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the hunt for howard marks

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(3:34) The story of "Mr. Sewage and the Vicar" and how an out-of-work actor became involved in Howard Marks' marijuana smuggling business.
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# 902
Original Air Date: October 23, 1990
Written and Directed by Christopher Olgiati

ANNOUNCER:
The U.S. government believes that for 20 years, this man was one of the biggest marijuana dealers in the world.

CRAIG LOVATO, DEA Agent:
That amount of hashish in that period of time would account to millions of dollars of profit for Howard Marks. And if you're looking at it on a street value, it'd be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

ANNOUNCER:
Dennis Howard Marks has always denied that allegation.

HOWARD MARKS:
This would make me $20 million a day. It's ludicrous!

ANNOUNCER:
But last Thursday in a Florida courtroom, the British-born, Oxford-educated Marks was sentenced to 25 years in prison, to be served both in the United States and Europe. His sentencing brings to an end the saga of a wanted man.

Tonight on FRONTLINE, the story of that manhunt. The target: an infamous drug dealer who eluded police around the world. The hunter: an obsessed DEA agent who spent years tracking Marks down.

Mr. LOVATO:
That was intimidating, to see that he had defeated the system, that he had somewhat created

an aura about him that he was untouchable.

ANNOUNCER:
Through thousands of recorded conversations, surveillance videos and interviews with the dealers, an investigation into the dark world of an international drug ring.

Mr. LOVATO:
I was frightened. I mean, listening to these voices and listening to what they were discussing was like listening to the heart of organized crime.

ANNOUNCER:
Tonight, "The Hunt for Howard Marks."

NARRATOR:
The island of Majorca in Spain. Crime here tends to be rather mundane. Tourists lose traveler's checks. There are fights in discos. Foreigners who live on the island incline mostly to quiet respectability. But there was one foreigner living here who police found tantalizing.

1st MAN:
[on telephone] [unintelligible] Can I help you?

HOWARD MARKS:
Yes, is Lando there please? It's Howard here.

1st MAN:
[on telephone] Oh, just hold on.

NARRATOR:
Interpol had asked them to tap his phone.

2nd MAN:
[on telephone] Hello?

Mr. MARKS:
Hello, Lando?

2nd MAN:
[on telephone] Yeah, hello.

Mr. MARKS:
How are you.

2nd MAN:
[on telephone] Very well, thank you.

NARRATOR:
The calls usually were in code.

3rd MAN:
[on telephone] I'll tell you why, because I think your dog is sick.

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, really?

3rd MAN:
[on telephone] Yeah. I think that actually [unintelligible] he's got a new complaint.

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, yeah?

3rd MAN:
[on telephone] And it would appear that [unintelligible]

NARRATOR:
Craig Lovato of the Drug Enforcement Administration tried to decipher them.

Mr. LOVATO:
I was frightened. I mean, quite literally, listening to these voices and listening to what they were discussing was like listening to the heart of organized crime.

NARRATOR:
At daybreak or earlier, the calls would begin.

Mr. LOVATO:
He was calling Manila. He was calling Bangkok. He was calling Hong Kong, Zurich, the United States.

NARRATOR:
The voice began to obsess Lovato. It exuded infuriating charm. It was persuasive and civilized. [interviewing] You knew from the outset that this was a man with an intellect.

Mr. LOVATO:
I certainly did.

NARRATOR:
The voice belonged to Dennis Howard Marks. As the DEA computer revealed, Marks was the stuff of legend-eluding police for years, claiming mysterious connections with intelligence agencies.

This investigation would lead Lovato into an altogether alien world: Oxford University, Britain in the '60s. In 1964, a boy from Wales arrived at Balliol College, Oxford. In time, he'd rent a cottage outside the city. He was attractive and charming.

1st FORMER CLASSMATE:
He fitted into Balliol, which is a very intellectual college, very well. He was a very clever guy.

2nd FORMER CLASSMATE:
He was very nice and he was very Welsh and he was a very sort of country provincial boy.

1st FORMER CLASSMATE:
Exudes charm the nicest possible way. He could charm his way out of anything

2nd FORMER CLASSMATE:
He was very considerate and very romantic and lovely.

3rd FORMER CLASSMATE:
He's never wanted to conceal his own myth, and his own myth is very important to him.

NARRATOR:
For Howard Marks, Oxford was a privileged place to be.

Mr. MARKS:
It's predominantly a place of privilege, yes. But exceptions were allowed. You know, the odd kind of peasant from the valleys was both accepted in and I was lucky enough to be there.

NARRATOR:
Marks chosen image, that of working-class hero, went down very well at Oxford.

LYNN BARBER, Former Classmate:
Nobody was from the same social-I mean-Well, you know, sort of Welsh miners' sons at Oxford were not thick on the ground in those days.

NARRATOR:
In reality, Howard Marks wasn't a miner's son. His background was modest but comfortable. All the same, he conjured up images of poor mining towns, children stained with coal dust.

Ms. BARBER:
You know, I mean, I might say to him, "Did you have coal bath and walk barefoot to school?" And he would say, "Yes, yes, yes," and then probably would go and tell somebody else that he kept coal in the bath and walked barefoot to school. You know, I mean, he-that was one of-part of his image, you know, that he was this illiterate Welsh miner's son.

NARRATOR:
At Oxford, Marks became a star. He acquired a retinue of loyal fans.

Ms. BARBER:
But it was just that it was hard to see him on his own, except in bed!

