FEDERAL PROBE OF SALINE COUNTY CORRUPTION
Federal Memos Introduction
The term federal memos and federal memorandums refer to two inner-office memorandums written by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Govar to his boss, U.S. Attorney Chuck Banks. Govar wrote the first memo in February of 1990 as an informal “status report pertaining to the Saline County Investigation.” Govar had been assigned about nine months earlier to look into allegations of public official corruption and drug trafficking in Saline County. Although there was no funding for the investigation, and the investigators were essentially volunteers, Govar had generated a significant amount of information by the time he wrote the first memo.
The second memo was written a month and a half later, on March 29, 1990, and reflects the additional information developed in that short time.rug 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 Chuck 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 contemptibly stupid. 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 for him never materialized before all Bush nominations were withdrawn after Clinton won the presidency 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 on the FBI page 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 Files 1996
Out of Control in Saline County
Note: Following is a transcription of a U.S. Attorney inner-office memo regarding the 1990 investigation of public official corruption and drug trafficking in Saline County. The transcription is exact with the exception of deleting the names of witnesses. To protect the identity and privacy of the witnesses, their names have been replaced with numbers. The witnesses who are named in the transcription have already been publicly identified because they have testified in a public trial or hearing. In one case, the named witness is now dead.
TO: Chuck Banks
FROM: Bob Govar
DATE: February 13, 1990
RE: Saline County Investigation
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide each of you with a status report pertaining to the Saline County Investigation. As of this date, February 13, 1990, we have interviewed approximately 22 witnesses in connection with the Saline County Investigation. The names of those witnesses are as follows: Witness (1); Witness (2); Witness (3); Carl Samples (4); Witness (5); Witness (6); Witness (7); Witness (8); Woodrow “Woody” Mays (9); Witness (10); Witness (11); Witness (12); Witness (13); Witness (14); Witness (15); Michael Bearden (16); Witness (17); Witness (18); Witness (19); Witness (20); Witness (21); and Witness (22). As of this date seven witnesses have appeared before the federal grand jury for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Their names are: Carl Samples, Witness (6); Witness (7); Witness (8); Witness (17); Witness (18); and Witness (19). Also, as of this date, seven (sic) witnesses have been immunized. Their names are: Carl Samples, Witness (7); Woodrow “Woody Mays; Witness (11); Witness (14); and Witness (15). As of this date we have indicted one person in connection with the Saline County grand jury investigation and that person is James Calloway. James Calloway was indicted for providing a firearm for use in the commission of a crime of violence and his case is currently pending jury trial. We indicted Calloway on this federal offense because he purchased a sawed-off shotgun which was used in the robbery of a crap game in Lonoke County on July 20, 1989. A man by the name of Richard Winters was one of the robbers and was shot to death during the course of the robbery. The reason we indicted this case federally is because we have information that Calloway headed a significant cocaine distribution operation in Saline County during 1987 and 1988. Details of this operation will be outlined below. James Calloway is also currently under federal indictment in the Central District of California, Los Angeles, where he has been charged by indictment with eleven counts of mail fraud involving a scheme to obtain over two million dollars worth of merchandise on credit from various sources which was not paid for.
He was indicted with two other individuals in that case. On February 20, 1990, we will present to the federal grand jury for the Eastern District of Arkansas another proposed indictment in connection with the Saline County investigation. The proposed indictment will be against W. E. Ross. We intend to charge W. E. Ross with one count of manufacture of marijuana and one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. We are going to indict Ross federally in connection with this case because it looks awful “fishy”. W. E. Ross was arrested by Saline County Investigators on May 6, 1988, and found in possession of 240 marijuana plants as well as a number of pieces of equipment necessary to the manufacture and cultivation of marijuana. I have reviewed the investigative file and find that there is no legal error and that the search of Mr. Ross’ premises was a legal search since the officer was there pursuant to a valid state search and seizure warrant. Furthermore, W. E. Ross gave a tape-recorded statement wherein he confessed to the manufacture of the marijuana and stated emphatically that he intended to sell the marijuana for money. Notwithstanding these facts, however, Richard A. Garrett, the former Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Saline County, nolle prossed the case on December 13, 1988, his last month in office. The order dismissing the case was signed by a Circuit Judge on exchange named Robert W. Garrett. The dismissal of the Ross drug case six months after his arrest without any explanation of record is quite puzzling and disturbing. As stated above, there does not appear to be any legal reason why the case should have been dismissed. The search appears to be a lawful one and certainly the time limit, under the speedy trial provisions of state law, had not run since the case was dismissed six months after it was filed. I interviewed the investigator who made this case, Saline County Investigator Leonard Lewis, and he told me that he was not informed that the case was dismissed by the prosecutor nor was he told any reason why the case was dismissed. He told me that he did not have any conversation with Richard Garrett concerning this case and that he only knew the case had been dismissed after I called him and asked him about it during 1990. In fact, Investigator Lewis indicated some measure of surprise when I told him the case had been dismissed and he told me he wondered what happened to it. Incidentally, we have narcotics intelligence information from the State Police that indicates that W. E. Ross moved from Saline County to Perry County and that he is currently engaged in a marijuana growing operation with his son, W. E. Ross, II. Obviously, our primary motive in prosecuting this case beyond the fact that it needs to be prosecuted is we hope to develop information which would explain the extraordinary dismissal of this case by the State Prosecutor during his last month of office.
The Saline County Sheriff’s Office is currently preparing an investigative file on an individual by the name of John Roland. I have discussed this case with Sate Prosecutor Gary Arnold and Gary Arnold has agreed that we should handle this case federally as a part of our Saline County investigation. John Roland was caught in the act of growing marijuana in Saline County. In fact, at the time of his arrest he was actually in the field pulling up plants. According to what I have been told, a couple of neighbors who lived by the marijuana field were asked by John Roland to come and assist him in pulling up the marijuana plants since the “cops were on their way”. It occurs to me that someone had to tip off John Roland that the Saline County Drug Investigators were on the way to the property with a search and seizure warrant. Roland was arrested on a Monday and on the previous Friday Saline County Drug Investigators had made application for a search warrant on the land where the marijuana was growing through Judge Pete Lancaster. From what I have been told by the investigators Judge Lancaster lives in the same area where Roland was growing his marijuana. Although the search warrant was ultimately obtained from Bryant Municipal Judge Darrell Davis, the warrant was not executed until the following Monday. Since this occurred during the fourth of July weekend 1989, whoever tipped him off may not have been able to get hold of him over the holiday weekend. Apparently someone did get in contact with him on the Monday morning following the fourth of July weekend and told him that the police were coming with a search warrant to seize the marijuana. The investigators involved in this case are currently trying to locate the two neighbors who were asked to help John Roland pull the marijuana so that they can be interviewed in connection with this case and we can find out exactly what Roland said to them and what their response was.
During the course of this investigation to date, we have determined the identities of two significant drug traffickers operating in Saline and Garland counties. One of the traffickers, James Calloway, is currently under federal indictment for using or providing a firearm during a crime of violence. As stated above the current indictment deals with the fact that he provided a sawed-off twelve gauge shotgun which was used in the armed robbery of a crap game in Lonoke County in July of 1989. During that robbery attempt Richard Winters was shot to death supposedly by the person running the crap game, Sylvania Peaks. Witnesses who support the allegations that James Calloway planned this robbery and provided the shotgun that was used in the robbery are: Mike Samples, Carl Samples, Bernice Samples, Jo Ann Winters and Everett Vanderburg. Everett Vanderburg has given a tape-recorded statement that he sold James Calloway the sawed-off shotgun that was used in the robbery of the crap game on the same night as the robbery. Vanderburg stated that he had purchased the sawed-off shotgun from another individual identified as Richard Smith. Richard Smith apparently told a friend of Calloway’s by the name of Vinis Criswell that Vanderburg had purchased the gun and had it. According to Vanderburg on the night of the robbery, three men came to his home. Those three men were James Calloway, Tony Mullins and Carl Samples. Calloway told Vanderburg that he needed to buy the gun so that Mullins would have protection from his in-laws who had been threatening him. Calloway later gave the sawed-off shotgun to Tony Mullins who in turn gave it to Carl Samples. Samples has given a sworn statement and grand jury testimony that the sawed-off shotgun was later tossed in a ditch by Interstate 30 running east and west from Little Rock to Memphis. We recovered the shotgun by having Carl Samples take us to where the gun had been ditched. It had been laying in the same weeded area along the Interstate since July of 1989. The gun was actually recovered in December of 1989. Carl Samples has given a lengthy statement regarding the robbery of the crap game, including information that James Calloway planned the robbery. In addition to providing the details of the planning of the robbery and the persons who participated in it, Carl Samples provided the grand jury with sworn testimony as to James Calloway’s cocaine dealings in Saline County. James Calloway had employed Carl Samples to work at his car lot in Bryant, Arkansas, doing odd jobs. While employed in that capacity Carl Samples told the grand jury under oath that he observed a Mexican and Richard Garrett arrive at James Calloway’s car lot. The Mexican delivered boxes which, on at least one occasion, Samples saw the contents to be packages of white powder which he believed to be cocaine. The Mexican male involved in this transaction was subsequently found shot to death in White County, Arkansas, and was being held at the state crime laboratory under a John Doe. Carl Samples, at my request, traveled with investigators to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory and viewed the body of the dead Mexican male. Carl Samples identified the dead Mexican as the person who had traveled to the car lot with Richard Garrett for the purpose of delivering cocaine to James Calloway.
Since the interview and grand jury appearance of Carl Samples we have also identified other witnesses who can prove information concerning the drug dealings of James Calloway. On Monday, February 12, 1990, I interviewed witness Woodrow “Woody” Mays. Mays provided a lot of information concerning drug dealing in Saline County but he also indicated in the course of giving this information that he knew James Calloway, knew that Calloway owned a car lot in Bryant, Arkansas, and remembered on at least one occasion when he had obtained some marijuana from Calloway. Mays pointed out that he did not actually get the marijuana from Calloway himself but had another person go to him and obtain a quantity of marijuana so that Mays would have some to smoke. Two other witnesses have also implicated James Calloway in drug dealing. One of those witnesses is named Wintess (14). Witness (14), who is currently incarcerated at the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction has been interviewed by investigators and gave a written statement on January 30, 1990. Witness (14) told investigators that during 1987 and 1988 he was buying cocaine trying to help a friend of his out. He identified several sources of cocaine including Suspect (1), Suspect (2), and Suspect (3). Witness (14) stated that as his dealings in cocaine continued he had occasion to meet James Calloway. He stated that he had been introduced to Calloway by Suspect (3). Suspect (3) and James Calloway used to work for AP&L in Alexander, Arkansas. During the course of his statement Witness (14) identified a number of occasions when he actually purchased cocaine from Calloway. On the first occasion he alleged that he bought cocaine from Calloway at his home, approximately 1/4 gram for $25. Witness (14) stated that the second time he bought cocaine from Calloway was in the parking lot of the church in Alexander and that he purchased 1/4 gram of cocaine from Calloway for $25. Witness (14) stated that the third time he purchased cocaine from Calloway he had called Suspect (3) at Suspect (3)’s home and Suspect (3) told him to meet Calloway in Alexander. On this third occasion Witness (14) stated that he met Calloway and purchased 1/4 gram of cocaine for $25. Witness (14) stated that the last time he actually bought cocaine directly from Calloway was in about January of 1988. On that occasion he and Suspect (3) went over to James Calloway’s car lot where Suspect (3) gave Calloway $100. Calloway left and they had to wait for Calloway to get back to the car lot. On this particular occasion Suspect (3) obtained either a gram or a one-sixteenth paper of cocaine. James Calloway’s drug dealings were also documented in a written statement by Witness (15) on January 30, 1990. Witness (15) is currently incarcerated at the Varner Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction. In his statement Witness (15) stated that he has know James Calloway for approximately six years and that he has lived at Calloway’s house off and on several times. Witness (15) stated that while he lived with Calloway he used to test cocaine for him and would tell Calloway whether the cocaine was good or bad by the rush that he got from the drug. Witness (15) stated that he would perform these tests on the cocaine at the kitchen table in James Calloway’s house. Witness (15) stated that during 1987 he sold at least ten ounces of cocaine for James Calloway. During the 1987 Oaklawn race season Witness (15), James Calloway, Dan Harmon and Richard Garrett all went to the horse races in Hot Springs. The trip was made in James Calloway’s black Marquis automobile. On the way to the races James Calloway pulled out a half-gram of cocaine and handed it to Richard Garrett. Richard Garrett snorted some of the cocaine and then handed the paper to Dan Harmon who did some of it. Harmon then handed the paper of cocaine to Witness (15) and Witness (15) finished it. Witness (15) stated that he told them to get all they wanted because he was going to finish it when it got to him. Witness (15) stated that on several occasions while he lived with James Calloway he saw Dan Harmon and Richard Garrett come to James Calloway’s house. They would always go to James’ bedroom and close the door and talk. Witness (15) did not know what they talked about but he did know that that is where James Calloway kept his cocaine. Witness (15) also stated that he knew that James Calloway did most of his cocaine dealing from the bedroom in his house. Witness (15) stated that there was a closet in the bedroom in which James Calloway kept his cocaine and that there was cocaine in this closet on every occasion when Dan Harmon and Richard Garrett were there. Witness (15) stated that he watched James Calloway give people cocaine to sell on several occasions. Witness (15) stated that he saw Calloway give Suspect (3) drugs on a number of occasions and one time he watched Suspect (3) carry about a kilo of cocaine out of James Calloway’s house. During the time that Witness (15) was associated with James Calloway, Witness (15) alleges that he watched Calloway move about 20 kilos of cocaine. Witness (15) stated that he was giving James Calloway about $750 to $800 an ounce depending on the dope. Witness (15) also stated that a Mexican which he knows by the name of Carlo would get out of Garrett’s car and carry and attache or brief case into the car lot office. Witness (15) stated that he saw this Mexican stay a very few minutes and then return to the car that Garrett was in and they would drive off. Witness (15) stated that he was sure that Garrett was driving the car on these occasions.
During this point of the investigation, Dan Harmon, an attorney from Benton, Arkansas, has been identified as a target in this investigation. Dan Harmon has served in the past as the special prosecutor in charge of the Saline County special grand jury which looked into the deaths of Don Henry and Kevin Ives on August 23, 1987. Kevin Ives and Don Henry were found dead on some railroad tracks in Saline County on that date. The grand jury investigated the cause of death of the two boys and the circumstances surrounding their death as part of the special grand jury’s investigation. On Monday, February 12, 1990, I interviewed Woodrow “Woody” Mays, an acknowledged drug dealer from Saline County, Arkansas. Mays is a 31 year old white male, 5’6″, weighing 155 pounds, having blond hair and blue eyes. He has a tattoo on his shoulder which is of the letter “F.” Mays has never been granted immunity before and has never testified as a witness in a criminal case. Mays has a number of felony convictions including two felony convictions in Pulaski Circuit Court in 1984 or 1985 for burglary and theft of property. He was sentenced in 1985 to two five year concurrent terms of imprisonment with two years suspended. Altogether he served nine months in the Arkansas Department of Correction. Woody Mays has also been convicted of a felony in Ohio. He received a sentence of one to five years for aggravated assault as a result of a stabbing incident in a bar fight. This conviction occurred in 1974 or 1975. As a result of this conviction he served three years in the Ohio State Penitentiaries at Mansfield and Lebanon, Ohio. Woody Mays stated that he met Danny “Boonie” Bearden through Suspect (4) during the summer of 1988. Suspect (5), Suspect (4)’s brother, grew marijuana for Joe Davis. Davis is currently serving a term of imprisonment for robbery in the Arkansas Department of Correction. Boonie Bearden started buying eight balls of cocaine from Woody Mays shortly after they met.
It wasn’t too long before Boonie Bearden started buying an ounce of cocaine every day from Mays. According to Woody Mays, Boonie Bearden bought at least 30 ounces of cocaine from him in a two month period. Mays stated that his source of cocaine for the most part during this period of time was Marvin Stegall, who has been previously identified as a significant drug trafficker operating in Garland and Saline Counties. According to Mays, Marvin Stegall was fronting him anywhere from two or three ounces of cocaine per week. Woody Mays has agreed to meet with State Police Investigators and show them the drop site and method of operation of Marvin Stegall. According to Mays, Marvin Stegall meets a person on a weekly basis who flies cocaine into the state of Arkansas from Texas. The individual is met at the airport and they then go to a Waffle House or a nearby location and exchange the drugs and money. Mays claims to have been present on occasions when this was done. Woody Mays stated that he first met Marvin Stegall in 1986 or 1987 right after he got out of prison. Mays couldn’t exactly remember who introduced him to Stegall but he believes it was either Carlo Hibbard or Mark “Bubba” Ray. Mays stated that he started dealing with Stegall right after he met him in the latter part of 1987 or the first part of 1988. Mays stated that he got some drugs from Stegall about every week. Mays stated that he would obtain three to eight pounds of marijuana at a time and anywhere from one to three ounces of cocaine at a time from Marvin Stegall. Mays stated that his drug dealing with Stegall ended in July of 1989 when Mays left the state of Arkansas. At the time Mays left Arkansas he owed Stegall approximately $8,800 for seven pounds of marijuana and three or four ounces of cocaine. Mays stated that Stegall usually fronted him both marijuana and cocaine and that he had been fronted the marijuana and cocaine that he owed Stegall for. Mays stated that Stegall owns a business which hangs ceiling and that he believes that Stegall used this business as a front to launder his drug money. According to Mays, Stegall is in his 30’s and has a lot of wealth and property that is not apparent. Mays stated that during the time he dealt with Stegall, from 1987 through July of 1989, Stegall provided him with approximately 100-150 pounds of marijuana and anywhere from a kilo to a kilo and a half of cocaine. Stegall identified the following persons as persons who dealt drugs for Marvin Stegall: (1) Tammy Harmon, the daughter of attorney Dan Harmon; (2) Mark “Bubba” Ray; (3) Woody Mays; and (4) Carlo Hibbard. Mays stated that Marvin Stegall is a major source of drugs in Saline County and that if Marvin Stegall is busted it will probably eliminate the major source of drugs in that county. Mays stated that he never got busted the entire time that he was selling drugs in Saline County because either Tammy Harmon or Carlo Hibbard would tell him “Dan says you are getting hot.” He indicated that he never got busted because Tammy Harmon or Carlo Hibbard would warn him every time the authorities were getting ready to arrest him. He indicated that he was warned by Dan Harmon, through Tammy Harmon or Carlo Hibbard, at least four or five times. He stated that that is why he moved so often while he was living in Saline County. Mays recalled that he was at Dan Harmon’s house both when Harmon lived in the Summer Wood Apartments and later when he moved and lived in a house. He recalled that he was in Harmon’s house on one occasion shooting up with his daughter, Tammy, when Dan Harmon was present in the house. He also recalls an occasion when Dan Harmon was present while Woody Mays was snorting cocaine with Harmon’s former wife, Teresa Harmon. Woody Mays stated that Teresa Harmon bought cocaine from him on at least four or five separate occasion. He stated that Teresa Harmon usually bought $50 to $100 worth at a time. Mays described Marvin Stegall as a white male, 5’9″ to 5’10” in height, brown shortcut hair, medium build, weighing approximately 160-170 pounds and further described as being very bowlegged. Woody Mays stated that Marvin Stegall was clean shaven in the past but he was now wearing a full beard and mustache. Mays stated that Stegall meets his Texas source for cocaine at the Little Rock airport on a weekly basis. When Stegall meets this individual who Mays knew only as “Dave,” Stegall would either drive a new maroon Bronco automobile or a small pickup truck which he described as being beige over brown.
Woody Mays stated that Carlo Hibbard is still in the drug business. According to information for the Saline County Sheriff’s Office, Carlo Hibbard is a fugitive and has current state charges of distribution of controlled substances out of Saline County Circuit Court. According to Mays, Carlo Hibbard is running dope from Houston, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida, to Richmond, Indiana. Mays stated that he has seen Carlo Hibbard in Richmond, Indiana, and that Carlo Hibbard currently lives with his mother in Richmond, Indiana. Mays described Hibbard’s vehicle as being a green Chevelle with two big white stripes running from the back of the automobile to the front. The car has Florida tags and is usually parked on the corner of South Seventh and “H” or “G” Streets in Richmond, Indiana. Other witnesses have provided information during the course of this investigation pertaining to the drug activities of Benton attorney Dan Harmon, his former wife, Teresa Harmon, and his daughter, Tammy Harmon. During the latter part of 1989, Little Rock attorney Jim Clouette, provided investigators working on the Saline County investigation with information pertaining to the drug activities of Dan Harmon. Clouette, who used to practice law with Dan Harmon, stated that he met Harmon and drove around with him in Saline County on one occasion recently after Harmon had called Clouette at Clouette’s office. During this meeting Harmon told Clouette that he had acquired a hydroponics system and was going to establish a marijuana growing operation in a building with a restaurant in the top of the building. According to Clouette, Harmon stated that this would be a perfect front for a marijuana growing operation and that the growing end of the operation was the place to make money.
Witness (11) was interviewed by investigators working on the Saline County investigation on August 31, 1989. During the course of his statement, Witness (11) said that he first met Dan Harmon on a casual basis in 1984. At the time he first met Harmon he was just merely a speaking acquaintance and did not really socialize with him or have any business transactions with him. Later, however, Teresa Harmon, Dan Harmon’s ex-wife, started buying cocaine from Witness (11). Teresa Harmon’s cocaine purchases began toward the end of 1987 while Witness (11) was still living at the Pines Apartments on Baseline Road in Little Rock. At this particular time Teresa Harmon was buying grams of cocaine. In February of 1988 Witness (11) lived at XXXX Arapaho Trail in southwest Little Rock. Teresa Harmon would come by Witness (11)’s house and buy eight balls of cocaine from him. Witness (11) stated that Teresa Harmon bought cocaine from him a couple of times at that location before she introduced him to her husband, Dan Harmon. Witness (11) stated that in March of 1988 he met Dan Harmon at the El Chico restaurant in southwest Little Rock to talk to him as an attorney in reference to some domestic problems that Witness (11) was having. Witness (11) recalled that during the conversation Harmon asked him how much cocaine Teresa Harmon was buying. Other than that one reference to cocaine, Witness (11) stated that their conversation was merely small talk. Witness (11) stated that in April of 1988 Teresa Harmon came to his house on Arapaho Trail and told him that Dan Harmon was waiting to talk to him at Sawyer’s Market at Baseline and Hilaro Springs Road. According to Witness (11), he went to Sawyer’s Market and met with Dan Harmon alone. This was the first time, according to Witness (11), that Dan Harmon had mentioned hydroponics to him. Harmon told Witness (11) that the only way to make money out of marijuana was to be on the manufacturing end. During the course of this conversation Witness (11) asked Harmon if it was okay to continue to front cocaine to Teresa Harmon. Harmon stated that it was okay but to not let it get out of hand. According to Witness (11), during May of 1988, Teresa was supposed to come to his house and pick up some cocaine. She couldn’t make it so Dan Harmon came instead. Witness (11) stated that he and Harmon met at the El Chico Restaurant in southwest Little Rock where they talked about the hydroponics again. During the course of this meeting Dan Harmon discussed some of the testimony being given to the Saline County grand jury about the deaths of Kevin Ives and Don Henry. At this meeting Witness (11) gave Dan Harmon an eight ball of cocaine on the front for his wife, Teresa. Witness (11) stated that at this particular time Dan Harmon and Teresa Harmon owed him approximately $1,800 for cocaine and Dan told Witness (11) that he would pay him after he got paid for a case he was working on. Witness (11) stated that in June of 1988 Dan Harmon paid him $1,800 with a check that was drawn on the law firm. Teresa Harmon brought Witness (11) the check and picked up half an ounce of cocaine at the same time. According to Witness (11), Teresa Harmon paid for most of the ounce and left owing Witness (11) about $200. According to Witness (11), Teresa Harmon began buying cocaine from him on a daily basis shortly thereafter. Between June of 1988 and December of 1988, according to Witness (11), Teresa Harmon bought several eight balls of cocaine and on several occasions picked up quarter ounces of cocaine. Witness (11) stated that in August she got two full ounces of cocaine from him and sold both ounces. During this same period of time, Witness (11) met with Dan Harmon at the El Chico Restaurant and on two occasions gave him quarter ounces of cocaine. Teresa Harmon was paying Witness (11) some money along but there was a bill with Witness (11) getting pretty high. In August or September of 1988, Dan Harmon got into a bind over some hot checks and asked Witness (11) if he could borrow some money. According to Witness (11) he loaned Dan Harmon $700. About two weeks later Witness (11) loaned Dan Harmon $1,000 and about two weeks after that Witness (11) loaned him another $1,000. At that time Dan Harmon and Teresa Harmon owed Witness (11) $2,300 for cocaine and according to Witness (11), still do. According to Witness (11), in October, 1988, Dan Harmon contacted him and told him to cut Teresa off. Witness (11) stated that the first time he loaned Dan Harmon a $1,000 Harmon talked to him about Pay Taylor Cook’s testimony before the Saline County special grand jury and how the testimony related to Witness (11). Witness (11) stated that on several occasions he asked Dan Harmon to check people out before he sold drugs to them which Harmon did.
