Mena, Drugs and
the Train Deaths Case
Letter to the Wall Street Journal
by Jean K. Duffey

Micah Morrison's April 15 article, "Big News From Arkansas," reported ex-prosecutor Dan Harmon was indicted for running his office as a criminal enterprise. Just as newsworthy is the absence of any reference in the indictments to what I believe, based on my investigation, to be Mr. Harmon's involvement in the murders of Kevin Ives and Don Henry, the nationally known train deaths case.

Under the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations law, Mr. Harmon could be charged with crimes committed up to 10 years ago, but his indictment only goes back to August 1991. Just two months before that, in June 1991, then-U.S. Attorney Chuck Banks cleared Mr. Harmon of drug-corruption allegations strikingly similar to the ones he now faces. The obvious question arises: Is current U.S. Attorney Paula Casey protecting Mr. Banks? It's hard to ignore that the August 1991 starting date of Mr. Harmon's indictment shields Mr. Banks from the appearance of impropriety and excludes evidence related to the train deaths.

In 1990, as head of a drug task force in the area, I gathered a significant amount of evidence against Mr. Harmon, as well as evidence connecting drugs and public officials to the train deaths. I was stunned when Mr. Banks cleared Mr. Harmon and all other public officials in 1991. I believe that, in this regard, the years of covering up the train deaths case continues.

Mr. Morrison has eloquently unraveled the complex story surrounding the train deaths, but in one case he left the wrong impression. He wrote, "Ms. Duffey left the state when Mr. Harmon filed charges against her, later found to be baseless." I'm not so easily intimidated.

In 1990, my task force uncovered too much. I was brutalized by an Arkansas media that supported Mr. Harmon, who was running for and won our district's prosecutor position. Mr. Harmon immediately subpoenaed the evidence I had against him and other public officials. But to protect witnesses, I refused to comply. Circuit Judge John Cole then issued a felony warrant for my arrest, and my family was warned from two law enforcement agencies that I was going to be killed. Discredited, defeated, and threatened, my husband and I moved our family to Texas.

I didn't understand the power of the political machine back then, but after being persuaded by the FBI to assist in an investigation they opened in 1994, I learned of connections to the CIA, Mena, and drug-smuggling. I finally understood; to solve the train deaths case would be to expose the crimes of Mena, and no government agent who has come close to doing either has survived professionally.

The Arkansas media have mostly realized their misjudgment of me, with the exception of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The most important paper in the state either ignores or ridicules the facts surrounding the profoundly disturbing train deaths case. I pray Micah Morrison and The Wall Street Journal will continue to expose the deep-rooted corruption in Arkansas. People deserve to have sources of information that will not back away from the truth.

Jean K. Duffey
Pasadena, Texas

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