When the man finally arrived, looking somewhat surprised to see Jerry, after hearing what had occurred, he was quick to apologize for his mistake, explaining that he had been preoccupied, promising it would never happen again. The promise was unnecessary because Jerry wasn’t going to give him another chance. Jerry listened as the man pleaded his case, fully understanding what could happen. He said he had delayed the cocaine delivery because he had some personal business to take care of, had explained it to the others, and knew it was against Jerry’s policy but hadn’t thought it could hurt this one time. Jerry listened quietly, not interrupting, just watching and waiting until he was finished talking.
Finally, even before the man had stopped making excuses, stopped pleading, Jerry had decided. He was going to let the man live, for many reasons---friendship, not wanting to get the Colombians involved, etc--- but the man would no longer have anything to do with deliveries unless there was an emergency.
Later, he wondered if the decision was a mistake, setting a bad example. “I just didn’t know,” he said to me, “but I had other concerns to deal with.” Those concerns were to explain to the Cartel leaders that he had lost the airplane, and probably had lost the ability to land more flights at this airport.
The Cartel person he directly reported to was named Humberto Herrera. Humberto was a short, handsome man with a good sense of humor, and a good friend of Jerry’s. He had taken Jerry under his wing, introduced him to the right people, and made sure he was adequately financially compensated. But Jerry was unsure how he would respond to losing an airplane, would he question him closely, or just accept his story. Fortunately, Humberto did the latter and said they had plenty of airplanes. Jerry never mentioned the sordid part of the event, nor would he ever.
Later, the man responsible for the near crash was shot in the head in a parking lot in a nearby town. At the time of his murder, Jerry was in prison. During the subsequent investigation, it came out that he had been an FBI informant.