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Episode 30 – Manuel Noriega’s Billion-Dollar Detroit Drug Operation, with Former FBI Agent Ned Timmons

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Episode 30 – Manuel Noriega’s Billion-Dollar Detroit Drug Operation, with Former FBI Agent Ned Timmons

Episode 30 - Manuel Noriega's Billion-Dollar Detroit Drug Operation, with Former FBI Agent Ned Timmons

Ned Timmons is a former FBI agent who specialized in drug crimes, having led investigations in the 1980s that resulted in the indictment of over 300 drug smugglers. While working undercover in the Cayman Islands, Timmons was part of the investigation that discovered hundreds of millions of dollars worth of marijuana and cocaine being smuggled into the US, and that led to the indictment of Manuel Noriega and the US invasion of Panama.

In his conversation with Mike and Kevin, Ned breaks down his investigation into the multi-billion dollar Caymen Island drug operation, and how he rose through the ranks to gain Noriega’s trust. He details the insane day-to-day life of a drug smuggler, and how Detroit played a massive role in Noriega’s drug operations.

You DO NOT want to miss this!

Show Notes

[0:05] Introducing today’s guest, Former FBI Agent Ned Timmons

[0:52] Where are you from and where did you go to school?

[1:40] Can you briefly explain what the Korean war was like?

[2:52] When did you join the Oak Park Police Department?

[4:25] How did you join the FBI?

[5:00] What kind of work did you do as an FBI agent?

[7:37] Did something happen with this arrest that changed the history of the world? 

[8:37] When was this?

[11:25] Did these drugs all go to Detroit?

[12:21] Can you walk us through how you caught them?

[13:42] Were you undercover with drug dealers? What was that like?

[15:29] How long did it take to gain the dealer’s trust?

[16:43] Can you refresh our memories about Manuel Noriega?

[19:23] Was the CIA aware of all of this?

[20:27] What happened with the explosion at your hotel?

[21:38] How did you survive all of the violence?

[22:08] Did you go to Colombia as a private security contractor working for the United States? 

[23:17] The investigation kept growing and growing as they learned more

[24:35] How did you investigate this with the technology that existed back then?

[25:32] Did the drugs that you were coordinating actually get to the USA?

[26:19] How long did this operation last?

[27:11] Why didn’t they catch on to you?

[27:57] How was Noriega involved?

[30:28] There were 300 convictions that came out of this

[31:11] Were you still active during the invasion of Panama in 1988?

[33:40] What was the most money that you saw at once?

[34:00] Do you recommend any shows or documentaries that does a good job of depicting what really happened?

[35:02] What were the drug dealer’s paying you?

[35:32] Did you ever see Noriega?

[35:50] Are you ever afraid that anyone will come after you?

[36:17] Why do some of the criminals stay in contact with you?

[38:18] Does your company still go into dangerous areas?

[38:50] What kind of people do you protect? How do you do it?

[39:40] Do you still go down there yourself?

[39:55] What is going on with your podcast?

[42:01] What is happening today in the drug trading world?

[44:50] Are there less drugs in America today?

[45:43] What do you think about legalizing marijuana?

[46:46] Do you think that we could ever eliminate drug crimes in America? Is the government putting enough effort?

[48:24] Thank you for joining us on the Open Mike podcast today! Check our Ned Timmons here.