Teresa Harmon, the former spouse of Benton attorney Dan Harmon, appeared before the United States Grand Jury for the Eastern District of Arkansas on Tuesday, October 17, 1989. Ms. Harmon acknowledged that she had personally observed her husband, Dan Harmon, use cocaine in their home on at least five occasions prior to her pregnancy in 1987. She stated that she did not ask her husband where he got the cocaine because the quantity was so small she figured that someone just gave it to him. No questions were asked concerning Teresa Harmon’s use or sale or distribution of controlled substances since she is also a target of the Saline County investigation for her own drug use and distribution. I felt like if we went into questions which would incriminate her personally she would probably invoke the Fifth Amendment since her attorney, David Smith, was present outside of the grand jury room during her testimony.
Witness (18) appeared before the grand jury to testify on Tuesday, September 19, 1989. Witness (18) stated that she worked for Dan Harmon as a legal secretary during the middle of 1986. She stated that she had known Mr. Harmon since she was about ten years old and that he had been her softball coach. She stated that she worked for Dan Harmon until December of 1987 and quit working for him because her payroll checks were coming back insufficient funds. Witness (18) stated that during the period of time she worked for Dan Harmon in his law office she saw him use cocaine on two occasions. The first occasion was in 1987. She stated that she came to work early one morning and there were no cars outside, so she came in the front door and walked on in.
She stated that Mr. Harmon didn’t know that she was coming in early and she just walked on in his office. She said that he was doing lines of cocaine which he had laid out on his desk. She said she observed him doing these lines of cocaine with a straw. She stated that this incident occurred in February or March of 1987. The second occasion she saw Mr. Harmon use drugs was in November of 1987. She came back from lunch and Dan Harmon was in his law office using drugs. She stated that she told her husband about the incident and her husband told her to start looking for another job so she could quit. Witness (18) stated that she saw Teresa Harmon use drugs on three or four occasions at her house. She stated that she observed these drug usage’s because she used to watch Teresa Harmon’s little boy for her a lot. She stated that Ms. Harmon used cocaine. In fact, Witness (18) admitted that she had used cocaine with Teresa Harmon at her home on one occasion in 1987. She also stated that Teresa Harmon had given her an eight ball of cocaine for a wedding present. According to Witness (18) she was married to her current husband on July 21, 1987, and Ms. Harmon had given her the cocaine prior to their marriage. Witness (18) stated that Teresa Harmon gave her the eight ball of cocaine at Dan Harmon’s law office. Witness (18) stated that Teresa Harmon came to the office and told her that she had left a gift in there on her husband’s desk and it was wrapped up. Witness (18) stated that the cocaine was in a brown sack and it was taped up. Witness (18) stated that she actually got this cocaine from Teresa Harmon after the date of her marriage. Witness (18) acknowledged that it was pretty much a matter of common knowledge in Saline County that Teresa Harmon has sold drugs, but she also acknowledged that she has never been prosecuted in that county for drug sales nor has she ever been arrested for it. Witness (18) further acknowledged that Tammy Harmon, Dan Harmon’s daughter, has a reputation in the county for being a drug dealer.
Witness (10) was interviewed by Investigator Robert Gibbs with the Arkansas State Police in connection with his knowledge of this case. Witness (10) told Investigator Gibbs that he has known Dan Harmon for less than one year. Witness (10) told Investigator Gibbs that during the period he knew Dan Harmon he personally witnessed Dan Harmon purchase cocaine on two occasions from a white male known to Witness (10) as Suspect (6). Witness (10) stated that he has personal knowledge of cocaine transactions between Suspect (6) and Dan and Teresa Harmon but that he did not personally witness these transactions. Witness (10) stated that Suspect (6) received his cocaine from an unknown white male who flies into the Little Rock Airport every Monday from Dallas, Texas. This unknown white male sometimes flies Southwest Airlines from Love Field in Dallas and sometimes flies on Delta Airlines from the Dallas Ft. Worth Airport. Following his meeting with the unknown white male, Suspect (6) usually goes to Benton where he will deliver an unknown amount of cocaine to Dan or Teresa Harmon.
Witness (13) was interviewed by Investigator Robert Gibbs with the Arkansas State Police in connection with this case. Witness (13) told Investigator Gibbs that he had known Teresa Harmon for about ten years and had purchased various types of narcotics and controlled substances from her on numerous occasions. Witness (13) told Investigator Gibbs that during 1987 he purchased drugs from Teresa Harmon at her home while her husband, Dan Harmon, was there. Witness (13) stated that Dan Harmon witnessed both of these drug transactions. One of the deals was for two or three hits of acid (LSD) and the other deal was for a quarter ounce of marijuana. In February of 1988, Teresa and Witness (13) were talking about some cocaine and Teresa made the statement that “Danny gets only the good stuff.” Witness (13) took this to mean cocaine. After February of 1988 if Witness (13) wanted to buy drugs from Teresa Harmon he would go to Suspect (7)’s house in Benton and Suspect (7) would call Teresa for him. Teresa Harmon would then bring the drugs over which Witness (13) wanted. Witness (13) told Investigator Gibbs that he knows that Teresa Harmon gets some of her dope from Suspect (8). Witness (13) stated that Teresa Harmon gets marijuana, acid, coke and crank from him. Witness (13) described Suspect (8) as a white male, about 23 years old, 5’9″ in height, weighing approximately 160 pounds and having dark hair. Witness (13) stated that the last time he bought anything from Teresa Harmon was on or about February 13, 1988, when he bought one-quarter ounce of marijuana from her at her house. Witness (13) said that Dan Harmon was at the house when this deal occurred but he doesn’t remember if Dan Harmon actually witnessed the deal. Witness (13) told Investigator Gibbs that Teresa Harmon has lived in Benton all of her life and the fact that she is dealing drugs is common knowledge to the people that live in the area. Witness (13) described Teresa Harmon as a white female, approximately 23 years of age, red hair and freckles, a pug nose, about 5’4″ in height and weighing approximately 100-105 pounds. Witness (13) stated that Teresa Harmon drives a 1985 Toyota Celica which is tan in color. Witness (13) could not say how many times he has purchased drugs from Teresa Harmon but he did say that he has bought from her ever since he has known her. During 1987 Witness (13) said that Teresa Harmon was the only one he did business with.
