Kiki Camarena and Colonel Jim Sabow


by Robert O’Dowd

Kiki Camarena, a DEA agent and former Marine, is killed because he’s about to blow the whistle on illegal narcotrafficking of cocaine into the US.  Col. Sabow, a straight arrow Marine, is killed before he can blow the whistle on an illegal covert operation to fly cocaine into Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, CA.  
(IRVINE, CA) – Two Mexican witnesses claimed that Felix Rodriquez, a CIA operative and active player in Iran-Contra, murdered Kiki Camarena, a DEA Agent who linked the influx of cocaine into the US to support for the Contra War.
Rodriquez, born in 1941 in Cuba, was a rabbit anticommunist, involved in the Bay of Pigs, later joined the US Army, served in Vietnam flying choppers and was active in the Phoenix program and an early recruit for the CIA.Felix  Rodriguez
Borderland reported that, “In interviews with Proceso, Phil Jordan, former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC); Hector Berrellez, former DEA agent, and Tosh Plumlee, a former CIA pilot, claim that they have evidence that the U.S. government itself ordered the murder of Kiki Camarena (a former Marine) in 1985. In addition, they point to a sinister Cuban character, Felix Ismael Rodriguez, as the murderer.”
In 1985, Rodriquez was working for the NSC, running the Contra supply depot in El Salvador. If the Proceso story is accurate, how does Rodriquez wind up in Mexico? Did someone in the NSC suggest to Rodriquez that Kiki needed to disappear?

Kiki and Col Sabow

According to the Borderland article, Kiki discovered the weapons for cocaine shipments to support the Contras.
Kiki, in his investigation of the drugs for weapons, was a threat to blow the whistle on illegal narcotrafficking of cocaine into the US. The investigation and media coverage could have led to the NSC and the White House.
Testimony from Tosh Plumlee, a long time CIA contract pilot, supports tons of cocaine flown into El Toro and Homestead AFB.
The news stories on Borderland and Tico Times link Kiki’s murder to the CIA. That’s a possibility, but the CIA used proprietary airlines to fly weapons and cocaine. The CIA’s direct support to the Contras was disrupted when the Boland amendment (‘84 to ‘85) forbid the use of appropriated funds to support the Contras. The CIA mission was handed off to the NSC. Ollie North, who never knew a bad covert operation, was the point man but he didn’t have the authority to do this on his own.
President George H. Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger, Elliott Abrams, Duane Clarridge, Alan Fiers, Clair George, and Robert McFarlane on December 24, 1992, before they could be tried on felony charges related to Iran-Contra.  Independent PlumleeCounsel Wash accuses the President of using the pardon to continue the Iran-Contra cover-up.
The crack epidemic in the 1980s hit the black community the hardest hit. The fuel for the crack was the influx of cocaine into the US on former military aircraft (C-130s and P-3As) operated by CIA proprietary airlines like Southern Air Transport. If the link between the NSC, the Contras and cocaine to fund the Contra War in violation of the Boland amendment became public, then President Reagan and Vice President Bush were at risk for impeachment. Was Kiki murdered on orders from the NSC?
Based on his history, it’s clear that Rodriquez was capable of murdering Kiki. I doubt that he did it on his own initiative. Did the CIA pass the intel to the NSC who ordered Rodriquez to kill Kiki but find out his sources first (hence, the torturing and taping)?
The official story is that Rafael Quintero murdered Kiki. As a drug lord, he’s an easy target. He’s convicted in a Mexican court and sentenced to prison for 40 years but released this year after serving 28 years. His whereabouts are unknown. The State Dept. put a $5M reward for his capture. I doubt if he will ever be found alive. Quintero, as a drug lord and dealer and probably a murderer, is almost perfect to tag as the murderer of Kiki.
In 1991, Col. Jim Sabow is murdered at El Toro. The official manner of death is suicide, but the evidence supports murder. Even after 22 years the government cover-up continues. There’s a doctored autopsy photo submitted by DoD to Congress in 2004 and the NCIS cold case investigation in 2010 that ignored the sworn affidavit of Dr. Werner Spitz, which stated the manner of death as homicide and crime scene tampering.  Dr. Sitz orally withdrawals his sworn affidavit. There’s no objection from the NCIS who confirms suicide as the manner of death.
Government witnesses in January 1991 saw three men flash government IDs and order the NIS crime team and Marine MPs off the crime scene.  One witness reports an NIS agent putting the patio chair on the body to support the official government suicide scenario.
Was Col. Sabow killed to prevent him from blowing the whistle on the use of El Toro to transport cocaine into the US in an illegal covert operation conducted by the NSC and approved by President Bush?
The Contra War had ended in June 1990; yet, the drug flights continued into El Toro until the Marine Corps Inspector General’s surprise visit in January 1991.
Within a few days, Col. Sabow is removed from his position and placed under investigation for personal misuse of government aircraft (aircraft he was not certified to fly as the first officer).  He’s incredulous about the false charges, refusing to accept an Article 15 and instead chooses to fight the charges at a court martial.
He had no idea that aircraft were returning from Central America with cocaine until the night before he was killed.  On January 21, 1991, Colonel Joseph Underwood, his next door neighbor, told him about the cocaine, warning him that he would never see a court martial.
The unsuspecting Marine was unarmed when he was killed on the morning of January 22, 1991.


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Robert O’Dowd served in the 1st, 3rd and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings during 52 months of active duty in the 1960s. While at MCAS El Toro for two years, O'Dowd worked and slept in a Radium 226 contaminated work space in Hangar 296 in MWSG-37, the most industrialized and contaminated acreage on the base. Robert is a two time cancer survivor and disabled veteran. Robert graduated from Temple University in 1973 with a bachelor’s of business administration, majoring in accounting, and worked with a number of federal agencies, including the EPA Office of Inspector General and the Defense Logistics Agency. After retiring from the Department of Defense, he teamed up with Tim King of to write about the environmental contamination at two Marine Corps bases (MCAS El Toro and MCB Camp Lejeune), the use of El Toro to ship weapons to the Contras and cocaine into the US on CIA proprietary aircraft, and the murder of Marine Colonel James E. Sabow and others who were a threat to blow the whistle on the illegal narcotrafficking activity. O'Dowd and King co-authored BETRAYAL: Toxic Exposure of U.S. Marines, Murder and Government Cover-Up. The book is available as a soft cover copy and eBook from See: