This chapter deals with the information about Calvin Robinson that was gleaned from the internet. It was found in trditional newspapers, court papers and less reliable postings. This was the information that was found shortly after we read the San Francisco Chronicle's account of John's indictment. They linked him to the Calvin Robinson case from 1988. There are many components to the case. Calvin's relatives, LendVest mortgage Co, and Joseph Campbell winery.
As interesting as this may be, the other players in the Drug Tug case have their own stories. Robinson's sister, Norma Sue Lemmon was Chief Financial Officer for the Lend Vest Mortgage Co. Sue's husband was the chief appraiser, Diana Robinson Rouch, another of Calvin's sisters was employed there. David G Hanson was founder of Lend Vest, he and Robert Pitner a managing partner of Joseph Campbell Winery, and William Lytle were also charged in the conspiracy. I get the point. Lend Vest Mortgage Co is related to the Calvin Robinson drug case. It was decided that Lend Vest was used to launder money from these activities. Calvin Robinson was manager of a family dredging firm that went by the name of Dredge Master Associates. On July 1, 1988 it was revealed that there was another mysterious suspect in the Napa Drug Tug Case. Calvin Robinson's cousin William Lytle received a phone call from a man by the name of Thomas Gary Smith aka Thomas Gary Vance. Smith had been previously arrested in 1978, but had skipped bail. This lead was pursued. The Mortgage Company, Lend Vest and the Winery both went into bankruptcy when they were investigated for money laundering. David Hanson was sentenced to two and one half years. Robert Pitner was sentenced to three months i a half way house. In May of 1994 both verdicts were overturned by the Supreme Court. They were both overturned just as John and Claude were indicted.
This is the information we gleaned about the Calvin Robinson case from various west coast newspapers and this comprised the bones of the case. The overlay to this is comprised of chapters and chapters of internet sites that place Calvin Robinson in the middle of several government conspiracies. The one most specific to him involved the Companies Dredge Master Associates and Lend Vest.
This is the story as told by anonymous voices and an interview with Calvin Robinson. Everyone must be their own judge. In the 80s the CIA was funding, as always, various unspecific uprisings. These require off budget funding - thus they looked for tat capability in someone who had a past they did not disclose who would be somewhat vulnerable to exposure. This off budget funding was most handily secured with the sale of drugs. The boats that haul the drugs can do double duty be hauling the illegal arms on the return trip.
The CIA went looking for someone to haul their ever burgeoning cargos. The ideal candidate would be a tug boat skipper with a shady past. Certainly not a "company" man, and the character chosen shouldn't be part of the old boy network. The "Company" wouldn't want to cause a stir if and when they cut him loose. William A. Dougherty was chosen to recruit the boat captain. Dougherty was already will aware of the Company's business in this area. As an associate of John Philip Nichols, his money laundering contacts had been indispensable in many operations such as the Wackenhut/Cabezon joint venture. He was also a slick lawyer and as such, he could set-up the skipper in more ways than one.
Calvin Robinson was a very good candidate. The load that he carried according to the DEA included 37 tons of hashish. This is a product produced in Afghanistan and is consumed in Canada and Western European countries. The year was 1988.
Calvin Robinson was a tug Boat Captain who had done time in federal prison where he shared a cell with Christopher Boyce "The Falcon and the Snowman" - book and movie. He certainly was not one of the "good ol boys". Robinson spent considerable time with the younger generation. No one from the Company would worry if he had to take the heat. So it happened that Dougherty, with promises of government contracts, made himself attorney and vice president of Calvin Robinson's new company: Dredge Master Associated (DMA). There was a potential problem with Robinson however. His sons and nephews were not the kind of people the Company likes to do business with. Just a little too cocky, they had the potential of blowing the operation if they got out of control. Eyes would have to be kept on the young ones. It seems that the DEA, in this era of mind war control, is as much a part of the Company as the CIA was in the past,
Mark Wright and Seattle Salvage were the names used by DEA special agent Thomas Sheehan. In July of 1987, Sheehan hired Robinson to provide a tug boat and barge to "transport parts and supplies" to vessels in the waters near Hilo , Hawaii. The contract was completed and Robinson was paid in full. As the months went by, Robinson began to see the true nature of Dougherty"s set- up. Dougherty had been writing himself checks with DMA money, some as large as $50,000.00. To counter the Dredge Master's indignity Dougherty's forces asserted that Robinson's step-son, Westly Bastin" was selling dope from his apartment. This was just the sort of damage control problem the Company had been trying to avoid from the beginning. To teach them a lesson, the company would recruit Calvin's ex-wife Ilas Kissel. Kissel was coerced and paid to write Solano County police about Westley's alleged misdeeds in order to keep the lid on the operation, but the pot was about to spill over.
