Lauderdale Alberto Garcia, head of the Miami office of the
FBI, announced late yesterday evening that the Coast Guard, U.S. Customs,
the FAA, and the FBI were jointly investigating "one of the most
complex cases of industrial sabotage ever to have been uncovered."
While Garcia could only provide scant details concerning the investigation,
he did credit local resident Rick Harris as being instrumental in
discovering "an elaborate and ruthless conspiracy" against
Brazilian aircraft manufacturer RioAero, SA.
Rick Harris, a long-time aviation industry executive and recently
appointed sales director for RioAero, had been focusing on improving
the weak sales record for his company's new-generation regional airliner
when he came across a number of highly suspicious incidents. It was
then that Harris realized weak sales were the least of his problems.
While RioAero recently endured a rash of unusual and seemingly
unrelated mishaps, the company's misfortunes crescendoed over this
past weekend. Suddenly, RioAero's very existence was in question.
In the nick of time, Harris unraveled the common thread to the tragedies
that had been dogging his employer.
The climax started late Sunday afternoon with a pair of thundering
offshore racers dueling it out in a perilous cat-and-mouse chase.
Their reckless high-speed clash began along the Intracoastal Waterway
and damaged several other boats--one severely--before the chase
spilled out into the open waters of the Gulfstream. Ten miles west
of Bimini, the pursuit came to an abrupt end with the total destruction
of a Cigarette 41/OS.
A Coast Guard cutter dispatched from Miami rescued three survivors
and recovered ten kilos of cocaine. Even though the FBI would provide
little information due to their ongoing investigation, a source
exclusive to the Sun-Sentinel disclosed that this event was the
culmination of an intricate plot of international proportions.
Arrested by the FBI on multiple charges, including kidnapping, attempted
murder, and drug trafficking, were (See Archives,
#81-2-364-9. SABOTAGE, A10, Col. 1)