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Cryptonym: PLMHABYSS

Definition:
Persons or events that provide "low points" in the CIA's history. Many of these events are drug-related, and a couple of them involve Bernardo de Torres. Offered from the viewpoint of the Office of Security.
Status:
Speculative
Discussion:
Also see WOBONE, the cryptonym for the CIA's Office of Security.
Sources:

104-10070-10181: CABLE RE BERNARDO DE TORRES APPROACH TO BNDD.

5/17/72 cable to Director, slugline RYBAT PLMHABYSS: "SA Bock, BNDD (Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) came to station offices and requested info on 'intelligence type informant' which BNDD Region 15 considering for employment. This person recommended to Region 15 from BNDD Region 5. Heath of Region 5 talked with Barber of Region 15 concerning Subject...(his) name is Bernardo de Torres, about 40-45 years of age, born Havana, Cuba. BNDD number SG 1-2-0035 (this indicates detailed biographic info available Miami or Washington). Subject gave two cards to BNDD rep; one which lists him as 'Supervisor de ventas para Centro y Sur America' for Military Armament Corporation, 1953 SW 27th Avenue, Miami, Florida...second card with same title, address and phone numbers from 'Defense Sistem International', wrote his home address as 2700 SW 23rd, Apt. 402, telephone 448-1250, Miami, Florida...subject said he comes to Mexico on average once a month to sell arms and audio equipment...subject claims to have info on high placed Government of Mexico officials involved in narcotics traffic and protection."

104-10070-10179: CUBAN EXILES IN NARCOTICS.

7/3/72 dispatch from Chief of Station, REDACTED to Chief, WHD. Slugline RYBAT PLHMABYSS PBRUMEN: KDACROBAT-1 reported on 30 May 1972 that the following exiles were involved with narcotics traffic: Bienvenido Branda, aka El Bigote que Canta, and Adolfo Padron, both in Los Angeles. KDACROBAT-1 said more info on other Cubans in narcotics could be obtained from Bernardo de Torres, US citizen, works with Military Armament Corp., Atlanta GA. Address 2700 SW 23rd Terrace, Apt. 402, Miami, Florida. de Torres reported Mario Jiminez, former sheriff in Miami and presently a stockbroker, and Frank Condon Gil, face pockmarked with acne scars.

104-10506-10032: MEMO: TRACES ON SANTOS TRAFFICANTE

A summary of the 10/31/72 dispatch about Raul Orlando Leal Garcia: Leal was a dealer in an Cuban casino in the fifties, working for Santos Trafficante. Leal was a member of Brigade 2506 from 1960-62. In 1963, he was a dealer at the Silver Slipper casino in Las Vegas, and remained in the casino business throughout the decade. By 1970, he was in Bogota, Colombia with three other persons including Trafficante in an attempt to obtain a casino license.

104-10074-10120: RAUL ORLANDO LEAL GARCIA

10/31/72 dispatch from Chief of Station, WH/Miami to Chief, WH Division and Chief, REDACTED: We see the program PL**ABYSS referred to in this document, which may be associated with WOBONE/Office of Security. It was thought LEAL might be of "ABYSS" interest.

104-10178-10000: POSADA, LUIS CLEMENTE

February 1973 cable: "Around noon 20 Feb LNAGON (DEA) positively identified WKSCARLET-3/Luis Posada from press foto meeting Trueva, Gomez and unknown police official. All four met at hotel under surveillance and departed in WKSCARLET-3's unmarked official car...Local and TDY (temporary duty) LNAGON (DEA) have now concluded first part of operation, e.g., identifying principal suspects as having met (in) Caracas. Unable determine at this time whether or not MHABYSS material has passed from seller to buyer. However, current trip (of) Trueva and Gomez supposedly for purpose (of) setting up large buy next trip. During next trip LNAGON (DEA) proposes all out effort identify MHABYSS principals in act passing goods."

104-10072-10186: CABLE - INFO ON ANTONIO CARLOS VECIANA AND ASSOCIATES

This 1973 cable re the narcotics arrest of Veciana offers yet another reference to PL**ABYSS.

104-10106-10335: CLASSIFIED MESSAGE: RE REQUEST FOR ARTICLES RE HERBERT ITKIN

5/10/73 memo from Director to REDACTED, re RYBAT PLMHABYSS: "As station probably aware, Herbert Itkin (201-836808) well-known figure in this type affair. Check with WOBONE revealed he never employed by BKCROWN/CIA, either in staff or contract/career agent status."

104-10106-10034: CABLE RE JOSEPH RAYMOND MEROLA

12/6/74 cable on Joseph Merola, slugline MHABYSS PBRAMPART Y: "...Please inform DEA the following: Joseph Raymond Merola, an occasional contact of our overt office in Miami since 1961, periodically provides that office with foreign positive intelligence information...DEA has informed BKHERALD/CIA June 74 that Merola was of operational interest...we replied that Mr Merola has never worked for BKHERALD/CIA, although we were aware that he had made such claims on number of previous instances...(Orlando Batista Viera) will be recorded as contact of DEA in BKHERALD/CIA files in case any other US government agency expresses ops interest."

Contributors:
Bill Simpich • David Boylan

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