As problems escalated, the Robinsons sued Dougherty. By this point Dougherty had absconded with most of Dredge Masters assets. He had even used one tug boat the Ruby R as collateral on a $195 million bank loan from Bank America.
The CIA prepared to come down on Calvin Robinson. This would be done with another job which would be referred to as the "Drug Tug" by writer/investigator Harry Martin. On April 23, 1987, Sheehan hired Robinson to "transport parts and supplies" near San Francisco Bay to vessels Survey and Survey II. On May 7, 1987, the tug boat Intrepid Venture and the barge BTB #1 were used for the operation. Robinson states that Sheehan's crew from the "Survey" vessels loaded illegal cargo, later called 13 tons of marijuana and 43 tons of hashish onto the barge BTW #1. Robinson states that while this was taking place he and his crew were in the Intrepid Venture, and unaware of what was transpiring about 2200 yards away in the barge. Robinson was arrested along with his son William, nephews Frank and John, and step-son Westly Bastin. They were charged with smuggling, distribution, and transportation of marijuana and hashish. US District court Judge John P. Vukasin would preside over their trials. Vukasin is a long time political crony of Edwin Meese and Ronald Reagan. He owns a coffee import business.
Calvin Robinson pled not guilty and went to trial. On February 6,1989, the day before prosecution witnesses were to be called, Calvin Robinson's lawyer David Mayer was found shot to death in his home. The death was called a suicide. It was later learned that David Mayer had documents which would have exposed the US governments drug involvement if made public. Documents which may connect Edwin Meese, Earl Brian, John Philip Nichols, and William Dougherty to drug smuggling and money laundering operations. Calvin Robinson was given a sentence of life in prison by Judge John Vuikasin. Robinson's crew were all acquitted. Even after this specter of illegal activity, and as with the Centrust failure in Miami, the scandal didn't end yet. As Robinson was arrested, his assets seized, as well as the assets of his business associates. After all the assets of LendVest Mortgage Inc were seized, the company was forced into chapter 11 bankruptcy. Charles Duck was then made Trustee of LendVest. Duck is an associate of John Hull of the CIA. Hull's ranch was a landing spot for illegal contraband. A confidential source has seen Hull and Duck together in Costa Rica on at least 12 occasions. Most of John Hull's drugs were flown to Homestead Air Force Base in Florida. Government officials supervised the unloading at Homestead. John Hull is now wanted for extradition by the government of Costa Rica.
Susan Ueker was trustee for LendVest's general partner, Joseph Mathews Winery. Within one month of becoming the Trustee, Ueker sold off all the winery's assets. A year later she petitioned Judge Alan Jaroslovvsky to have the records of her transaction destroyed. Jarlslovsky had previously worked as the attorney for Duck. So the "Trustees" would continue to launder the dirty money, while Robinson was sitting in jail for life and many others were watching. One of the people who was keeping a keen eye on Charles Duck and his cohorts was Dexter Jacobson, an attorney from San Francisco. Jacobson had been trying to tell the news media about the multi-million dollar fraud which was occurring in the bankruptcy system. He was preparing to file suit against sitting Judges and numerous bankruptcy Trustees - including Charles Duck. On August 13, 1990, Dexter Jacobson was found shot to death in his car in Sausalito, California. Charles Duck received a slap on the wrist for improprieties in the El Dorado case and is now living in a halfway house in Portland, Oregon. His exploits within the bankruptcy system are infamous. It is certain that many of the most corrupt individuals are still at large. Many now hold high positions within the executive and judicial branches of our government.