Dr. JOHN NICHOLSON, Former Classmate:
To understand what Oxford was like at that period of time-the mid-'60s, late '60s-fun was absolutely the heart of the thing. Howard personified that thing. We were the generation that had discovered sex, as we thought. Very loose controls of an academic sort, all the sort of old morals and things were collapsing around us. It was a wonderful time and we felt we were right at the center of it.

NARRATOR:
In the '40s and '50s, marijuana had been seen as an evil. It was supposed to drive you crazy. Now, at Oxford, it was everywhere.

Ms. BARBER:
A lot of pot was being smoked around Oxford at the time, certainly at any party. And I just knew Howard as, you know, somebody else who smoked pot.

NARRATOR:
The old fear of marijuana had gone. Howard Marks needed no encouragement. He plunged headlong into the drug culture.

Mr. MARKS:
When I first smoked marijuana, it was a noticeable experience but terribly mild. I remember giggling rather more than normally and finding things amusing and finding time slowing down.

NARRATOR:
To anyone who'd listen, Marks advocated the legalization of cannabis. At his cottage outside Oxford, he pursued a blurred but blissful ideal of country life.

Dr. NICHOLSON:
So I went out there on a Friday evening with the lady I was then living with, for dinner, and eventually got back home into town to discover that it wasn't, as I thought, Saturday morning, it was Tuesday morning.

NARRATOR:
Mixing business with pleasure, Marks dispensed marijuana and the occasional sugar cube laced with LSD, for which he'd make a modest charge.

Mr. MARKS:
It was about £3, in those days.

REPORTER:
A post-mortem has been held on Brian Jones, the 27-year-old member of the Rolling Stones who died earlier-

NARRATOR:
But drugs were beginning to kill. Even at Oxford, Joshua Macmillan, grandson of the British Prime Minister, overdosed on heroin

Mr. MARKS:
My memory is really just of Joshua Macmillan's body being carried down the stairs. It is a very shocking experience and I'd always been frightened of heroin before that, and that kind of sealed the issue as far as I was concerned.

NARRATOR:
These were times of startling political and social change. Howard Marks relished every moment. He thought of being a professor at Oxford, and actually delivered a lecture.

Mr. MARKS:
It went down very well.

INTERVIEWER:
Really?

Mr. MARKS:
Yeah. It was on the differences between Leibnitz and Newton's views on space and time.

INTERVIEWER:
Were you surprised that it went down so well?

Mr. MARKS:
Astonished.

Dr. NICHOLSON:
What was Howard going to do with his life? He was very clever. He hated the straight life. Given where he was, what sort of person he was, and his great need for fun, gratification, the money that sort of oiled the wheels of fun, I guess crime was the obvious thing, really. But the drugs thing was just made for Howard, I guess.

POLICEMAN:
Come on then, please, friend. I've got a search warrant. I'll show it to you.

NARRATOR:
All over London, hippies were being busted.

POLICEMAN:
Somebody stand at the door. Nobody goes out.

NARRATOR:
Howard Marks hoped he was too smart to be caught. Cops seemed boring. Dope dealers were glamorous and clever.

Mr. MARKS:
Traveling a lot and having been to all these exciting places and evading Customs officers and thinking of schemes to evade them, I found this glamorous and exciting.

NARRATOR:
Marks loved the thought of outsmarting authority. He was a perfect '60s prototype, and now an outlaw.

Craig Lovato, who would later hunt Howard Marks, had spent the '60s rather differently. What exhilarated him was not dope and upheaval, but the clean, pure West. Growing up in Colorado, he was barely aware of the campus revolution just across the Rocky Mountains.

RADIO ANNOUNCER:
Four million tons of bombs, are twice as many bombs as were dropped in the entire world, by the United States-

Mr. LOVATO:
It was very foreign. It was very foreign. It was very far away. It really didn't impact on us. It was like it was on a different planet.

NARRATOR:
Anti-war protest, especially, passed him by.

Mr. LOVATO:
I felt that it was my duty as an American citizen to go to Vietnam and fight for my country.

NARRATOR:
Because he was married and had to support young kids, he was turned down for Vietnam. He hitched a ride to Nevada, looking for work. After going through college, he ran a gas station, collected rents and drove a truck. In Las Vegas, he took a poorly-paid job in a casino and lived on his tips.

Mr. LOVATO:
That's what I and my family subsisted on, as far as food. I mean, my wages would just pay the rent.

NARRATOR:
The same year, in England, Howard Marks began to make serious money out of the drug business. He bought into an expensive Oxford boutique so he could pretend part of his drug profits came from selling clothes. Some of his old Oxford friends knew that he was dealing drugs and were intrigued. One of them, Hamilton Macmillan, had just joined the British intelligence service, MI6, and made Marks a strange proposal: Could he open foreign branches of his shop as cover and provide intelligence on the IRA's role in the drug business?

Mr. MARKS:
Then he asked me, would I be prepared to befriend a Czech-a girl who was working at the Czechoslovakian embassy who they thought was a KGB spy. Well, I leapt at this opportunity, of course!

NARRATOR:
No matter how slender his link with the intelligence community, the legend of Howard Marks had begun. He seemed a fantastic mix of spy and smuggler, an egghead in the underworld.

