Monday, October 21, 2013

chapter 12 the cry for help

Henry came home, just as he had done for the past several years, in the middle of the night. He quietly opened the door of his children’s bedroom. They were so beautiful, so peaceful. The euphoria of cocaine was spiraling out of his system. But through the spiral, he could see much too clearly. “My children are cursed,” he cried inside of himself. “They are cursed! In this evil world in which they live in, nothing could be worse than having me as their father.”
It's true," he thought. Then he said it aloud, “it's true."
He shut their door. He couldn't stand to look at them.
He turned and went into his bedroom. There was Lisa, faithful Lisa sleeping in his bed.  “Oh God,” Henry cried out. “Oh God, if you're real, why won’t you stop me? Why do you let me so hurt the ones that I love?”
But sin's grip was so strong that when he woke up the next morning, he went about his life exactly as he had the day before. But God, in His infinite mercy, had heard Henry’s cry. 
Just a few weeks later, a drug smuggling plane was flying over Hispaniola in the middle of the night with 550 kilos of cocaine en route to the United States from Colombia. On board were the pilot, the co-pilot, and a Columbian national named Belteshazzar, who supervised the operation. The plane developed engine trouble and had to make an emergency landing on a remote runway on the Bahamian island of Great Inagua. The police heard the plane fly into Bahamian air space without authorization. They raced to the small island runway expecting drug involvement.
When the plane touched down, Belteshazzar jumped out and ran into the brush. The plane came to a stop and police surrounded the plane with automatic rifles. They motioned for the pilot and the co-pilot to come out of the plane. They had not seen Belteshazzar. As the pilot and co-pilot climbed down, the police punched and frisked them, and put them into one of their police cars. The police then went into the plane where they found the cocaine. When most of the cocaine had been loaded into their paddy wagon, the police changed their course. With the next bag, they went into the brush.
 Belteshazzar couldn’t hear what they were saying, but he quietly followed to see where they were going. They pulled some branches and leaves from beside a stump, and went back and forth from the plane several times. They tore apart the plane looking for more cocaine, but when there was no more to be found, they went back to the stump and covered everything over with dirt and leaves. Then they drove away.
Belteshazzar found the stump. When he pulled away the leaves and the dirt, he couldn’t believe it—they had managed to hide 150 kilos (about 330 pounds)! It took him a while, but he dug out another hiding place several hundred meters away. He moved everything and covered it well. He set up markers for himself. There was no way he was not going to be able to find this spot again.  Eventually he made his way to an island hotel and called his contacts in the United States. He needed to get out of the Bahamas, but he had only a counterfeit passport and no explanation as to how he got there, or what he was doing.
Some of Henry’s buddies were involved in this operation. They needed someone to fly down to the Bahamas and bring Belteshazzar back to Miami. Henry had worked with Belteshazar before. He also had several good contacts in the Bahamas. They all talked it over and made Henry an offer. It was an offer he was not going to refuse.

The next morning Henry made arrangements with a pilot who used to fly for him. Henry rented a plane (one that had previously been used for drug smuggling) and they headed for the Bahamas.

On September 9, 1984 Henry located Belteshazzar in Great Inagua. His mind went into high gear when Belteshazzar told him about the 150 kilos of cocaine that nobody knew anything about. Henry convinced Belteshazzar that since they had the plane, the pilot and a boat to smuggle him into Miami waiting in Bimini, they would be fools not to smuggle in the cocaine as well. The wholesale value of this cocaine just as it was, was over 6 million dollars. Henry had contacts in Bimini who would give them passage to the awaiting boat to smuggle Belteshazzar and the cocaine to Miami--for the right price. With so much cocaine, price was no object.

Before dawn Belteshazzar left the hotel to find the cocaine he had hidden. The plan was for Belteshazzar to move the cocaine down to the end of the runway. (He left about 40 kilos behind for another day in case this operation failed.) Then Belteshazzar hid in the brush at the end of the runway and waited for Henry and the plane to turn around right before take off.

Henry and the pilot checked out  of customs and boarded the plane. They taxied down the runway, and as they turned around, Henry jumped out and helped Belteshazzar throw in the cocaine. Belteshazzar scrambled onto the plane and Henry followed. The flight back to Bimini was a celebration. With the thought of so much money to be made from the cocaine, and with some additional help from snorting cocaine and drinking alcohol—Henry had never been so high.

As they were about to land, the pilot noticed another plane not far off. Had it been following them? Henry was not concerned. This was his day. So he ignored what he would have never before ignored in his dangerous life as a drug smuggler.

At Henry's insistence, they touched down and taxied down the runway. When they came to a stop and opened the plane’s door, their vision was filled with the sight of heavily armed soldiers with their weapons drawn racing towards them.  “Don’t move! Freeze or you die!”

Then everything became a blur. Henry thinks it was six (but maybe it was only four) soldiers that had come out of two helicopters. One of the Bahamian soldiers was ready to beat Henry bad, but American advisers from Reagan's anti-drug task force were with the group so he was restrained. Henry hoped they would lock them up in Bimini. He could bribe himself out from there. “I'll be out by morning,” he thought to himself. 

Then one of the soldiers said, “It’s early enough in the day, we can fly them in our military craft to a secure prison in Nassau.” So immediately Henry was in the air again heading for Nassau.

Henry was no longer celebrating. He was not yet able to realize that God was answering his cry for help.  

1 comment:

  1. Steve and I found this blog today. Hoping that the rest of the story will be added soon.

    Steve and Paula Runyan