Paul Lir Alexander
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Paul Lir Alexander (nicknamed El Parito Loco) is a former Brazilian drug smuggler noted for exporting cocaine to the United States (US) while simultaneously assisting the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with its investigations of other smugglers. Alexander has been known as "O barão da cocaina" in Brazil (translated into English as "The Baron of Cocaine").
Alexander was born in Laguna, Santa Catarina, Brazil, on July 27, 1956. His mother married a railroad worker and Alexander's family moved to Novo Hamburgo, a city on the Sinos River Valley, where Alexander attended high school. He became an entrepreneur at an early age, selling ice cream on the beach in the summer and hot peanuts door-to-door during the winter.
Alexander married a woman named either Clarise Alexsander" when he was fifteen or sixteen years old. At the age of seventeen both he and his father were hospitalized as a consequence of a violent physical fight. Alexander then sought to leave behind his personal turmoil in Brazil, and joined the Israeli Army.
In 1982, Alexander, active in Nicaragua, assisted Lt. Col. Oliver North during the Iran-Contra Affair. Alexander claimed that Nicaragua was where he was introduced to the drug-dealing business. Later, he publicly claimed that he had been involved in drug dealing since 1979.
After Nicaragua, Mossad assigned him to São Paulo, Brazil. His cover, set up by Mossad, was a "one girl talent agent office." In 1983, his only client was Maria da Graça Meneghel. Meneghel had been in Playboy magazine's Brazilian edition in December 1982, which led to her being cast in the motion picture Amor Estranho Amor ("Love Strange Love") in which she played a prostitute who seduces a thirteen-year-old boy. Over the next four years he developed Meneghel's career, and she became known as Xuxa. Today, Xuxa is one of the most popular celebrities in Brazil.
During the middle to late 1980s, he purchased a home in North Miami Beach and maintained close ties with the CIA. Around this time he divorced his first wife and became involved with another woman named Érika, a dancer on television. Érika came from a poor family. Her father was a sergeant in the state of Rio de Janeiro prison service. She later married Alexander and had two children with him, Tiffany Alexander and Yosef Matthew Alexander.
One of Alexander's methods involved packing cocaine inside large electric transformers and shipping them to the United States. At the height of his wealth, Alexander had a five-million-dollar group of condominiums in the Barra da Tijuca section of Rio de Janeiro, a million-dollar house in North Miami Beach, a corporate jet, a 25-million-dollar megayacht he kept docked in Monte Carlo (he claimed that he was a good friend of Prince Rainier of Monaco), a fleet of motor cars and a 64,000-acre (260 km2) ranch in Mato Grosso, Brasil. His personal fortune was in the range of 100 million dollars. Before his arrest in April, 1993, Alexander was raising $350 million to buy the Manchete television network in Brazil.
Alexander served over twelve years in prison for drug dealing in the US. While in prison, undercover agent Jerry Speziale published his book, Without A Badge. The book detailed how Alexander and Speziale brought down some of the biggest drug lords, including Alexander himself. Alexander was enraged that his private experiences were published and sued Speziale under the pretense that the book violated his privacy. From the lawsuit:
Speziale explains how he was able to infiltrate powerful drug distribution cartels and dupe them into believing that he was a trustworthy member of the illegal drug importing network. In fact, Speziale and the others involved in the undercover investigation would arrange for the shipments to be seized, and then attempt to foist off blame on other members of the importation network. This casting of blame was critical to the success of the undercover activities because the people found to be responsible for drug seizures were no longer trusted and were liable to be killed by the Colombian drug lords running the cocaine cartels. In his book, Speziale describes how Alexander’s sophistication and familiarity with the customs of these drug lords and the distribution network were critical to the success of the government’s undertakings.
In the end, the courts ruled that Speziale’s book did not violate Alexander’s privacy, and the case was dismissed. Towards the end of his sentence, he came under investigation in March 2005 on suspicion of plotting to assassinate Speziale. His partner's Florida home was raided during the investigation, but no charges were filed. He was deported to Brazil in September, 2005.
The Brazilian Federal Police claim that Alexander directed major drug-dealing operations between 1997–1999 while he was a federal prison inmate. They allege that some five tons of cocaine were seized as well as twenty-four aircraft.
Alexander was eventually sentenced to a staggering 42 years in prison, a sentence that in Brazil is normally reserved for serial killers. He was confined from 2005 until August 2010 at Nelson Hungria Prison in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Alexander had a team of attorneys working on various appeals. He finally was granted permission to begin work release. On August 10, 2011, he left for his day of court-approved work release and never returned.
As of November 19, 2011, Alexander was still at large, yet maintaining a Facebook page. Much speculation exists as to where Alexander went after he was released from prison.
- User (1990–2012). "Amor Estranho Amor (1982)". IMDb. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Bill Conroy (9 January 2006). "Bogotá isn't the only dark trail into the U.S. Justice System". The Narcosphere. Bill Conroy. Retrieved 16 June 2012.