On August 3, 1989, witness Michael Bearden was interviewed at the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction by Saline County Sheriff Larry Davis and Saline County Sheriff’s Investigator Leonard Lewis. Bearden is currently serving a state sentence for murder. The murder case involved the murder of Michael Bearden’s wife at a time when he lived on Carywood Drive in Bryant, Arkansas. Bearden told the investigators that he was represented on the murder charge by Benton attorney Dan Harmon. Bearden told the investigators that on one evening while he was home, he received a telephone call from his attorney, Dan Harmon. Harmon told Bearden that he needed to discuss something with him but he couldn’t talk over the phone. Bearden told Harmon that he was on the way to his office. When Bearden got to Dan Harmon’s office Harmon confronted him with a proposition that if Bearden bought the Prosecuting Attorney a Corvette, his murder case would be dismissed. Bearden stated that Joe Hardin was the Prosecuting Attorney for Saline County at the time. Bearden told Harmon that he hadn’t done anything to have to do that. Bearden told the investigators that he was willing to testify about the Corvette deal before the federal grand jury. Bearden told the investigators that there was a $65,000 life insurance policy on his wife and that Bearden was the beneficiary under the policy. According to information developed during Bearden’s interview, the insurance company was not willing to pay off on the proceeds of the policy as long as the murder charge remained against Bearden. Bearden stated that he signed a contingency fee contract with Harmon whereby Harmon would receive a percentage of the policy proceeds as his fee for representing Bearden on the murder case. According to Bearden, part of the insurance proceeds was also to be used to buy the Corvette for the Prosecuting Attorney, Joe Hardin, so that the murder charges could be dismissed. Bearden stated that he never received any money form the insurance company himself but that he did sign some papers which his mother-in-law had sent to the penitentiary which would have released the money to her. Bearden stated that he was contacted by the insurance company one time about the settlement on the policy proceeds but he directed the insurance company to get in touch with his attorney, Dan Harmon. Bearden stated that he has not heard anything else about the insurance policy proceeds since that time. Bearden indicated that the life insurance policy on his wife was carried by the Delta Farm Insurance Company which is located out of state.
Witness (17) was interviewed by me in the United States Attorney’s office on Wednesday, October 11, 1989. The information provided by Witness (17) was lengthy and is recorded in a memorandum of interview dictated by me on October 11. 1989. A copy of that memorandum is attached to this memo. Following my interview with Witness (17) on October 11, 1989, she appeared before the United Stated Grand Jury for the Eastern District of Arkansas on October 17, 1989, for the purpose of giving testimony under oath in connection with the Saline County grand Jury investigation. A copy of her grand jury testimony is attached to this memo. Lastly, Witness (17) was again interviewed by Detective Tom James of the Little Rock Police Department Intelligence division on November 7, 1989, to determine additional information. A copy of this last interview with her is attached to this memo.
The Internal Revenue Service has assigned Special Agent Glen Perciful to do a background tax investigation on former Saline County Sheriff James Steed. He was recently assigned to this investigation and has just begun his work. As of this date I have not yet received any reports concerning his investigative efforts pertaining to the former Sheriff of Saline County. The initial investigation by Agent Perciful will be to determine whether Sheriff Steed’s lifestyle is consistent with his apparent income. In that same vein, we have received additional information concerning the former Sheriff from Arkansas State Trooper Jeff Ramsey. Ramsey used to work as a Deputy Sheriff in the Saline County Sheriff’s Office at a time when James Steed was the Sheriff. Ramsey has mentioned two occasions to us which require further investigation. One of them involved a seizure of cash on a drug arrest which occurred in Saline County. The investigator that brought the money in had counted the money previously and had determined there to be approximately $19,000 in currency. Sheriff Steed wanted the state investigator to sign a receipt indicating that there was $3,000 or $4,000 less in currency than there was actually there. Investigator Ramsey stated that the person that brought in the cash declined to sign the receipt because the receipt did not accurately reflect the amount of currency which had been seized. Trooper Ramsey claimed to have witnessed this particular transaction. Trooper Ramsey also told investigators about a situation which occurred when he was a Deputy Sheriff in Saline County under Sheriff Steed. Trooper Ramsey stated he was on duty one evening and received a telephone call from Witness (15). Witness (15) stated that a large scale gambling operation was going on at a house at Lake Norrell in Saline County, Arkansas, and agreed to come down and give the investigator information concerning the gambling operation. Trooper Ramsey stated that he went back to the location of the gambling operation with Witness (15) and observed the house with the lights on as described to him previously by Witness (15). Trooper Ramsey then stated that he and Witness (15) returned to the sheriff’s office and made preparations to raid the house. One of the other officers suggested that Sheriff Steed be contacted before the raid occurred so that he could participate. They called the sheriff and he told them that he was on the way and not to do anything before he got to the office. Trooper Ramsey stated that while Sheriff Steed lived only four or five blocks from the sheriff’s office, it took him over 40 minutes to get there. When Sheriff Steed did get there he told one of the investigators to go home and told Trooper Ramsey that he would go with him and look at this so-called gambling operation. According to Trooper Ramsey, Sheriff Steed made statements which indicated to him that the sheriff did not think the gambling operation was any big deal. Trooper Ramsey stated that when he and the sheriff drove back to the location of the gambling operation previously shown him by Witness (15) that the house was shut down, locked up and the lights were out. Trooper
Ramsey firmly believes that Sheriff Steed warned Suspect (9), the operator of the gambling house, before they arrived. According to Witness (15), Suspect (9) provided payments of $2,000 to State Prosecutor Joe Hardin, Circuit Judge John Cole, Sheriff James Steed and Municipal Judge Pete Lancaster each Monday.
On Monday, February 12, 1990, I received an anonymous telephone call which relates to information in the Saline County investigation. The caller refused to identify herself despite numerous attempts by me to get that information. The caller sounded like a mature white female but would not give me her name, address or any information. The caller stated that an individual named Suspect (10) used to work at Suspect (11)’s business in Benton, Arkansas. The caller stated that this person has made statements that James Steed, the former sheriff of Saline County, routinely came by Suspect (11)’s business and picked up envelopes containing large sums of cash. According to the anonymous caller Suspect (10) currently lives in Benton, Arkansas, and could probably be found and interviewed. The caller did not know the purpose of the delivery of these sums of money to Sheriff Steed.