In Nevada, the young Craig Lovato joined the Las Vegas sheriff's department and later became a narcotics agent. He graduated to the Drug Enforcement Administration. As a DEA special agent, he took part in spectacular drug busts. He tracked planes dropping cocaine to remote Bahamas Islands. But the story of Howard Marks fascinated him. Among smugglers, Marks was unique. To Lovato, his career seemed stranger than fiction. In the '70s, police accused him of shipping tons of cannabis across continents. Marks skipped bail, faked his own abduction and became a fugitive. At parties in Manhattan or London, he'd show up barely disguised, then slip back into the shadows. He was a criminal legend. His reputation was intimidating.

Mr. LOVATO:
That was intimidating, to see that he had defeated the system, that he had somewhat created an aura about him that he was untouchable.

NARRATOR:
Marks was an unconventional fugitive. One night in 1979, the untouchable had showed up live on stage in London. Flanked by Elvis look-alikes, he flaunted his invulnerability. By the time his pursuers found out, Marks had disappeared again. At exactly the same time, he was planning his biggest-ever load. Its street value would be $30 million.

Mr. MARKS:
The plan was to bring in 15 tons of Colombian marijuana into Ireland. That was the initial plan. It was brought into Scotland in the end.

NARRATOR:
It was enough to make 20 million marijuana cigarettes.

Mr. MARKS:
I think it was the largest amount in Europe at the time. It was a huge amount.

NARRATOR:
Not long afterwards, he was arrested. At his trial, a witness testified Marks had only taken part in the deal as an agent of Mexican intelligence.

[interviewing] It is of course alleged that this gentleman had been bribed to make this assertion.

Mr. MARKS:
I know. I've heard the allegation.

NARRATOR:
For whatever reason, and to everyone's amazement, Howard Marks was acquitted. Craig Lovato was determined to do what no one else had ever done: give Howard Marks his comeuppance.

[interviewing] And you did not believe that Howard Marks was untouchable?

Mr. LOVATO:
Not in the least.

NARRATOR:
Marks was still dealing drugs. As Lovato discovered, the evidence lay in Holland. British and Dutch investigators had made an interesting discovery. In Amsterdam, a man called Jim Hobbs seemed to be taking messages for a drug network.

THE TELEPHONE OPERATOR

Hobbs, it turned out, had been in jail in England. Now he was working for Howard Marks. Dutch

police tapped two phone lines in his apartment.

[interviewing] And the telephone lines were connected to what?

JAMES HOBBS, Marks's Associate:
To a call-forwarding device which enabled somebody in any other part of the world to call Amsterdam and ask for Howard. And I would say, "Hang on a minute, I'll get him for you," and then dial the number where Howard was at that moment, whether it be Hong Kong or Spain. And the person making the incoming call would automatically assume that Howard was sitting in Amsterdam.

Mr. MARKS:
I'll be only able to get $800 per British unit.

NARRATOR:
From Hobbs's cheap apartment, the calls were usually transferred to Howard Marks's home in Majorca in Spain.

Mr. MARKS:
No, I've said OK, all right, because I've double-checked and, you know, it's like oil. Everything's going down as a commodity. I've said OK to go ahead. Is that all right with you?

NARRATOR:
Not two miles away at the island's police headquarters, Craig Lovato huddled in a tiny office. He followed Marks around the island and eavesdropped on his calls.

Mr. MARKS:
Now, regarding transfer of capital, yeah? Now, they can do it themselves to save money for the account or something like that at the cost of 10 percent.

Mr. LOVATO:
To listen to individuals on that scale and actually be listening to their activities as they are ongoing was somewhat of a traumatic thing. You realized that you had found the bear. Now what were you going to do with him?

NARRATOR:
Marks would return to his home outside the capital, Palma. He seemed a model expatriate. He had a baby son and two well-behaved daughters attending a local school. He'd married Judy Lane, whose distinguished father had little time for dope dealers. Yet Judy's brothers and sisters seemed to be under Howard's spell. Two, Lovato thought, were engaged in the drug business. Judy's brother Patrick, the eldest, moved money for Marks in the United States. Brother George ran a front organization in Pakistan. All, including sister Natasha, were devoted to Howard Marks. When he asked a favor, the Lanes were happy to comply.

Lovato believed Marks's brother-in-law George Lane was one of the key players, flitting around Asia carrying money to pay for drugs.

Mr. LOVATO:
The only reason people are selling drugs is to gain money and the people who are handling that money are every bit as important to the organization as the person who's selling the dope.

THE ENGLISH TEACHER

NARRATOR:
We found George Lane living as a fugitive in Thailand, on the run from Craig Lovato and the DEA. It was not how George thought things would end when he began his friendship with Howard Marks. Years ago in Ireland, Marks charmed everyone at his wedding.

Mr. MARKS:
[reading] God looked at everything he had made and had found it very good. The evening and morning followed, the sixth day.

INTERVIEWER:
Did you have much idea at that point how Howard earned his living?

GEORGE LANE:
Oh, I knew totally how he earned his living, yes.

INTERVIEWER:
He never made any secret of that?

Mr. LANE:
No, but he had said-what he had said was that that was all in the past.

NARRATOR:
George was a teacher and needed a job. After the wedding, Marks offered to set him up in business running a language school in Pakistan.

[interviewing] Did you think it was a little odd that Howard Marks, of all people, should show such interest in education in Pakistan?

Mr. LANE:
No, not at all, because he had connections there and he said that he wanted to use some of the money he said he had to invest elsewhere.

NARRATOR:
As he soon realized, Marks was buying tons of hashish in Pakistan and shipping it to America.

Mr. LANE:
The school became a total front.

INTERVIEWER:
Front for?

