THE US Government was reportedly made aware of weapons being smuggled to coup camps in Colombia, in part of what Venezuela's government has claimed was a failed “Rambo mercenary plot” to kill President Nicolas Maduro.
US officials denied yesterday knowing about the plan, but officials have now said government agencies made aware of ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau's alleged role before the weapons were seized.
New reports say the US Drug Enforcement Agency in Colombia and the Department of Homeland Security were both made aware of Goudreau's alleged involvement into the attempt on Maduro.
Two former law enforcement officials told the Associated Press an informant tipped off the DEA about 43-year-old Goudreau's alleged role in smuggling weapons to the country.
When the DEA got the unsubstantiated tip, they had no idea who Goudreau was, and did not open a formal probe, the officials told the AP.
It was assumed that weapons being smuggled into the country were being sent to leftist rebels or criminal gangs in Colombia, and one official told the AP the tip was passed along to the Department of Homeland Security.
The reports the US knew of Goudreau's involvement came as Venezuela claimed they arrested two US mercenaries for taking part in a beach raid that was part of a plan to assassinate Maduro.
Goudreau has claimed that he was leading the operation to capture Maduro.
There has been no substantial evidence to support Goudreau's claims he led the operation.
Venezuela claimed Luke Denman and Airan Berry were caught "playing Rambo" while storming a beach with a group of other men on May 3.
President Maduro held up a pair of US passports at a press conference, giving the names and birth dates of the men as he dubbed them "terrorist mercenaries."
He alleged the men were taking part in a plot masterminded by the US, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, and neighboring Colombia to assassinate him.
Maduro showed off equipment, including night-vision goggles and walkie-talkies that he claimed were seized from the alleged mercenaries.
"The United States government is fully and completely involved in this defeated raid," Maduro said.
"They were playing Rambo. They were playing hero."
Venezuelan authorities alleged there was a gun battle in the raid on a beach near La Guaira, which left eight mercenaries dead before speedboats arrived and two were arrested.
A total of 14 mercenaries have been arrested, Venezuelan government claims.
Denman – now being held in custody in South America – was paraded on TV on Wednesday, as he claimed President Donald Trump and Goudreau tasked him with picking up Maduro from the Maiquetia "Simon Bolivar" Airport.
He claimed he was instructed to bring Maduro to the US.
The reports of the US Government agencies being made aware of Goudreau's alleged involvement comes after Trump denied any US involvement in the attack.
“We'll find out. We just heard about it," Trump told reporters.
“But it has nothing to do with our government," he added.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also denied Denman's claims and questioned Maduro.
"There was no US government direct involvement in this operation," he told reporters at the State Department on Wednesday.
"If we had been involved, it would have turned out differently," he added.
Pompeo did not comment on US governments to recover the reported captured American mercenaries.
It was discovered that Goudreau ,– who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and later ran his own security firm – reportedly served as a security guard for President Trump at a rally.
Pictures show the ex-Green Beret with an earpiece at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina in October 2018.
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