Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

SMUGGLER: Barry Seal

"It looks like a hit"

Colombian hit men Luis Quintero and Miguel Velez ditched the gray Buick in the parking lot of a bingo hall on Maribel Street, just a few blocks from the Salvation Army halfway house where they had killed Barry Seal. Two off-duty sheriff's deputies were working security at the bingo hall and saw the two men jump into a four-door red Cadillac DeVille that sat waiting for them.

The passenger from the Buick, later identified as triggerman Luis Quintero, was laughing as he switched cars, said the deputies, who didn't know about the shooting down the street.

Similar Uzi 9mm pistol
Similar Uzi 9mm pistol
Inside the Buick, the killers left two guns, the silenced MAC-10 machinegun and a 9mm Uzi pistol, also equipped with a silencer. The Uzi, BATFE agents would later discover, had been purchased at a Miami gun shop seven days before the murder. The MAC-10's serial number had been obliterated with a drill and couldn't be traced.

Just as Barry Seal had not been a run-of-the-mill smuggler, his machine gun murder had not been a run-of-the-mill murder. Cops from nearly every conceivable law enforcement agency converged on the Salvation Army halfway house in Baton Rouge.

Local cops, state narcotics officers, agents from the FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Customs, CIA, IRS, even representatives from the president's National Security Councilall had a stake in Barry Seal and in the infamous drug smuggler's future. But that future had collapsed and with it a lot of government plans.

Nothing at the crime scene indicated to any of the investigators gathered there that Seal's murder was anything other than a professional assassination.

"It looks like a hit," Baton Rouge Police Chief Wayne Rogillio told The Advocate newspaper.

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