Gary Webb

The LA/Bay Area Crack/Cocaine Scandal Whistleblower

Brandon Levenstein

The Background

Gary Webb started journalism working with his high school newspaper. His first professional job was with the Kentucky Post, where he won them their first national news award in half a century. After that he joined the larger Cleveland Plain Dealer. In 1987 he joined the San Jose Mercury News, which was considered one of the top ten newspaper companies in the country. It was with the Mercury News that he wrote his three-day series, the Dark Alliance, about the CIA's association with the major crack/cocaine dealers in LA and the Bay Area.

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The Scandal

Webb's Dark Alliance revealed the relationship between the CIA and the major cocaine dealers in black neighborhoods of LA and the Bay Area. Webb found that CIA agent Danilo Blandon was the supplier of the LA Crack/Cocaine Drug Lord, "Freeway Rick" Ross. Blandon's profit was a leading supplier for the US backed army, the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, which was attempting to overthrow the newly made Socialist Nicaraguan Government. Blandon's supplier was the Nicaraguan Norwin Meneses. The three of them created the biggest cocaine ring in California, and they basically introduced crack/cocaine to the black neighborhoods of California, starting the drug epidemic.
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The Results

Webb's findings were denied by many of the other newspapers around the country. The CIA also denied its involvement. No one was convicted because of his findings, and many of the people involved are still living jail-free. Webb committed suicide in 2004. My personal response to his findings was about how hypocritical the government is in this situation. The government is always opposed to drugs and is always fighting to stop drug dealers, yet in this case they were using drugs to fund an army that they supported. They were the drug dealers in this case, and there were no repercussions.

The Bibliography

"Cocaine." Justice. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. <>.

"Dark Alliance." Dark Alliance: The Story Behind the Crack Explosion. Mercury Center: San Jose Mercury News, 20 Aug. 1996. Web. 17 Feb. 2013.

"Gary Webb." Top Tenz. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. <>.

"The Life and Times of Gary Webb." Narco News. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2012.

"The truth in `Dark Alliance' - Los Angeles Times." Featured Articles From The Los Angeles Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.