The Mermelstein Files: Max Testifies in Front of Joe Biden

This week, New Times presents "I, Max," a feature story revealing what became of Medellín Cartel master smuggler Max Mermelstein after he cooperated with feds and entered the Witness Protection Program. We've obtained documents, some of them never before published, related to the underground informant.

On August 17, 1989, underground smuggler-turned-informant Max Mermelstein appeared in front of a special U.S. Senate Committee on Drug Trafficking. Concealed behind a curtain and using a voice modulator, he urged government agencies to work together better if they wanted any chance against the Medellín Cartel: "The way the cartel has been able to exist and flourish is that they can change faster than the U.S. government can."

The chair of the committee that day: then-Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden. The entire transcript is after the jump. Forgive the liner notes and highlighting: We got this copy from filmmaker Brett Tabor, and he mined it for material for his script adaptation of Max's memoir.


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