In the late 1970s, Barry Seal is a pilot for commercial airline TWA. A CIA agent contacts him and asks him to fly clandestine reconnaissance missions for the CIA over South America using a small plane with cameras installed. Seal accepts.
Later in the 1970s, the CIA asks Seal to start acting as a courier between them and General Noriega in Panama. During a mission, the Medellin Cartel picks Seal up and asks him to fly cocaine on his return flights to the USA. Seal accepts and starts flying the cartel’s cocaine to Louisiana. The CIA turns a blind eye to the drug smuggling, but the DEA track Seal down. The CIA warn Seal, who moves to a remote town in Arkansas called Mena.
Later, the CIA ask Seal to run guns to the Contras. Seal soon realises that the Contras are not serious, so he starts delivering the guns to the cartel. The CIA set up a Contra training base in Mena and Seal flies the Contras in, but most of them disappear as soon as they arrive.
Eventually, the CIA shut the program down and abandon Seal to the FBI, DEA and other law enforcement. Seal escapes prosecution by making a deal with the White House, which wants evidence the Sandinistas are drug traffickers. They ask Seal to get photos that tie the Medelin Cartel to the Sandinistas. Seal manages to get the pictures and the White House releases them as propaganda against the Sandinistas. The cartel now want Seal dead. Also, as Seal is in the pictures himself, he’s arrested.
Seal is convicted, and given community service which means he has to report to the same Salvation Army hostel each night. Eventually, assassins shoot and kill him. The CIA then seize all the evidence to avoid being implicated in drug smuggling. Classification 15