Thursday, March 31, 2011

Miami Beach Kid Pothead Arms Dealers Used by the Penatgon as a Major Supply Source

By Guy Lawson

The e-mail confirmed it: everything was finally back on schedule after weeks of maddening, inexplicable delay. A 747 cargo plane had just lifted off from an airport in Hungary and was banking over the Black Sea toward Kyrgyzstan, some 3,000 miles to the east. After stopping to refuel there, the flight would carry on to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Aboard the plane were 80 pallets loaded with nearly 5 million rounds of ammunition for AK-47s, the Soviet-era assault rifle favored by the Afghan National Army.

Reading the e-mail back in Miami Beach, David Packouz breathed a sigh of relief. The shipment was part of a $300 million contract that Packouz and his partner, Efraim Diveroli, had won from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan. It was May 2007, and the war was going badly. After six years of fighting, Al Qaeda remained a menace, the Taliban were resurgent, and NATO casualties were rising sharply. For the Bush administration, the ammunition was part of a desperate, last-ditch push to turn the war around before the U.S. presidential election the following year. To Packouz and Diveroli, the shipment was part of a major arms deal that promised to make them seriously rich.

Reassured by the e-mail, Packouz got into his brand-new blue Audi A4 and headed home for the evening, windows open, the stereo blasting. At 25, he wasn't exactly used to the pressures of being an international arms dealer. Only months earlier, he had been making his living as a massage therapist; his studies at the Educating Hands School of Massage had not included classes in military contracting or geopolitical brinkmanship. But Packouz hadn't been able to resist the temptation when Diveroli, his 21-year-old friend from high school, had offered to cut him in on his burgeoning arms business. Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history.

Read the rest here.


  1. "Above all, Diveroli cared about the bottom line. 'Efraim was a Republican because they started more wars,' Packouz says."

    Silly boy. How little he understands the Democrats.

  2. I could only read about 20% of it before closing the tab and fuming. Evil has taken root and now flourishes, and even the light of truth doesn't scare it any more since the sheeple are so inebriated by blissful ignorance.

  3. This is a pretty amazing story. I'll be surprised if someone does not push to make this a well dramatized movie. I guess it's sort of like "The Social Network" but with a whole lot more government waste and warmongering in the Middle East.

  4. I was about to say, mix "Lord of War" with "The Social Network" and it's in the bag!