The investigative goals in this case remain a. follows: (1) continue to develop information on the cocaine-marijuana distribution activities of the organization headed by James Calloway. As of this date we have developed testimony from three different witnesses who have indicated that Calloway was responsible for large scale cocaine distribution within Saline County. One witness, Witness (15), has indicated that James Calloway has distributed approximately 20 kilos of cocaine during the period of time that he was associated with Calloway. Calloway also seems to be involved in one or more murders which may be drug related in Saline County. There is a possibility that he may have been involved, indirectly, in the murders of Kevin Ives and Don Henry on the railroad tracks in Saline County, there is also the possibility that he was involved in the murder of an unidentified Mexican drug dealer who is currently in cold storage at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory and lastly, he is probably involved in the killing of Richard Winters who was shot to death during an attempted robbery of a crap game in Lonoke County, Arkansas, in July of 1989. The murder of the Mexican drug dealer appears to be connected to Calloway since Carl Samples has identified the Mexican as the person who went to Calloway’s car lot in Bryant, Arkansas, with cocaine in the company of Richard Garrett. (2) All available intelligence information seems to indicate that Marvin Stegall who resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas, is the biggest supplier of cocaine and marijuana in Garland and Saline Counties. Witnesses have told us that Marvin Stegall is the major source of drugs in Saline County and that if we arrest Stegall we will eliminate the primary source of drugs in that county. As of this date we have developed a lot of information on Stegall through narcotics intelligence and also through the testimony or statements of drug dealer Woody Mays. Since Mays is an immunized witness we must do everything possible at this point to try and corroborate the details of his testimony. On Wednesday, February 14, 1990, I directed Investigator Robert Gibbs of the Arkansas State Police to take Woody Mays to the State Police Headquarters for a thorough debriefing. The State Police is also going to prepare a video-taped statement from Woody Mays. The purpose of the debriefing will be to identify the drop sites which Marvin Stegall uses and his method of operation for bringing in drugs into Arkansas from Texas. Mays says he uses the same MO in every situation, he meets an unidentified male known only as Dave at the Little Rock Airport, takes him to a nearby Waffle House where they exchange drugs and money and then Stegall takes Dave back to the airport for the return flight to Texas. Mays says that he had observed this on a number of occasions and that is the way that Stegall always gets his cocaine. According to Mays, Stegall will meet this person at the Little Rock Airport as many as two or three times a week if Stegall needs that much cocaine. As a part of this investigative effort we have, in the past, placed Marvin Stegall’s house under surveillance. One night while officers were surveilling his house in Hot Springs, two individuals named Gerald Davis and Linda Carol Smart were observed pulling into Stegall’s driveway. Both individuals exited the car while the motor was still running, went into the house, stayed a very short period of time and returned to the car. One of the surveilling officers radioed a marked State Police unit and told the marked unit that the car being operated by these two individuals was followed to a liquor store where both individuals got out, again with the motor running, and went into the liquor store. Surveillance was continued on the car and – it was noticed that they were driving erratically and that the car had no taillights. The marked unit effected a traffic stop and placed the driver under arrest for DWI and no taillights. The passenger in the car, Linda Smart, was given a breath test and she was determined to also be intoxicated. Since she could not lawfully operate the vehicle in that condition, the arresting trooper called for a wrecker to have the car towed to the Saline County Sheriff’s Office. Linda Smart asked to have her purse back but before the trooper would give it to her he searched it and found it to contain a plastic bag with approximately 3 1/2 ounces of marijuana in the bag. Subsequent interview of the subjects revealed that the subject known as Davis had purchased the marijuana from a friend but he would not name the source of the drugs. Linda Smart, who was found in possession of the drugs, would not make any statement concerning the source of the marijuana. Based on the surveillance that was done in this case it is quite apparent that Marvin Stegall provided the marijuana to Linda Smart and Gerald Davis were subsequently arrested with. I anticipate indicting their case in the March session of the grand jury for the sole purpose of applying leverage to them to make them identify Stegall as the source of the drugs they were arrested with. (3) As of this date we have developed a pretty substantial amount of information concerning the drug use and dealing activities of Teresa Harmon and Dan Harmon. It appears from the information that we have so far that Dan Harmon was not only involved in the use of cocaine but that he distributed it. Witness (7) is one of the people who can actually state that Dan Harmon gave her cocaine. Under federal law if you give someone cocaine you have distributed it whether you make any money off the transaction or not. Our investigative focus in this case with regard to Dan Harmon should also relate to his official corruption activities. We need to follow-up on the allegation that he attempted to have a murder case dismissed in return for buying the prosecutor a Corvette, as in the case of Michael Bearden, and some other cases which appear to be quite suspicious. With regard to his law partner, Richard Garrett, I am most distressed about some cases that do not appear to make any sense. Richard Garrett was the Prosecutor who dismissed the marijuana cultivation case against William Edward Ross six months after Mr. Ross was arrested with the marijuana and after he had given a confession that he intended to sell the marijuana. There does not appear to be any legal justification or explanation for the dismissal of this case. We have also developed information that a witness we had previously interviewed, Everett Vanderberg, has a son who was driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs when his car struck and killed an individual in Saline County, Arkansas. We are in the process of trying to find out the name of the attorney that represented Everett Vanderberg’s son but apparently Vanderberg’s son was never arrested or charged in connection with the vehicular homicide. This situation is quite suspicious since Everett Vanderberg is a close friend of James Calloway who in turn is close friends with Richard Garrett and Dan Harmon. Everett Vanderberg was the individual who sold the sawed-off shotgun to James Calloway which was used in the armed robbery of the Lonoke County crap game in July of 1989 when Richard Winters was killed. As a part of this investigation we should at some point have someone go through all of the criminal cases that were handled by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Richard Garrett during 1987 and 1988 to determine if there were dismissals of these cases under suspicious circumstances. (4) As one of the investigative goals in this case we will continue to try to find witnesses to verify public corruption allegations involving the former Sheriff of Saline County, James Steed. As a part of that continuing investigative effort we need to locate the individual identified as Suspect (10) and interview her concerning the delivery of packets of money to Sheriff Steed while Suspect (10) was employed by Suspect (11)’s business in Benton, Arkansas. We need to get some kind of explanation as to who told her to make these payments and where the money came from and what the purpose of the payments was. S/A Glen Perciful of the IRS I will continue to focus on the tax aspect of the former Sheriff of Saline County. As stated earlier he has just gotten involved in this investigation and I don’t expect to hear from him until he gets going. (5) Last week I had a meeting with the investigators involved in this case as well as Saline County Prosecuting
Attorney Gary Arnold. Gary Arnold was in complete agreement that our office should handle the prosecution of John Roland which involves marijuana growing. We need to investigate allegations that Roland was warned that police officers were on their way to his marijuana patch with a search warrant. We need to try to determine who, if anyone, warned him of the impending police raid of his marijuana patch. Because of the heavy grand jury schedule in February, we will need to bring a number of witnesses before the federal grand jury during the March session. Those witnesses should include Witness (8), who will testify about an occasion where she met with Dan Harmon in a motel room and Harmon gave her cocaine. The following witnesses should appear before the grand jury in upcoming months in connection with the Saline County investigation, Woody Mays, Witness (10), Witness (11), James Clouette, Witness (13), Witness (14), Witness (15) and Michael Bearden. In addition to this grand jury testimony we have tape-recorded conversations between Witness (11) and Dan Harmon which should be played before the grand jury. As additional investigative steps in connection with this case we need to prepare photo lineups of Richard Garrett and Dan Harmon and show these photo lineups to Carl Samples and Witness (15) in order to get them to identify these individuals by picture. Future indictments in this case include the following: In the February session of the grand jury indict W. E. Ross for manufacture marijuana. In the “arch session of the grand jury indict Linda Carol Smart and Gerald Davis for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The purpose of this indictment will be to secure the identity of the source of the marijuana which is believed to be Marvin Stegall, a significant trafficker in Garland and Saline Counties. Also in the March session of the grand jury we should indict John Roland for manufacture of marijuana in an attempt to identify the identity of the person who warned him about the search warrant in the case. A grand jury subpoena for the telephone toll records of James Calloway for telephone numbers 501-847-4754 and 847-0967 should be issued for a period of one Year. These telephone toll records should identify all out-of-state long distance calls for that period and possibly lead us to his source of cocaine. Also these telephone toll records should supply us with in-state numbers which may establish sources of drugs or points of delivery. During the meeting with the investigators and the Saline County Prosecutor during the week of February 5, 1990, we discussed the possibility of conducting an undercover drug buy operation similar to those being utilized in our JJ cases in Forrest City and Jonesboro. I intend to meet with Major Doug Stevens of the Arkansas State Police and Special Agent Don Kidd of the FBI and Gary Worden of the DEA in order to formulate a plan for such an undercover operation. As I envision this operation, undercover investigators will go to Saline County and purchase drugs for a period of 60-90 days at which time we will conduct a massive arrest of the dealers. Hopefully the arrests of these dealers will allow us to document and develop information concerning the source of the drugs being dealt within Saline County. In addition to this undercover operation we currently have two young men from Saline County who are making undercover drug buys at the present time for us in connection with this case. I interviewed both of these young men in the U. S. Attorney’s office on February 9, 1990. The first individual is Informant (1) and the second individual is Informant (2). Both of these individuals came in and decided to cooperate following the arrest of a drug dealer in Saline County named Amy Murphy. I currently have Amy Murphy scheduled to appear in the March session of the grand jury. Amy Murphy sold cocaine to an informant under the surveillance of investigators from the Saline County Sheriff’s Office. Informant (1) and Informant (2) told me that they have been involved in the sale and distribution of a Schedule I controlled substance known as “ecstasy” (MDMA) for the last several months in Saline County. The two individuals told me that they obtained quantities of ecstasy tablets ranging from 200-300 tablets per transaction from a Mexican male in Texas named Marino. Marino’s source of supply is another Mexican by the name of Lopez. The two individuals told me that these ecstasy tablets were being manufactured in college laboratories by college students at the University of Texas. On Monday, February 12, 1990, and Tuesday, February 13, 1990, Informant (2) engaged in tape-recorded telephone conversation with his source of ecstasy in Texas, Marino. Marino stated that he would be willing to come, to Arkansas with 300 tablets of ecstasy which he would sell to Informant (2) for the sum of $9.00 a – tablet or $2,700 total. I attempted to obtain funds to make this undercover drug buy on behalf of Saline County Sheriff Larry – Davis from the FBI. The FBI indicated that they were not interested in furnishing buy money for ecstasy. The DEA apparently didn’t have any buy money available to fund this purchase and the Arkansas State Police did not have sufficient money available to assist in this effort also. We are presently trying to formulate some other plan to make this drug buy and a prosecutable case against these ecstasy dealers in Texas without having to go through the FBI or DEA. Sheriff Davis reported to me on Tuesday, February 13, 1990, that he was pleased that Informant (1) and Informant (2) had made a number of undercover buys for them but Sheriff Davis informed me that the would have to shut the operation down shortly inasmuch as his office was running out of buy money.
