Mr. Nice (FBI)

Emma Best filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.
Tracking # 17-00010-FRC
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Records relating to Dennis Howard Marks AKA Mr. Nice (August 13, 1945 – April 10, 2016) who was a Welsh drug smuggler turned author.

At his peak he was supposedly smuggling consignments of the drug as large as 30 tons, and was connected with groups as diverse as the CIA, the IRA, MI6, and the Mafia. He was eventually convicted by the American Drug Enforcement Administration and handed a 25-year sentence to be served at Terre Haute; he was released in April 1995 after serving seven years. Though he had up to 43 different aliases, he became known as "Mr Nice" after he bought a passport from convicted murderer Donald Nice.

Proof of death is not required, as his death has been widely reported by reputable outlets such as the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/12/books/howard-marks-drug-smuggler-turned-author-dies.html

Please conduct a search of the Central Records System, including but not limited to the Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) Indices, the Microphone Surveillance (MISUR) Indices, the Physical Surveillance (FISUR) Indices, and the Technical Surveillance (TESUR) Indices, for both main-file records and cross-reference records.

FOIA case law establishes the extent to which agencies MUST search all records system reasonably believed to contain responsive documents, even if it means contacting former employees. Truitt v. Department of State, 897 F.2d 540, 542 (D.C. Cir. 1990) makes it explicitly clear that it is the obligation of the Department to “conduct a search reasonably calculated to uncover all relevant documents.” In addition, the Justice Department’s May 2004 FOIA Guide states that an agency “cannot limit its search to only one record system if there are others that are likely to turn up the information requested.”

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Michael Best

From: Sobonya, David P. (RMD) (FBI)

Dear Mr. Best,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at http://www.fbi.gov<http://www.fbi.gov>/, http://www.fbi.gov/foia/ or http://www.justice.gov/oip. If you require additional assistance please contact us at foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov.

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
Ofc: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Sobonya, David P. (RMD) (FBI)

Dear Mr. Best,

Due to the voluminous requests that the FBI receives on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis, requesters are encouraged to utilize the online option to Check the Status of Your FOIPA Request by following the instructions in the attached sample. The last status update was performed on June 15, 2016.

Upon entering your FOIPA Request Number, the requester will be provided “ONE” of the following STATUS RESULTS:

The FBI’s FOI/PA Program is processing your request in accordance to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act guidelines. *The Disclosure analyst is making a line by line, page by page review of the records to determine if any redactions are required pursuant to subsections of Title 5, U. S. Code, Section 552 and 552a. Upon completion, the records are forwarded to a supervisor for review, if approved, a release will be forthcoming.

The FBI’s FOI/PA Program is searching the FBI’s indices for potentially responsive documents. You may be contacted via form letter for all fees and/or negotiation issues that may apply. *Requests are received by Initial Processing (IP) where they are opened, assigned a FOIPA Request Number and correspondence mailed to the requester. The IP analyst searches for, retrieves and reviews potentially responsive records. If responsive records are located, they are forwarded to Disclosure for processing.

The FBI’s FOIPA Program has identified potential responsive information to your request and awaits assignment to a Government Information Specialist (GIS) for further processing. *Responsive information was located and has been forwarded to the “Backlog” where the request awaits assignment to a GIS for processing.

The information you have requested is part of a previously requested subject matter and will be preprocessed in accordance to the prior releasable information. *A previous request has already been made for the subject matter.

The request is currently in appeal status with the Office of Information Policy (OIP). *The FBI is not involved in the appeals process so please contact OIP’s Customer Service regarding appeal matters at (202) 514-3642.

The request is currently in litigation with Federal Court

The FOIPA number entered has been closed, and appropriate correspondence has been sent to the address on file. *Correspondence and/or a release of records were recently mailed. If you recently had a change of address please contact us at 15<mailto:foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov>.

Please contact me if you require further assistance.

Thank you,

*Material is provided for information purposes

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
Ofc: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: FOIPAQUESTIONS

Dear Mr. Best,

Please check the status of your FOIPA Request at http://www.fbi.gov and access the (Freedom of Information Act) link at the bottom of the page, or http://www.fbi.gov/foia, or https://vault.fbi.gov/fdps-1/@@search-fdps, and follow the instructions below.

