saw a strongly built man, at least 6-foot-3, with large hands and the face of a movie star. His real name, though he had not used it for years, was Michael Decker. I had heard about some of the things Decker was supposed to have done the number of people killed was, literally, countless. Decker's whole tale took three days, during which, for security reasons, neither of us left the hotel. DEKER: One of the most interesting jobs I did some of Falcon's people broke into a National Guard armory in northern California and brought a lot of weapons down to Tijuana, about SO M16s, six .30-caliber and M60 machine guns on turret tripods, hand grenades, M70 grenade launchers, cases of ammunition, everything. And Falcon had it all loaded onto a pickup truck and a van and we went out to the Tijuana airport and they put it all on a couple of his planes and we flew to Guadalajara. Guadalajara was one of Falcon's main storage areas and some group down there had broken into a warehouse and stolen several tons of marijuana. Falcon wanted that taken care of. So we get there and when we land I'm blown out of my saddle. Because Mexican Customs agents and four people from the Guadalajara Police Department are there at the airport. The cops and agents came up, opened the cargo hold and started unloading the guns and putting them on a truck. They were all on Falcon's payroll. The people who had taken the marijuana came in four cars just before sundown. As the final car turned to the right, six men with automatic weapons stepped out behind them and opened fire. They were firing from behind the cars, so the cars naturally speeded up to get away. ST THE PALM BEACH POST -From IE, But when they got to about 50 feet of the gate, two M60s at the corner turrets opened up and two .30-caliber machine guns on each side of the gate opened up. I had four more men firing M16s on each side of the road by the gates, and several guys throwing hand grenades and firing grenade launchers. Within 30 seconds it was over. Twenty-one people died, and there was very little even recognizable of the cars. It was a kill-fire, just like Vietnam. I guess one of the most dramatic things I ever saw Falcon do, because there was no violence to it, it was all mental, was at a party Falcon gave in the Fiesta Palace Hotel in Mexico City. It was a magnificent party. In the big ballroom. Food beyond compare. A buffet table with gold bowls full of cocaine surrounded by little silver spoons. When Carlos Kyriakides (an associate of Falcon) walked in, Falcon said to him, "Would you care for some sugar?" Falcon and Kyriakides were competing. Who could impress the most people. Kyriakides had on a kind of lime-colored custom-tailored suit and had all this elaborate jewelry on. And Falcon had his platinum Rolex out there with all the yellow diamonds gleaming. The evening goes on. Dancing and drinking and eating and talk Centac planes and coastal gunboats. So discreet did Centac remain that many of the foreign agents and American police officers didn't even know they were working for Centac. Centac had been in operation since 1973, with Dayle as chief the last four years, and so far it had destroyed nearly a score of international criminal conglomerates, caused the imprisonment of thousands of criminals, solved hundreds of major crimes, seized millions of dollars yet remained, itself, virtually unknown. Unlike more highly visible anti-narcotics forces, Centac took almost no interest at all in drugs.' "If you took all the heroin in the world," Dayle said, "and stacked it up on some barren wasteland, all you'd have is a large pile of white powder. You cannot put a kilo of heroin in jail. You cannot make it tell you who its friends are. The SUNDAY. JULY 13, 1986 SE ing. Probably 300 people in this ballroom. And one of President Echeverria's assistants, one of his top people, one of his four or five top aides was there. A young guy, about 35. And Kyriakides walks up to him in a group of about 25 people and just like that hands him the keys to a brand-new Ferrari. Now, this was like a $55,000 car. Carlos said, "This is in gratitude for all the wonderful things you've done for our country, and also the wonderful things you've done with us in our businesses." Everybody ohed and ahed and was really impressed when Carlos did that. Falcon steps forward and pushes him right out of the picture. He says to Echeverria's aide, "I would really like to congratulate you for all you've done . . ." And everybody who was in that room knew what he was going to do, because during parties over the years many people had admired Falcon's yellow diamond ring. It was a gorgeous ring, worth I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars. And Falcon handed that ring to this guy. And the guy who got the ring what he did shocked me to death. He took Falcon's other hand, his left hand, and he kissed his hand, the way you would a bishop or a king. He bowed and kissed his hand and said, "Thank you very much, Mr. Falcon." From IE- problem is not powder. The problem is people. And Centac just simply devours people. Its metabolism is such that it is constantly in search of kingdoms to consume." Dayle said he worked with a budget, provided by DEA, of $1.1 million a year. This was only a fraction of the value of funds and property Centac seized. Centac made more money for the taxpayer than it spent. I pointed out that the men he goes after were rarely mentioned by the news media. Could that be because the media's attention had for years been concentrated on the Mafia? "I would think so." "If you regarded the Mafia as a single corporation," I asked, "and all the other multinational criminal groups as a corporation, how would they compare?" "I think the other groups together would be five times as great as the Mafia," Dayle answered.