ABC Evening News for Monday, Mar 19, 1984
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(Studio) Report introduced
REPORTER: Peter Jennings
(New Orleans, Louisiana) Background to indictments today of alleged arms smugglers Solomon Schwartz and H. Leonard Berg examined; weapons and equipment they claim was legally bound for Mexican army and which in fact was ostensibly en route to Warsaw, Poland, shown, discussed. [Customs agent Douglass STRAHAN - recalls being contacted by informant.] Possible role in smuggling operation of informant pilot Joe Hawes detailed. [STRAHAN - recalls initial disbelief that arms were being smuggled into East bloc nation.] Conversation secretly recorded between Schwartz and associates quoted on screen. [STRAHAN - notes conversation confirmed Hawes' tale.] United States officials said believing Schwartz was seeking 2 Soviet tanks in exchange for weapons; United States Defense Intelligence Agency believed aware of deal and wanting to purchase tanks once they arrived in US. US Customs, as well, said prepared to allow arms shipment through unless ordered by defense intelligence otherwise. Reaction of Polish government official in New York City quoted. [STRAHAN - notes prevalence of the bizarre.] Apparent routine attitude of United States officials involved and their continual efforts to obtain Soviet tanks in question described.
REPORTER: Stone Phillips
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