Check the Status of Your FOIPA Request

If your FOIPA Number is [1195846-0] please enter [1195846-000] into the system. If your FOIPA Number is [1195846-1] please enter [1195846-001] into the system. If you have any questions about the status of your FOIPA request, please e-mail foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov>.

FIND STATUS OF FOIPA- LAST UPDATED ON July 20, 2016

Please enter the whole FOIPA number-Example: [1234567-000]

FOIPA:

Results will show the Request Number, Case Type and Process Description shown below:

FOIPA:

1234567-000

Case Type:

FOIPA

Process Description (Will display the current progress of the request)

The FBI’s FOIPA Program is searching the FBI’s indices for potentially responsive documents.

You may be contacted via formal letter for all fees and/or negotiation issues that may apply.
NOTE: Recent requests are entered into the FOIPA database in the order that they are received. Before you can check the status, you must have received correspondence assigning a FOIPA request number and the information transferred to the online database. Status information is updated weekly. If a request has been closed within the last six months the online database will display the following: The FOIPA number entered has been closed, and appropriate correspondence has been sent to the address on file.

Thank you,

Holly Early
Government Information Specialist
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4854
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
E-mail: foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov>
Questions E-mail: foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov>

Do you have further questions about the FOI/PA process? Visit us at https://www.fbi.gov/services/records-management/foia.

Please check the status of your request online at https://vault.fbi.gov/fdps-1/@@search-fdps. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A letter stating the requester must agree to or prepay assessed or estimated fees in order for the agency to continue processing the request.

From: Michael Best

I agree to pay fees associated with this request. I also request a negotiator contact me when approrpiate, as this is now regarded as "large" request by the Bureau.

Thanks!

From: FOIPAQUESTIONS

Dear Mr. Best,

The FBI has received your additional correspondence regarding your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it has been forwarded to the assigned analyst for review. If appropriate, a response will be forthcoming.

Additional information regarding the FOIPA may be accessed at http://www.fbi.gov/ or http://www.fbi.gov/foia/.

If you require additional assistance please contact me.

Thank you,

Holly Early
Government Information Specialist
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4854
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
E-mail: foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov>
Questions E-mail: foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov>

Do you have further questions about the FOI/PA process? Visit us at https://www.fbi.gov/services/records-management/foia.

Please check the status of your request online at https://vault.fbi.gov/fdps-1/@@search-fdps. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis.

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Hi Mike,

Have another of your requests as well. We have 1116 pages in this one. Want to narrow it a bit?
Best,
Becki

Rebecca Bronson
Records Management Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
540-868-1695

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Touching base on this one too ...
Thanks!
Becki

From: Michael Best

Perhaps it could be limited to intelligence gathered on him, Bureau discussions of him and his relationship to CIA, the IRA, MI6, and the Mafia. At this time there's no need to include open source materials unless they are attached to a letter or memo that references them beyond the equivalent of "for your attention/information" and similar notifications that aren't part of an active discussion

If you have any other ideas or suggestions about how it could be limited, please let me know. I'd also appreciate if you could let me know what the updated page estimate might look like.

Thanks!

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Hi Mike,

Looking at the file, I don’t think what we have will be of interest to you. He was mentioned very briefly in a public corruption case, which was heard by a federal grand jury. That testimony is exempt from disclosure, so once those documents would likely be withheld in full. We also have a handful of administrative documents on his extradition from Mallorca. Want to just close this one?
Best,
Becki

From: Michael Best

Becki,

It sounds like the number of pages that would be releasable would be relatively small, so we may as well proceed with it. The corruption case isn't something I was aware of but would be interesting to read and report on. Same with his extradition. Since the grand jury testimony is protected by statute with no leeway on the part of the Bureau or the DOJ, we may as well remove the transcripts themselves from consideration (however materials describing them should still be examined to determine whether or not they can be withheld, per my understanding of court decisions and DOJ policy).

Thanks!

Mike

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Mike,

If we were to put the entire corruption case forward, taking out the grand jury portion, I think a lot of that would be scoped out because Marks wasn’t a subject of that investigation. So, I located all of the places where he’s mentioned and ended up with 45 pages. With that and the extradition piece, we’re down to 62 pages. How about we go with that?
Best,
Becki

From: Michael Best

That sounds great, Becki - thanks!

From: Bronson, Rebecca (RMD) (FBI)

Just wanted to let you know that my math was wrong on the page count – we’re at 61 pages, not 62.
Best,
Becki

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

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