Mr. LANE:
For whatever businesses he was running.

INTERVIEWER:
The drug business?

Mr. LANE:
[nods]

NARRATOR:
George Lane would phone Marks repeatedly. They'd plan meetings and transactions somewhere they called "the April place." Listening in, Craig Lovato realized "the April place" mean Hong Kong. George would travel there frequently. He'd call Marks at home in Spain, speaking in mysterious code.

OPERATOR:
Hello?

Mr. MARKS:
Hello?

OPERATOR:
Good morning, is this 453-3540?

Mr. MARKS:
Yes it is.

OPERATOR:
Thank you. Calling from Hong Kong. Go ahead, please.

Mr. LANE:
Hello, Howard.

Mr. MARKS:
Hi, George.

Mr. LANE:
How are you doing

Mr. MARKS:
OK, and you-no don't worry.

Mr. LANE:
Everything's finished. All done.

Mr. MARKS:
It's all done. And you know the check for the cripples?

Mr. LANE:
Yes.

Mr. LOVATO:
Howard Marks had incorporated a fund for crippled children in Pakistan and that was one of the companies that they used to launder their money through.

Mr. MARKS:
Yeah, that's the one. It's for 3,000, yeah?

Mr. LANE:
That's right. Yeah.

Mr. MARKS:
Yeah. Do you have my address here?

INTERVIEWER:
And George Lane, no two ways about it, was a money launderer?

Mr. LOVATO:
Absolutely.

NARRATOR:
Lane would visit the Hong Kong branch of a Swiss bank where he'd deposit checks. He'd withdraw cash and apparently use it to pay Marks's Pakistani contact for the dope.

[interviewing] Did you ever agree to move funds for Howard- money?

Mr. LANE:
Who, me? I never saw, I saw very little money of Howard's. He gave money for the school and I always took that, and apparently that's got me in a lot of trouble.

NARRATOR:
The DEA suspects the Marks organization stashed millions of dollars in banks in Europe and Asia. George Lane, in the end, fled to Thailand. He blames Howard Marks for his troubles.

Mr. LANE:
I was stupid enough to go along with, you know, the things he said.

INTERVIEWER:
What did that do to your life, bluntly?

Mr. LANE:
It destroyed it. Well, I'm stuck here in Bangkok and wanted by police all over the world.

NARRATOR:
We happened to be there the day he was thrown out of his one-room apartment in Bangkok. He wishes he had more to show for his years in the service of Howard Marks.

Mr. LANE:
He's ruthless. He doesn't care of the consequences of what happens afterwards.

And will you stop-will you stop-will you stop photographing me?

NARRATOR:
Sick and very afraid of arrest, George Lane is bewitched by Howard Marks no longer. Once, Bangkok had been a much happier place for Howard Marks and his friends. As the DEA discovered, Marks traveled to Thailand constantly. It was his second major source for cannabis. Marks and his associates had much to celebrate. From Thailand, they were shipping tons of marijuana to Europe and North America.

Mr. MARKS:
Hello?

WOMAN:
[on telephone] Hello, [unintelligible]

Mr. MARKS:
Could I speak to Lord Moynihan, please?

NARRATOR:
Craig Lovato listened to endless calls between Marks and his partners in Asia.

Mr. MARKS:
No, Howard Marks.

WOMAN:
[on telephone] Howard Marks? Would you hold the line a minute?

LORD ANTHONY MOYNIHAN:
Hello, Howard?

Mr. MARKS:
Hello Tony, how are you?

LORD MOYNIHAN:
I'm very well, Howard. How are you?

Mr. MARKS:
I'm fine, thanks. Sorry to be so long-

THE LORD

NARRATOR:
The voice belonged to Lord Anthony Patrick Andrew Cairnes Berkeley Moynihan. He was joint proprietor of an unusual barber shop in the basement of a Bangkok hotel. Today it's under new ownership. In those days, it was called "the Panache," and was nothing if not versatile: haircuts to the left, other services to the right.

Mr. MARKS:
Clients could either go down to the premises in the basement or could order up girls on room service. The billing would be done by the hotel so there would be no indication to a prying wife that anything other than an expensive haircut had been ordered.

NARRATOR:
Lord Moynihan ran similar establishments in the Philippines where he lived on a secluded private estate.

Mr. MARKS:
He lived like an English lord and took great pride in being able to get the sort of things that are difficult to get hold of in the Philippines, like caviar and smoked salmon.

NARRATOR:
Today, Lord Moynihan is driven around in a rather weary car, unkindly described by one British paper as "a pimpmobile." Scandalous stories about him have filled the British tabloids for years. True or apocryphal, no one quite knows. In the '60s, the "barmy baron," as they called him, married an exotic dancer and showed her off in high society. Then, accused of fraud in Britain, he fled to the Far East. He was found playing the bongos in a Sydney nightclub and was said to rub shoulders with criminals. In the Philippines, he ran bars and brothels. He was said to keep a grenade launcher in the trunk of his car. At home in Manila, Lord Moynihan seemed to merit his eccentric reputation, even trying to sell Howard Marks an old family war medal.

[interviewing] What was the first proposition, can you remember, that Moynihan made to you?

Mr. MARKS:
Yes, I can. It was wanting me to buy his grandfather's Victoria Cross, which he was trying to get rid of in order to make some money.

