Here’s another installment in the Saga of The Dread Pirate Kimberlin detailing another of his accomplishments. It’s provided for those of you who are new to the story.
During his 20s, Brett Kimberlin was a very successful businessman. In addition to a heath food store and a restaurant, he operated an import business. He imported marijuana. In large wholesale quantities. By 1978, he was bringing it in by the ton.
In February, 1979, he was in Texas to receive a DC-4 load of dope at a makeshift airfield. However, the weather was such that the pilots couldn’t find the field. They were directed by air traffic controllers to a real airport. Rather than land with bales of marijuana on board, they began dumping their load over south Texas. Kimberlin and his crew wound up being busted by local cops in Kleberg County who turned Kimberlin over to the DEA.
Mark Singer’s book Citizen K records this conversation (p. 108) that supposedly occurred while Kimberlin was being driven to Corpus Christi by the narcs:
“What are we under arrest for?”
“Conspiracy with intent to possess and distribute marijuana,” one agent replied.
“What marijuana?” asked Kimberlin.
“We got your airplane,” said the other agent.
“Your pot was scattered all over south Texas.”
Indeed, over 5 tons of Kimberlin’s dope in 45 pound bales were strewn across several counties. One bale landed in the main downtown intersection in Alice, Texas, and ranchers were joking about feeding the stuff to their livestock (a different kind of loco weed?).
Kimberlin wound up pleading guilty. He got 4 years.
But getting busted for smuggling dope was the least of Brett Kimberlin’s problems in the late ’70s and early ’80s. We’ll consider another of his legal difficulties in a later post.