Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

SMUGGLER: Barry Seal

Smuggler's Blues

I knew the gun was loaded, But I didn't think he'd kill.
Everything exploded, And the blood began to spill.
Glenn Frey

Map of Louisiana with Baton Rouge locator
Map of Louisiana with Baton Rouge locator

BATON ROUGE, La. Colombian hitman Luis Quintero crouched out of sight beside the metal drop box in the parking lot of the Salvation Army center on Airline Highway. Just a few feet away, a big Cadillac Fleetwood was backing up to park.

Quintero cradled a MAC-10 machine gun in his hands. Screwed onto the end of the barrel was a black silencer, the size of a half-used roll of paper towels.

It was 6:00 p.m. The sun had been down for half an hour.

When the driver of the white Cadillac finished backing up, the big car sat astride two spaces, eight feet from the drop box. The driver was alone in the car. He was a heavyset man, 46 years old. Some of his acquaintances and business associates called him "El Gordo," the fat man.

As soon as the driver pushed the car door open, Quintero sprang to his feet and rushed across the open space between the drop box and the car. He pointed the gun and pulled the trigger. The .45-caliber MAC-10 spit out a short burst of fire and lead.

Similar British MAC-10
Similar British MAC-10
One investigator later described the MAC-10 as an assassin's weapon.

"It'll empty a 20-round magazine before the first casing hits the ground," said Jim Adamcek, a special agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms.

Quintero fired a dozen rounds in less than a second. Three struck the driver in the head. Three more punched through his chest. The driver slumped over the backrest of the passenger seat, almost as if he'd fallen asleep.

A gray Buick sedan was parked near the drop box. Miguel Velez sat behind the wheel. Seconds after the last shell casing hit the ground, Quintero jumped into the passenger seat beside Velez and the Buick tore out of the Salvation Army parking lot.


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