NARRATOR:
Howard Marks rather liked the Philippines. It was a charmingly erratic society: Catholic and corrupt, shiningly beautiful and quite lawless. This was the era of President Marcos. Manila was an imperial capital run by the cronies of the president. They wallowed in the power and wealth his patronage conferred. Foreigners as well as Filipinos fawned on Marcos. Those he favored were mostly above the law. They could do anything. Marks was intrigued and fortunately Lord Moynihan had friends at court.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
I was generally well-connected with the Marcos government, but the Marcos government had been in power for 20 years and I'd been living here for 20 years. And I would like very clearly to point out that I would have been well-connected with any government that had been in power for 20 years after living here for 20 years.

NARRATOR:
To impress the lord, Marks held a lavish party at Manila's most expensive hotel. He was flanked by his rather odd associates, flown in from far and wide. At the party, Moynihan tried to find out how much his new friend was worth.

Mr. HOBBS:
I knew that Howard was trying to impress Moynihan, and I said that he was worth possibly $100 million. Moynihan was very shocked by this and was almost licking his lips.

NARRATOR:
Eager to introduce Marks to the people who mattered, Moynihan took him under his wing. To start with, at least, it seems they talked legitimate business. Moynihan hoped Marks would invest in a hotel he owned, grandly called "The MacArthur." Actually it was in the red light district. It had its own massage parlor and a suite hurriedly renamed after Howard Marks.

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, I mean, every day, there'd be something he'd want me to invest in-hotels, bars, massage parlors, restaurants, anything at all.

NARRATOR:
Some years earlier, an Australian government crime commission called Lord Moynihan "a shadowy figure, an associate of Australian drug traffickers. As far as we know with out evidence," it speculated, "Moynihan is or was in some way involved in the importation of heroin from Manila." Moynihan flatly denies it. He does admit, though, that Howard Marks asked him to find hundreds of acres of land on which to grow cannabis.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
I said, "Well, what sort of funds do you have at your disposal?" He said, "Oh, well, this project would be $10 million, $20 million, $30 million, $40 million, $50 million. I don't know." And I said, "And do you have that kind of money?" He said, "Oh, yes! Don't worry about the funds. Just worry about the area." Of course I thought this was all drunken talk.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
He's very anxious to talk to you.

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, good. All right.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
He wants the deal.

Mr. MARKS:
Right.

NARRATOR:
Later, Moynihan spoke to Marks at home in Spain.

Mr. MARKS:
No, how long have I got, Tony? I mean-

NARRATOR:
As yet, he hadn't found anywhere to grow dope but he could buy it from a rich Australian gangster he'd met in the Philippines.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
But, I mean, you know, he's hot at the moment, or he was, right? And, I mean, he's getting cooler by the day.

One evening, also smoking marijuana, as they all seemed to do, he had informed me that he was worth well over $100 million.

Could you give me call as soon as you-as soon as you think-

NARRATOR:
The gangster was desperate to meet the great Howard Marks.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
He considered Howard Marks as some kind of a god in his business. He considered his paltry little $100 million to be, I mean, absolutely nothing.

NARRATOR:
When Moynihan offered samples of marijuana, Lovato was listening.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
Look, I'm offered the product-

Mr. MARKS:
Ah, right.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
-without going any further.

Mr. MARKS:
Right. I see. Right.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
And it looks great to me, but I think the quality control is something you would have to know more about than me.

INTERVIEWER:
There was no sense, listening to the calls, that this was a game?

Mr. LOVATO:
None of the conversations that Howard Marks had with any of his associates were a game.

NARRATOR:
Moynihan did his best to get Marks back to the Philippines.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
I mean, I have some samples from- samples of some considerable size-

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, do you?

LORD MOYNIHAN:
-waiting for you.

INTERVIEWER:
When you said you had "some samples of considerable size," what did you mean?

LORD MOYNIHAN:
Well, the Australian had gotten samples of marijuana grown in the Philippines which he wanted to-

NARRATOR:
This is the Australian with organized crime connections?

LORD MOYNIHAN:
Yes, yes. Which he wanted to show to Howard.

NARRATOR:
Rather than buy someone else's cannabis, Marks preferred to grow his own. The helpful Moynihan scurried off, looking for a site for the huge plantation Marks wanted. He found a remote island in the far north of the Philippines. It was called Fuga, and had a notoriously tricky air strip.

Mr. MARKS:
We did go to an island in the northern Philippines, and I couldn't imagine anywhere more unsuitable for growing dope. I mean, the entire land was flat. There wasn't a single hill there.

NARRATOR:
On the contrary, says Moynihan, the island met Howard's every need.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
He said he was very impressed by the fact that it was extremely close to major international shipping lanes.

NARRATOR:
After their long flight north, the two men stood here on the edge of the South China Sea. According to Marks, it was all a bit of a joke, a day at the beach. According to Moynihan, it was deadly serious. Marks had even brought with him an expert in growing cannabis.

INTERVIEWER:
Was Howard's plan to turn the whole island into one huge marijuana plantation?

LORD MOYNIHAN:
Well, I think so, yes, providing the soil was suitable.

NARRATOR:
This truly was an island of dreams. Here, Howard Marks might at last have been untouchable. It seems he was somewhat preoccupied with security. As Moynihan tells it, he was asked to organize political and military protection.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
I said, res." Of course, I have no idea whether I could have done it or not, however I was not intending to do it. I mean, it was simply that, to me, the whole thing was a ridiculous story and he was drunk and had been smoking marijuana.