PROBLEMS WITH THIS INVESTIGATION
The main problems with this investigation to this date are that we do not have sufficient manpower to adequately work this investigation. Detective Patti Watson with the LRPD has recently been employed by the U. S. Marshal’s Service and is currently undergoing 13 weeks of training at Quantico Virginia. Arkansas State Police Investigator Allen Swint broke his shoulder while trying to apprehend a subject and has undergone surgery and currently is unable to work. As of this date neither the DEA nor the FBI has provided any investigative manpower to this case. I have talked to Don Kidd of the FBI about it and he tells me that he will assign someone to this case as soon as he can. According to what I have heard from the DEA they simply do not have any investigators to assign to this investigation at the present time. Right now we are down to the following individuals as investigators in this case: LRPD Detective Tom James, State Parole Officer Bobby Bell, State Parole Officer Jim Lovett, State Parole Officer Kay Aist and ASP Investigator Robert Gibbs. Saline County Sheriff Larry Davis has tried to help as much as he can but he is also short of manpower. In order to develop a substantial drug prosecution we must have manpower and money to do it. It is difficult to carry on a drug investigation when no law enforcement agency is willing to cough up $2,700 in buy money to arrange for the arrest and prosecution of a significant ecstasy dealer. Apparently, some law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, do not feel that ecstasy, a Schedule I controlled substance which has literally flooded the streets, is not a significant problem. We will continue to do the best we can through the grand jury and through the investigators that are available and see what happens. I will provide future reports as we update the investigation.
Govar’s follow up memo to Banks March 29, 1990.
FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 1991
Harmon cleared of allegations of drug crimes
BY CHRIS DAY
Gazette Benton Bureau
BENTON – Prosecutor Dan Harmon said Thursday it felt great to be out from under a cloud of suspicion cast by a federal investigation into allegations he was either a recreational drug user, a drug dealer or the drug kingpin of Saline County.
U.S. Attorney Chuck Banks announced earlier in the day that Harmon, his family and all Saline County public officials had been cleared of allegations of drug-related public misconduct and other forms of wrongdoing.
Banks’ declaration ended a more than 17-month federal investigation into public corruption in Saline County. Harmon, 46, was identified as a target of the inquiry in February and March memos from Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Govar to Banks. Those memos were leaked to the press early this year.
“It’s not been very pleasant at all,” Harmon said Thursday. “I regret that it took so long to do and that federal investigators listened to a crazy person like Jean Duffey.”
Duffey, former coordinator of the 7th Judicial District Drug Task Force, provided potentially damaging information to federal investigators about Harmon’s alleged drug connections. Saline County Sheriff Larry Davis initiated the federal investigation into Saline County corruption.
When asked if the allegations passed on to federal investigators were politically motivated, Harmon said, “Only a fool wouldn’t see some politics in it.”
Harmon, of Benton, is prosecuting attorney for the 7th Judicial District, which encompasses Saline, Grant and Hot Spring counties.
Banks said Thursday all allegations against Harmon and his chief deputy, Richard Garrett, were based on rumors and innuendo and didn’t have merit. He also said he would not prosecute Harmon, Harmon’s former wife or the prosecutor’s daughter, who were mentioned in a court hearing earlier in connection with a drug suspect, Marvin David Stegall, 31, of Hot Springs.
During a hearing in March, Govar told U.S. Magistrate Jerry Caveneau that if Stegall went to trial, evidence would show that he had influence over Harmon. He said witnesses would testify that Harmon, his former wife, Teresa, and Harmon’s daughter, Tami, all had ties to Stegall.
Stegall is charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine in Pulaski, Saline and Garland counties. Harmon, who had repeatedly denied the allegations against him, sat serenely at a desk in his office Thursday, thumbing through a newspaper, answering questions and fielding calls from other news media representatives.
“The investigation has been distracting for me and the people who work for me. It has been very trying. Now, maybe we can get back to doing our work,” Harmon said.
Garrett told the Associated Press: “I think it’s unfair it took them that long to make any kind of announcement. What’s worse is they released all this inner-office memorandum. They did nothing but tarnish my reputation and character forever.
Harmon’s serenity didn’t necessarily signal an end of hostilities between him and Davis.
Davis was out of town Thursday and unavailable for comment. He and Harmon have been feuding over investigations, lost or misplaced evidence, and other issues since February.
Lt. Jerry Easom the sheriff’s top aide, told the AP he served on a federal task force headed by Banks to investigate public corruption and drug use. Harmon was a subject of the inquiry, he said.
“We have not found any substantial evidence that those allegations were true, therefore there will be no charges,” Easom said.
Harmon told the Gazette he understood that Saline County sheriff’s investigators who provided information to federal agents were just doing their jobs.
Duffey, who has been in hiding for nearly six months after Cole issued a warrant for her arrest for failing to honor a court subpoena, couldn’t be reached for comment by the Gazette, but her brother David Keesee of Malvern, said he didn’t expect her to leave her hiding place.
Little Rock television station KARK-Channel 4 reported that Duffey said Thursday evening she would continue pushing authorities to prosecute Harmon.
-George Wells of the Gazette Staff and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Reproduced with permission
A Study in Conspiracy
by Jean Duffey
First, there were years of confusion:
Those of us who profess a connection between the “train deaths” and our federal government realize the difficulty average folks have believing there could be such a conspiracy between local and federal officials. It’s nearly impossible to imagine such a notion, which makes it easy for mainstream media to scoff at the mere suggestion.
The public’s skepticism is understandable. When U.S. Attorney Chuck Banks held a press conference in June of 1991, to clear Dan Harmon and all other Saline County public officials “of drug-related public misconduct and other forms of wrongdoing,” (Arkansas Gazette, June 28, 1991) I knew Banks was covering up serious crimes, but I didn’t suspect a conspiracy.
There were immediate rumors of blackmail based on a visit Harmon made to Banks with a video tape tucked under his arm. A few years prior to this visit, Harmon headed a county grand jury investigation involving a Saline County gambling house protected by former Sheriff James Steed. Prostitutes were paid to lure public officials into sexuals encounters which were clandestinely captured on film, and if such a film of Banks existed, Harmon would certainly have access to it. Putting two and two together, a plausible explanation of Banks’ blatant obstruction of justice was spawned.
I was not and still am not convinced, however, a two-year federal investigation was shut down because Banks was being blackmailed. Harmon’s visit with Banks was indeed before Banks publicly proclaimed all Saline County free of corruption, but it was after Banks had already begun to dismantle the grand jury investigation. The wheels were already in motion to thwart any public official indictments. It seemed to me an attempt to blackmail Banks would have to be lower-keyed, and the facts are supportive of my supposition.
