Jean Duffey's drug task force had became operational in April of 1990 and immediately began linking drug trafficking to public officials in the district, which included Saline County. Although every attempt was made to subvert Jean, she and her undercover officers developed a great deal of additional information for Govar's investigation. By the end of 1990, their combined efforts had amassed enough evidence to indict several key public officials on drug charges, including Dan Harmon and Richard Garrett. Although the grand jury that was hearing the evidence was unanimously ready to indict Harmon, Garrett, and others, that never happened. Jean Duffey was fired, her task force was shut down, Bob Govar was ousted and demoted, and the grand jury was sent home without being allowed to indict any public official. Six months later, U.S. Attorney Banks held a news conference and announced "there would not be 'any pressing of indictment against Mr. Harmon or any other public officials in Saline County'. . . Asked about allegations of misconduct, corruption or drug abuse by Harmon or other Saline County public officials, Banks said, 'Quite frankly, there is none. We found no evidence of any drug-related misconduct by public officials in Saline County.'" Arkansas Democrat, June 28, 1991.
". . . no evidence of any drug-related misconduct by public officials in Saline County," Mr. Banks said. Based on the two federal memos alone, that is an absurd statement, but when one considers how much more evidence Bob Govar must have accumulated by the end of 1990, and the additional evidence Jean Duffey's task force provided to Govar, Chuck Banks' statement is imbecilic. But then, what difference does it make how absurd or asinine it was for Banks to clear Saline County's drug traffickers? There are no repercussions for joining the ranks of dirty public officials. Banks was, in fact, rewarded with a federal judgeship nomination, which fortunately never materialized before all Bush nominations were withdrawn after Clinton won in 1992.
Although it was not clear, at the time, why Banks, a Republican-appointed U.S. Attorney, was protecting a bunch of Democrats involved in local drug trafficking, it became clear four years later. In March of 1994, a Little Rock FBI agent persuaded Jean Duffey to get involved in a newly-opened FBI investigation of the "train deaths" by telling her they had recommended to the Justice Department Chuck Banks be charged with obstructing justice for shutting down the 1990 federal grand jury investigation of Saline County. Of course, that never happened, and, in fact, the FBI investigation was shut down cold in November of 1995. That entire story is told in the FBI subsection of this web site.
Although the closing of the FBI investigation was disappointing to Jean and especially devastating to Linda Ives, who had worked closely enough with the investigators to know the FBI knows who murdered her son and why. The "why" is the reason these high-ranking public officials not only receive protection for their involvement, but are promoted for their efforts. It is also the reason Republicans and Democrats are in bed with each other. The "why" is the source of the drugs - the Mena drug smuggling enterprise which was operating under the auspices of the CIA and was protected by state and federal authorities. Every investigator who has tried to expose the crimes of Mena has been professionally destroyed, and certainly Jean Duffey and Bob Govar were no match for their power. The details of the Mena drug smuggling operation is told in the CIA subsection of this site.
© ID Media 1996