NARRATOR:
Tony Moynihan's relationship with Marks was, however, sealed. He became godfather to one of Marks' daughters and a visitor to the family home in Majorca. The children had no inkling that one day Uncle Tony would cause their father's downfall.

NATASHA LANE, Marks' Sister-in-Law:
They adored their father, absolutely worshipped their father.

MARKS' DAUGHTER:
My father, every night before I went to bed, used to teach me. I used to ask him all the questions I didn't know. I loved listening to all the naughty things he did at his school. We used to like doing train sets together and he used to bring all the latest things that they had in Taiwan, things like that, in Hong Kong.

Ms. LANE:
Their father, because he believes so strongly about how marijuana is not at all harmful, has never lied to them about his use. He's always smoked dope in front of them and has always told them about the dangers.

MARKS' DAUGHTER:
He's told me that the only thing wrong in a, you know, joint, for instance, is tobacco, but that other drugs are very bad and that you get hooked on them and people steal and do nasty things for those drugs.

NARRATOR:
When Marks came home to Majorca, his daughters were delighted.

MARKS' DAUGHTER:
Often, we used to go out to little restaurants on the top of mountains and we enjoyed that.

NARRATOR:
Marks was a devoted father. On this tourist island he felt safe. He had no way of knowing Craig Lovato was on his tail. To the expatriates who gathered at parties at his home, Howard Marks was rather a mystery.

GEOFFREY KENION:
I think the best piece of sort of gossip was that he had massage parlor in Bangkok, which fascinated everybody.

NARRATOR:
Geoffrey Kenion had no idea that Howard Marks was in the drug business. A former actor who played on the London stage, he was struggling to build a trendy waterside bar. Hearing he was short of money, Marks made a proposal: Would he care to pick up some cash in America and be paid a small commission?

Mr. KENION:
So is that interesting? The answer is, yes, of course it was interesting at that particular moment because I was not flush and it was a Godsend, in fact.

NARRATOR:
As Marks told his cohorts in Manhattan, the courier was going to spend his share on new plumbing at his bar.

ASSOCIATE:
Do you think he'll definitely make it tomorrow?

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, yes, I'm certain he will.

NARRATOR:
They called him '´Mr. Sewage."

Mr. MARKS:
Because he was concerned about, I think, the sewage system at his bar.

MR. SEWAGE AND THE VICAR

ASSOCIATE:
Did you hear from the sewage engineer?

Mr. MARKS:
Which one is this now? Oh, the one-

ASSOCIATE: Yes.

NARRATOR:
Marks had a contact, code-named "the Vicar," staying at the Marriott Hotel on Times Square. The Vicar would give Kenion the money.

THE VICAR:
Well, he wants to go, yes?

Mr. MARKS:
Yes.

THE VICAR:
He says with his money, he could build a septic tank!

Mr. LOVATO:
I didn't have the slightest idea as to the identity of the sewage engineer, but it was quite obvious that whoever he was, he had been sent to the United States to bring back money.

NARRATOR:
Kenion did collect the money at a hotel in Los Angeles. He expected $60,000. In fact, the Vicar gave him $100,000.

[interviewing] Obviously, this was a little bit more than Howard had suggested it would be?

Mr. KENION:
It was a little bit more, but at that particular moment I thought, "Oh, that's lovely. That's a bit more commission."

NARRATOR:
So quickly and efficiently did Kenion deliver the money that Marks sent him back to pick up some more. It was the time of the Statue of Liberty celebrations. The Vicar gave him another $100,000.

[interviewing] Did you think, "This is drug money?"

Mr. KENION:
Yes. Yes, I think I'm prepared to-I guess I did.

INTERVIEWER:
Were you now at least a little nervous?

Mr. KENION:
Very. Very nervous!

NARRATOR:
He was so nervous, in fact, that he packed the money in plastic bags and hid them on his body. Wearing a thick jacket to cover the bulges, he headed for the airport and his flight to Spain. It was a very hot day.

Mr. KENION:
So I rushed into the loo the moment we were in the air to try and get these plastic bags off my body, because, I mean, that's what was making me so hot, you know?

INTERVIEWER:
Were they taped to your body?

Mr. KENION:
They were taped to my body, so, I mean, I've got some plastic shirt on, effectively. And so I rushed into the loo, started to take them off my back and as I did, all the plastic bags ripped, dropped the money straight down the loo. And I thought, "Oh, my God!" You know, "You haven't got $100,000 any more." I mean, a lot of it's dropped through the flap at the bottom. I mean, it didn't in the end. I seemed to have enough when I arrived at the other end.

INTERVIEWER:
So you fished it out?

Mr. KENION:
Oh, yes, certainly.

NARRATOR:
This strange, inept cartel was making lots of money. In March, 1986, some of its members seemed to be congregating in beach resorts in Southern California. They were only a couple of hours on the freeway from the border crossing with Mexico. Night after night, Lovato tried to decode their phone calls.

ASSOCIATE:
How are you doing?

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, I've been OK. You know, sort of just twiddling my thumbs, really. But everything. OK.

NARRATOR:
They seemed to be bringing seven tons of hashish into a Mexican port. Then somehow they'd smuggle it across the border into California.

Mr. MARKS:
Hello?

OPERATOR:
Yes. United States calling for Howard Marks, please.

Mr. MARKS:
Speaking.

NARRATOR:
Marks sounded tired and apprehensive.

ASSOCIATE:
Hello?

Mr. MARKS:
Hello?

ASSOCIATE:
How are you doing?

