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The Stoner Arms Dealers - How two American kids became big-time weapons traders

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BridgeTheGap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 08:49 AM
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The Stoner Arms Dealers - How two American kids became big-time weapons traders
The e-mail confirmed it: everything was finally back on schedule after weeks of maddening, inexplicable delay. A 747 cargo plane had just lifted off from an airport in Hungary and was banking over the Black Sea toward Kyrgyzstan, some 3,000 miles to the east. After stopping to refuel there, the flight would carry on to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Aboard the plane were 80 pallets loaded with nearly 5 million rounds of ammunition for AK-47s, the Soviet-era assault rifle favored by the Afghan National Army.

Reading the e-mail back in Miami Beach, David Packouz breathed a sigh of relief. The shipment was part of a $300 million contract that Packouz and his partner, Efraim Diveroli, had won from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan. It was May 2007, and the war was going badly. After six years of fighting, Al Qaeda remained a menace, the Taliban were resurgent, and NATO casualties were rising sharply. For the Bush administration, the ammunition was part of a desperate, last-ditch push to turn the war around before the U.S. presidential election the following year. To Packouz and Diveroli, the shipment was part of a major arms deal that promised to make them seriously rich.

Reassured by the e-mail, Packouz got into his brand-new blue Audi A4 and headed home for the evening, windows open, the stereo blasting. At 25, he wasn't exactly used to the pressures of being an international arms dealer. Only months earlier, he had been making his living as a massage therapist; his studies at the Educating Hands School of Massage had not included classes in military contracting or geopolitical brinkmanship. But Packouz hadn't been able to resist the temptation when Diveroli, his 21-year-old friend from high school, had offered to cut him in on his burgeoning arms business. Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history.

Arriving home at the Flamingo, his sleek condo with views of the bay, Packouz packed the cone of his Volcano, a smokeless electronic bong. As the balloon inflated with vapors from the high-grade weed, he took a deep toke and felt the pressures of the day drift away into a crisp, clean high.

http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-news-section/46...

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xiamiam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 09:11 AM
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1. unbelievable..nt
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CabalPowered Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 11:29 AM
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2. Very interesting story
:thumbsup:
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BridgeTheGap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-24-11 08:26 AM
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3. Have you read Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom" ? One of the characters seems to be plucked straight
from this story.
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DailyDardan Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-11 08:16 AM
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4. That is exactly what I thought
The whole situation is surprisingly similar.
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Sadena Meti Donating Member (332 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-11 07:18 AM
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5. I'd say they are some damn clever kids, not breaking laws, and starting a business.
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Sadena Meti Donating Member (332 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-11 07:26 AM
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6. They can't go into business as "Stoner Arms" though...
There is already an arm manufacturing company by that name that manufactures light .223, medium .308, and heavy .50 machine guns.
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