THE FBI'S BIGGEST HITS AND MISSES OF THE 1980s
(FORTUNE Magazine) – ORGANIZED CRIME HIT:Mafia kingpins cases, 1981-89. Over eight years, 87 members of Mafia leadership nationwide are convicted.
HIT:Operation Liberatus, 1989. Control of the Teamsters union is taken from the mob and turned over to a federal court.
HIT:Operation Greylord, 1980-83. Agents set up fake law office in Chicago; 15 judges and 66 lawyers and police officers are convicted of graft.
MISS:Prosecution of John Gotti, 1987. The man thought to be boss of bosses is tried for various crimes, including murder, but is acquitted.
- DRUG TRAFFICKING HIT:The Pizza Connection, 1987. Seventeen members of a Sicilian crime family are convicted of selling heroin through a nationwide pizza chain.
HIT:Operation White Mare, 1989. Agents and New York City police seize $1 billion worth of heroin in raids on three houses in the city.
HIT:Miami coke bust, 1988. Ninety-three Colombian cocaine dealers are indicted in a sting operation.
MISS:Prosecution of John De Lorean, 1982. The carmaker is arrested during a drug deal, then acquitted when a jury concludes agents entrapped him.
COUNTER-TERRORISM HIT:Eleven Puerto Rican nationalists are imprisoned in 1980 after a long series of bombings across the U.S.
HIT:Two members of a white supremacy group are convicted in the 1984 killing of a Denver radio talk show host.
HIT:Undercover agent hired as a hitman foils an attempt by a group of exiled Honduran businessmen to assassinate their country's President in 1984.
MISS:From 1983 to 1985, agents tail peaceful protesters against U.S. policy toward Central America.
WHITE-COLLAR CRIME HIT:Abscam, 1980-83. A Senator and six members of the House are convicted of bribery and conspiracy. Agents pose as Arab businessmen seeking favors.
HIT:The Hitachi case, 1982. The Japanese company is caught trying to buy IBM secrets from an undercover agent.
HIT:The Chicago commodities trading case, 1989. Agents pose as traders and collect evidence of cheating at the Board of Trade and the Mercantile Exchange.
MISS:Operation Corkscrew, 1979-81. In a reverse sting, agents pay thousands of dollars to con men posing as Cleveland judges.
COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE HIT:John Walker, who sold U.S. naval secrets to Soviets, is finally caught. An agent initially ignored a tip from Walker's ex-wife.
HIT:Ronald Pelton, former analyst for the National Security Agency, is arrested in 1985 for giving secrets to Moscow. Earlier, agents had failed to notice Pelton's visits to the Soviet embassy.
MISS:A Soviet Mata Hari seduces and buys classified documents from agent Richard Miller in 1984.
MISS:CIA turncoat Edward Howard fools FBI surveillance team in New Mexico and escapes to the Soviet Union in 1985.