Mr. MARKS:
OK, and you?

NARRATOR:
There was mysterious talk of champagne and Mozambique.

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, really?

ASSOCIATE:
Champagne in Mozambique.

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, no! Really?

ASSOCIATE:
Yeah.

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, fantastic!

NARRATOR:
Plainly, Marks was relieved.

Mr. LOVATO:
They began to celebrate over the phone with one another, so it's obvious that the load has arrived in Mexico.

INTERVIEWER:
So "Mozambique" has to mean Mexico?

Mr. LOVATO:
Yes.

INTERVIEWER:
And "champagne" has to mean the marijuana?

Mr. LOVATO:
Absolutely.

INTERVIEWER:
"Mozambique" didn't, for example, mean Mexico?

Mr. MARKS:
No. No.

INTERVIEWER:
And "champagne" didn't mean dope?

Mr. MARKS:
No. No.

NARRATOR:
South of the Mexican border towns, as Lovato knew, there was infinite corruption. Traffickers could buy their ships into port. They could use hundreds of air strips. Drug couriers would drive through holes in the fence. Some, the ones with smaller loads, would just brazen it out at Customs. This time, the Marks organization seemed to be having problems. From a hotel in Los Angeles, Marks' contact called him to discuss how they'd bring their huge load north.

ASSOCIATE:
We're having to use a FP.

Mr. MARKS:
Yes, OK. Yeah.

NARRATOR:
Lovato thought "FP" meant "fast, private"-a plane.

ASSOCIATE:
Because we were going to go, you know, on the highway, you know?

Mr. MARKS:
Right. Right.

NARRATOR:
In some mysterious way, Marks' associate was going to transport the dope across the border, eluding Customs and the border patrol. On the phone, they complained to Marks in code about problems on the border.

ASSOCIATE:
We've had real bad weather, you know? And so we don't have anything from Mozambique yet.

Mr. MARKS:
All right.

NARRATOR:
"Bad weather" seemed to mean exceptional security, a border patrol clamp-down on aliens and drugs. Whoever was going to come across with the load could not. Then abruptly the clouds cleared. The dope was in L.A.

ASSOCIATE:
Well, Merry Christmas! Happy birthday.

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, good. Thanks so much. Yeah. I love you. Bye -bye. now.

NARRATOR:
The DEA traced Marks' contact to a Beverly Hills hotel. They raided the room, but instead of the millions they expected, they found just $50,000 and a kilo of hash. Marks now knew he was being watched.

Mr. MARKS:
Hello?

THE VICAR:
Hello?

NARRATOR:
Early one morning, the Vicar called him from Los Angeles with disturbing news.

Mr. MARKS:
Yes, I can. Yes.

THE VICAR:
Yeah, but you must go out, you see?

Mr. MARKS:
Yes, of course.

THE VICAR:
I tell you why, because I think, you see, I think your dog is sick.

NARRATOR:
"Your dog is sick" meant "your phone is bugged."

THE VICAR:
Hello?

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, really?

THE VICAR:
Yeah, I think so, because after-

INTERVIEWER:
When you heard that, what did you feel?

Mr. LOVATO:
A cold icy hand around my throat.

Mr. MARKS:
Regarding the sickness of the dog, is it seriously ill, do you think, or-

INTERVIEWER:
Because you thought that the calls were simply going to dry up?

Mr. LOVATO:
That would be the logical thing to expect at that point, yes.

NARRATOR:
Lovato says Marks played classical records down the phone to annoy his unseen enemy.

Mr. LOVATO:
I sensed a certain desperation in him. I think there was a fear there that we were closing in.

NARRATOR:
The tide was turning in the DEA's favor. The best news for Craig Lovato came quite unexpectedly from Asia. In the Philippines, President Marcos had fallen. Lord Anthony Moynihan had lost a friend.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
I personally never believed that it could possibly happen. I believed he was in total control of every aspect of the country.

NARRATOR:
At a stroke, Lord Moynihan's political protection had been stripped away. The DEA would play on his vulnerability. They set out to turn Lord Moynihan, to persuade him to betray his old friend Howard Marks. A DEA man took him to see an army camp outside Manila. It was a treatment center for drug users, young men who'd started on cannabis and moved to cocaine. Moynihan says he saw the light.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
He convinced me of the extreme evil of the drug-running business, even to the extent that it may well be more evil even than gun-running.

NARRATOR:
In their approach to Lord Moynihan, the DEA were very persuasive. They told him he could be indicted under American conspiracy laws even though he hadn't set foot in the United States.

Mr. LOVATO:
Once we pointed that out to him and demonstrated that he was prosecutable under our law, then his only question was what he had to do to alleviate the situation that he'd gotten himself

into.

NARRATOR:
At the DEA's office in Manila, flanked by two British detectives, Lovato told him exactly what he had to do: go and see Howard Marks and record the conversation on a hidden tape recorder. He agreed.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
The eventual tape recorder that I got was really quite bulky. In fact, had I known that this was the best that they could produce, I probably could have bought something better in Hong Kong myself. But naturally one supposes that the American government is going to have the latest gadgets.

NARRATOR:
Moynihan arrived in Majorca, ostensibly for a holiday with the Marks family. He was bothered less by his conscience than by his clumsy tape recorder.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
If the tape runs out, there's a very embarrassing loud click, so I always had to be very sure that the conversations were short.

NARRATOR:
What he was doing would devastate Howard Marks' life.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
I saw in him an evil which I had not seen in him previously.

