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Crack-Cocaine Already Flourishing in South Central Long Before Nicaraguan Traffickers Arrived

StoryOctober 21, 1996
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Dennis Bernstein

KPFA investigative journalist who has long studied official support for the drug trade.

John Mattes

former federal public defender and Senate investigator for John Kerry. He debriefed key witnesses who later testified before the Kerry Committee in the 1980s.

The Los Angeles Times published a report yesterday saying that the Central Intelligence Agency did not introduce crack cocaine into L.A.’s black community. In August, the San Jose Mercury news published a series of investigative reports by Gary Webb revealing that the CIA allowed a Nicaraguan drug network to sell cut-rate crack-cocaine in the U.S. because profits from the drug trade were helping arm the Nicaraguan Contras. The LA Times, however, said its investigation which included interviews with officials, drug dealers and researchers, showed that crack-cocaine was already flourishing in South Central long before Nicaraguan traffickers were on the scene. The paper also said it found no evidence of significant drug profits were sent to Contra rebels.

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