Celerino Castillo III

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Celerino Castillo (born 1949) is a former agent for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

His father was a decorated veteran of World War II, who had been shot six times by the Japanese.[citation needed] In 1970, Castillo was told by his father that he was expected to fight in the Vietnam War, even though as an only son, he was not required to. As a loyal and dutiful son, Castillo followed the orders of his father and distinguished himself in the jungles of Vietnam.[citation needed] While in Vietnam, Castillo witnessed firsthand the effects of drug abuse on his soldiers. He vowed to return to U.S. so that he could fight against drugs. Subsequently, in 1979, he joined the DEA as an enforcement agent fighting in the front-line trenches of America's so called "'War on Drugs'", and is best known for blowing the whistle on the CIA-backed arms-for-drugs trade (Spearheaded by Colonel Oliver North) that was used to prop up the 1980s Contra counter-insurgency in Nicaragua, and for the book that he published on that subject, entitled "'Powder Burns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War'". [1]

In 2008 (three years before "'Operation Fast and Furious'" came into the public light) Castillo made the revelation to reporter Bill Conroy that ATF agents were participating in the smuggling of high powered weapons into Mexico. According to Castillo the source of that information was a government informer who was later murdered.

In March 2008, Celerino Castillo was arrested for selling firearms without a permit (selling legally-purchased weapons without a firearms-dealer permit). He expressed his belief at that time that he was being targeted by the government in retaliation for his long-standing efforts to hold government agencies responsible for their felonious activities. He pleaded guilty on the advice of his attorney and was sentenced to 37 months in prison. It was later revealed that his attorney was, at the time of his plea, suspended by the State Bar of Texas for misapplying clients’ funds. According to Castillo that was not the only impropriety in the handling of his criminal case. In a letter to the judge (Furgeson) who had overseen the case and handed down the sentence, he stated that the prosecutor had lied to the judge at his sentencing. He is scheduled for release in April, 2012.[citation needed]

Military career[edit]

Military 1970-1972 Served 6 year in Active, Reserves, and National Guard US Army Sgt. - NCO School - Vietnam Veteran - (Bronze Star)[citation needed]


Graduated 1976 University of Texas–Pan American - BS in Criminal Justice.

Law Enforcement Career[edit]

1997–Present Federal courts have accepted Mr. Castillo as an Expert-Witness on Outrageous Government Conduct, Informants, and Racial Profiling. (CONSULTANT)

1994–present Author: "POWDERBURNS" * Cocaine, Contras and The Drug War * Television exclusives on ABC"s Primetime Live, Dateline NBC, and The Discovery Channel. Mr. Castillo has lectured at different universities on the drug war and Latin America Foreign Policy.

1992-1997 Private Investigator

1979-1992 Department of Justice, twelve years with The Drug Enforcement Administration (Special Agent) Specialized in undercover investigation. Was a foreign diplomat for six years in South & Central-America.

1974-1979 Detective Sgt. with a Texas Police Department

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Webb 1999, p. 250.

Webb, Gary (1999). Dark Alliance. Seven Stories Press. ISBN 978-1-888363-93-7. 


  • Celerino III Castillo & Dave Harmon (1995). Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras & the Drug War (3rd ed.). Borgo Press. ISBN 978-0-8095-4855-2. 
  • Frederick P. Hitz (1999). "Obscuring Propriety: The CIA and Drugs". International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. 12 (4): 448–462. doi:10.1080/088506099304990.  Note: Hitz, then CIA Inspector General, was the person who first mentioned the secret agreement between CIA and the Department of Justice, in March 1988, when testifying before the House Intelligence Committee.
  • Robert Parry (1999). Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & "Project Truth". Media Consortium. ISBN 1-893517-00-4. 
  • Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall (1991). Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-07312-8. 
  • Webb, Gary (1998). Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion. Seven Stories Press. ISBN 978-1-888363-68-5. 

External links[edit]