INTERVIEWER:
And the evil was?

LORD MOYNIHAN:
That he was leading a lot of children towards drugs.

NARRATOR:
For hours the two sat together talking. Once, Marks introduced him to an associate who was very suspicious.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
He said, "For example, you might be taperecording this conversation." Well, I mean, you can imagine I nearly had kittens when he said that.

NARRATOR:
Marks said he did two or three big cannabis deals a year. Heroin he wouldn't touch.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
He said that that was evil and there's no way that he would ever do that. He said there were a lot of things perhaps more profitable, like guns and such, and he'd never done any of those, either.

NARRATOR:
Marks fell deeply into the trap. He even sent Moynihan to see his financial adviser, his brother-in-law, Patrick Lane, who lived in Miami.

PATRICK LANE, Marks' Brother-in-Law:
When we had seen Howard the previous summer, the children had told us about Uncle Tony and about his big palace in-not only was he a lord, but he was a close friend of Marcos. He had a big palace in the Philippines. But Howard's children seemed very, very fond of him. The whole thing was just 100 percent family.

NARRATOR:
Moynihan would set up Lane as deftly as he had Howard Marks. He joined Lane and a DEA undercover agent in a Miami hotel. Lane's in the middle, the agent on the left. Pretending they had drug money to launder, they asked Patrick Lane to help.

Mr. LOVATO:
What we did is we concealed a camera in a briefcase and we put a couple in the hotel, in the restaurant area, having their lunch. And of course the camera was inside the briefcase which pointed directly at the table at which Moynihan met with Patrick Lane.

LORD MOYNIHAN:
I said, 'Well look, I have a few million dollars that I need I need to launder out of the United States. Can you assist me with that?" He said, "Oh, well," he said, "you know these things are getting very expensive, but I think probably for 7.5 percent, I'll be able to do it."

NARRATOR:
Lane demanded a down payment of $5,000. Moynihan agreed. It was a classic DEA sting.

Mr. LANE:
Once he told me that he would be willing to give me $5,000, I told him I'd do whatever he wanted.

INTERVIEWER:
So that money would what, show up in an account somewhere, of Moynihan's choosing, cleansed of any criminal connection?

Mr. LANE:
Well, I don't know that "cleansed"-simply turn out wherever-I mean, that's all I could do is send it to wherever he wanted it.

NARRATOR:
With Howard Marks and Patrick Lane safely on tape, Moynihan left for home, his job done. Majorca, a July morning in 1988. Unknown to Marks, Craig Lovato was at the gates. The arrest of the Marks family was an event Lovato had long anticipated.

Mr. MARKS:
They were armed. One of them put a gun into my stomach.

MARKS' DAUGHTER:
My sister, when she was crying downstairs, asked him why they were arresting him, why he was in handcuffs, because apparently she was trying to hug him. And Craig Lovato told her that he was a drugs baron and he was being arrested and taken to America.

NARRATOR:
Simultaneously in five countries, 22 of Marks' associates were arrested. They included Geoffrey Kenion, once known as "Mr. Sewage," and Patrick Lane, the money man. Marks' wife Judy was devastated when Craig Lovato told her she, too, might be extradited.

Mr. LOVATO:
She was quite verbal in her response and quite vulgar.

INTERVIEWER:
What about the children?

Mr. LOVATO:
They voiced their mother's vulgarity word for word. I was quite shocked because they're quite young.

INTERVIEWER:
What was the sentiment behind that vulgarity?

Mr. LOVATO:
Clearly anti-establishment and anti-law enforcement.

INTERVIEWER:
And anti-American?

Mr. LOVATO:
Absolutely.

NARRATOR:
Despite a desperate legal struggle, Marks was extradited to Miami, the capital of the drug business. The DEA never asserted Marks sold anything harder than cannabis or that he ever used violence. They did believe he had a great deal of money stashed in bank accounts all over the world.

Mr. MARKS:
I have no money in accounts in any part of the world, absolutely none.

INTERVIEWER:
Absolutely none?

Mr. MARKS:
Absolutely none.

NARRATOR:
Although the DEA knew Marks had been bringing dope into the country for years, they couldn't actually find the money.

[interviewing] Isn't it rather a sad state of affairs, if you've been running dope for such a long time, that you have nothing to show for it?

Mr. MARKS:
I think the conclusion is obvious. I have nothing to show for it and therefore I have not been running dope for a long. time.

NARRATOR:
Today, Howard Marks, the '60s icon who really believed in peace, love and cannabis, feels himself a victim of an unfair law, a law that makes him as guilty as those who deal in heroin and crack. Lovato does not think his time would have been better spent chasing crack dealers. The law doesn't distinguish between soft and hard drugs. To him, Marks is simply a criminal. He does not accept that Marks' only crime is to have clung to the values of the '60s.

Mr. LOVATO:
He's virtually destroyed the lives of everybody he's come in contact with.

NARRATOR:
Awaiting his sentence in Florida, Howard Marks says if anything, he's proud of the way he's spent his life. His faith in cannabis is undented.

[interviewing] Could you cope with a long period in jail?

Mr. MARKS:
Oh, I could survive it, yes. I mean, it's fairly easy to survive long periods of incarceration. It's not difficult to do that.

INTERVIEWER:
Cut off from everybody?

Mr. MARKS:
Uh-huh. Yes. I would survive it, yeah.

[Graphic: On October 18, 1990, Dennis Howard Marks was sentenced to 25 years in prison.]

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