December 2017


From The Pages of
"The Last Gentleman Smuggler":
A Book By Steven M. Kalish and Nikki Palomino

Everyone has a story. Everyone dreams. If I'm gonna tell a real story, I'm gonna start with my name. Steven Kalish...

For a true crime story, the author must back up the facts. Memory acts as an eye witness. One such source we use is Sonny Bradford. Bradford is a US Naval Academy graduate, who did multiple Joint Task Force Counter Drug Operations with the US Coast Guard in the late 1990’s through early 2000. During operations he was responsible for interdiction efforts to include: intelligence exploitation, interdiction, security, inspection and use of force. He was immediately tasked with force protection duties after 9/11/2001, conducting Maritime Interdiction Operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Served as a Joint Operations Center Executive Officer at US Central Command, in Tampa, Florida, under Gen. David Petraeus. Also participated in Exercise FOAL EAGLE, a joint US-South Korean field training exercise, on staff as the OPFOR Naval Commander (simulating DPRK naval tactics).

I never had compassion for the security guards that went along on the boats for the shipments north. I had plenty of compassion for the poor local fishermen that were essentially “press ganged” into driving and maintaining the boats in transit. They were ripped from their families, and many of the families never saw their fathers/brothers/uncles/husbands again. All because they had learned how to operate a fishing boat to fish the local waters to provide for their families. Watching them completely break down once captured, broke my heart…

You can’t help but look at a couple of tons of 99% pure cocaine recovered from an interdicted ship and not come to a couple of conclusions. One, we have a “HUGE” drug problem if what we are seeing is less than 2% of the drugs that are smuggled north. Two, there is no way this little pinprick that we did, is ever going to have any real effect on the drug business. There is just too much money involved.

As much as I hate to admit this… Low tech will always beat high tech. We are spending $$$$ on the highest tech known to mankind, and we are being beaten by people using small fishing boats that really shouldn’t be able to float. We see this today with terrorism. Numbers and low tech can and will beat high tech.

I admire the dedication and professionalism of the US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments. We embarked them to do the interdictions and the inspections. They do this over and over, and I never heard of a single member ever getting into trouble trying to steal a bit for themselves from what was recovered. These are people making a little more than minimum wage, and they are routinely looking at millions of dollars of product, and not one crossed the line. Pretty impressive.

When you do the briefings prior to starting the missions, you are told that if you are lucky during the tour, you will stop a couple of boats, and get a couple of tons of roughly 95% pure cocaine. Your dreams of making an impact on the War on Drugs are quickly squashed when they tell you that represents less than 2% of the drugs coming through. That’s like taking an eye dropper full of water out of the Mississippi River….

I wish people understood that the first rule of being a criminal (which is what these drug runners were), is that they don’t follow the rules and laws… It is very demoralizing to be sitting just a couple of miles away from a huge bust, but you can’t go into the area, because it is protected waters. While the US Navy is prevented from entering, the drug runners know that if they can get there, they can hide and wait us out.

And they did, the bold young ones pressed into recollection with each breath, as with the impoverished fishermen fingering rosary beads and us on the outside looking in.

"The Last Gentleman Smuggler" By Steven Kalish & Nikki Palomino is about the largest smuggling operation in U.S. history. Coming 2018-2019 Print and TV series.

PBS brings 6 episodes on Dictators currently in production with Toronto, Canada's Cream Productions known for its documentaries and television. At the end of November, Cream shoots Steven M. Kalish in Washington D.C. Friend and journalist John Dinges wrote "Our Man in Panama" and interviewed Steven in late 80s, but at the time and still incarcerated, Steven didn't reveal much. The reason Noriega was chosen to feature for one PBS episode was his connection with the U.S., having been on the CIA payroll since 1976. The producers were fascinated by Steven Kalish's story and how a white boy from Texas could rise to Manuel Noriega's right-hand man. He will talk about "The Last Gentleman Smuggler" by Steven M. Kalish and Nikki Palomino as well as the book will be in the credits. Another credible source for our book, Cream Productions PBS series will air in 2018. Also coming in 2018, The Paramount Network will feature a 6 episode series called WACO about David Koresh, cult leader of the Branch Davidians Sect during the 51 day stand-off where Steven Kalish's Criminal Defense Attorney Dick DeGuerin represented Koresh against the U.S. Government, FBI, ATF for possession of weapons and running a methamphetamine lab.

THE TRUTH BEHIND THE LARGEST DRUG SMUGGLING RING EVER DISCOVERED IN THE UNITED STATES...... COMING 2018-2019 the non-fiction crime epic "The Last Gentleman Smuggler" by former Texans Steven M. Kalish, a fifteen-year-old hippie drop-out to one of the largest pot smugglers and money-laundering masters in a tribe not his own, and Nikki Palomino, award-winning author/filmmaker DAZED Novel Trilogy, rock journalist, former grunge rock musician/radio personality. The true crime story about the largest smuggling operation in U.S. history.

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.


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