Prior to his walking into Banks’ office with the alleged video tape, Harmon was facing seven felony counts of income tax evasion. After leaving Banks’ office without the alleged video tape, he was facing three misdemeanor counts of failure to file tax returns. Blackmailing Banks to reduce charges of tax improprieties is believable, but blackmailing a U.S. Attorney to ignore two years of accumulated evidence against a number of public officials is simply not believable.
Shutting down a federal grand jury which wanted to indict several public officials was a very large-scale obstruction of justice, and Banks could not have done that on his own. Banks sent the 1990 jurors home at the end of their term with a warning they would be indicted if they spoke about what went on during their service. This was according to three grand jurors who were so outraged at Banks they wanted me to know they were unanimously ready to indict Dan Harmon and several other public officials. Something more than a blackmail tape was involved.
Still, I didn’t think in terms of a conspiracy, even though Banks, a republican- appointed U.S. Attorney, was protecting a bunch of democrats holding county offices. To justify his actions, Banks used a media smear campaign Harmon had contrived against me, which had completely discredited me professionally by the end of 1990. Although Banks knew the information my drug task force had provided the grand jury was credible, he used my destroyed reputation as the reason he concluded the allegations against Saline County officials “were based on rumors and innuendo.” (Arkansas Gazette, June 28, 1991) The truth is, even if all the evidence offered by my drug task force was discounted, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Govar had independently accumulated enough evidence during his two-year investigation of Saline County corruption to support indictments. In spite of the amassed evidence, Banks announced , “we found no evidence of any drug-related misconduct by public officials in Saline County.” (Benton Courier, June 27, 1991)
I was dumbstruck by the announcement and bewildered when I remembered Chris Day, the Saline County Arkansas Gazette reporter, had given me prior warning. A source Chris would not name told him Banks was going to clear Harmon and all other Saline County officials in exchange for a federal judgeship nomination. I immediately called Bob Govar with Chris’s prediction. Bob said, “That’s nonsense. Banks has been wanting a nomination for years, but it’s just not going to happen.” Bob was wrong. Several months were allowed to pass after Banks publicly cleansed Saline County, then Banks received his federal judgeship nomination from President George Bush.* That’s right – from George Bush. Some kind of conspiracy plot was the only explanation, but it was just too ridiculous to consider, so I didn’t.
Professionally destroyed, dodging two bogus felony warrants, and fearing for my safety, my husband and I retreated from the controversy and lived quietly as school teachers in Pasadena, Texas. Then, in March of 1994, the FBI persuaded me to get involved again. An eye witness had come forward and passed an FBI polygraph test placing Dan Harmon on the tracks with Kevin Ives and Don Henry the night they were murdered back in 1987. This prompted the FBI to open it’s own investigation of the “train deaths” and to ask for my assistance. It was during that eighteen-month-long FBI investigation the conspiracy exposed itself.
Linda Ives and I began communicating for the first time. We shared information with each other and with the FBI. I also met Saline County Sheriff Investigator John Brown, who told me about a pilot he had interviewed who claimed to have flown a drug drop to the location where Kevin and Don were murdered. Additionally, Arkansas had become the focus of national interest by now, and many investigative reporters were anxious to uncover information about Clinton. The “train deaths” case certainly had connections to Clinton via Fahmy Malak, which initially piqued the interests of right-wingers. Then, as Linda and I shared information with anyone and everyone who would listen, the mystery unraveled, and the FBI verified much of what we now know.
Now, there was understanding:
Local law enforcement officers protected a major drug-drop site in Saline County that was part of the Mena Airport drug smuggling operation set up in the early 1980’s by the notorious drug smuggler, Barry Seal. By the mid-1980’s, CIA operatives were using Mena to help finance their covert support of the Nicaraguan Contras. (See the Mena page.) In spite of overwhelming evidence, Mena’s connection to a CIA operation or to a government-protected drug operation has been discounted or ignored by mainstream media. Even though Seal smuggled drugs in a cargo plane given to him by the CIA, and even though that plane was shot down over Nicaragua with a load of weapons, the media reports and supports the official CIA position of denial.
I realize now, my drug task force was dismantled because we were getting too close to solving the “train deaths.” We learned Kevin and Don were murdered because they witnessed a drug and/or money drop from an airplane. My task force knew public officials were actively involved in covering up the murders, but we were shut down before we connected the local activity to Mena. We were not allowed to progress our investigation any further. Harmon, a popular public figure at that time, lead a brutal campaign to discredit me; dirty public officials supported Harmon’s efforts; the media thrived for months on writing unsubstantiated allegations against me and my task force; and Chuck Banks used me as a scapegoat to justify shutting down the 1990 federal grand jury inquiry.
When I realized the catalyst for the thwarting of every investigation of the “train deaths” had been the Mena connection, I warned Phyllis Cournan, the agent in charge of the FBI investigation. I told her Kevin and Don’s killers would be indicted only if the investigation stayed away from Mena, but I was fooling myself to think that was possible. The Mena connection must eventually be made. By then, there had been six “train deaths” investigations that had gone nowhere, and in November of 1995, the FBI investigation became number seven. (See the FBI page.) The Mena connection again caused the rug to be yanked out from under an investigation which, in turn, is the logic behind a conspiracy premise.
A problem with swallowing any conspiracy theory is the murky connections. However, in this case, the evidence of a conspiracy between Mena CIA operatives and Saline County public official thugs brings the big picture into focus. It is important to understand all those involved did not sit around a conference table and discuss how to pull off a conspiracy. To the contrary, I have spoken to several ex-CIA operatives and a CIA contract pilot who occasionally flew the Saline County drop. They all explain that any one person in an operation knows only what is necessary for a specific assignment. This fits with statements made by some of the witnesses claiming to have picked up drugs from the tracks. They were told the drugs were coming up from Louisiana by train, which I believe was deliberate misinformation. Yet, it is the role of Dan Harmon in this story that is most convincing there was and is a multi-level, bi-partisan conspiracy.
My drug task force provided substantial evidence of Harmon’s involvement in illegal drug activity to the 1990 federal grand jury. Harmon countered with a smear campaign discrediting me and my task force. I was the good guy, and Harmon was the bad guy; but I was abandoned, and Harmon was supported. At the time, I didn’t know the cause of Harmon’s muscle, but the effect was clear – Banks protected Harmon from a multi-count indictment by a federal grand jury. From a larger perspective – Democratic District Prosecutor Dan Harmon was cleared by Republican U.S. Attorney Chuck Banks who was rewarded with a federal judgeship nomination by Republican President George Bush who is a former CIA Director.
Sounds pretty wild, but I challenge anyone to come up with any other explanation that makes half good sense for the support and protection Dan Harmon has received from low- to high-ranking public officials in spite of his years of various and numerous well-publicized criminal activity.
Now, there is frustration mixed with hope:
Like the adage, Linda and I are all dressed up with no place to go. We have enough evidence to have Dan Harmon and several other public officials indicted for covering up the murders of Kevin and Don, but we have no place to take it. We have enough evidence to connect the murders to CIA-Mena drug smuggling, but mainstream media won’t listen. We have evidence to warrant a Congressional investigation of a conspiracy among Republicans and Democrats to cover-up the crimes of Mena, but a Republican Congress won’t investigate a Republican scandal.
We have no official authority, we have no political clout, and we have no media influence, and we have no money, but we appear to be having an effect. Dan Harmon went down in flames, and three political candidates from his district, who publicly supported him through the years faced surprising defeats on November 5.
The odds are overwhelmingly against us, but we have hope and we have the Internet. Maybe we have all we need.
*Note: Chuck Banks was scheduled for a confirmation hearing in late November of 1992, but all Bush nominations were withdrawn immediately after Clinton won the election. Banks never received his judgeship. Sometimes there is justice. Banks, however, managed this year to get himself appointed head of the Pulaski County Republican Party. Either memories are short, or the Republicans of Pulaski County don’t care if their leader is dirty.