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Catching 'The King of Cocaine' With Gary Hale


When Gary Hale was in his early 30s he was chief of intelligence for the Drug Enforcement Agency in La Paz, Bolivia. The Andean nation was the second largest producer of cocaine in the 1980s into the mid 90s. But unlike the violent scenes and power grabs across the border in Colombia, the action in Bolivia - though no less profitable - was sleepier

Gary finds himself on the front line of the war on drugs when the U.S. ambassador gives him and his team an assignment, capture the biggest man in Bolivian cocaine - the so-called "King of Cocaine," Roberto Suarez Gomez. 

The following track was recorded at the September 6, 2016 Worth Repeating with the theme "Fight or Flight." Worth Repeating is Texas Public Radio's live storytelling event series.

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive