Randy Dyer, Part of Airport Robbery/Hash-Smuggling Team, Lands a Presidential Pardon

"Forgive us our..."
By the time he hit his mid-20s, Randy Dyer had racked up 12 arrests, most for drugs, and had participated in a spectacular takedown at Sea-Tac International Airport. He and team of fellow drug smugglers phoned in a bomb threat and while Customs agents dashed to another part of the airport, the team swept in, grabbing up suitcases of hashish from a Customs storage area and holding some agents at gunpoint.

It was all part of an ongoing operation to smuggle hash from Amsterdam to London, then to Seattle via courier. It all unraveled, however, with Dyer's 1975 indictment, followed by three years in prison - and now followed by an all-is-forgiven note from the President.

Dyer today is a 62-year-old prison ambassador, having devoted his life-after-hash to ministering faith and hope to inmates. Last week, that earned him a presidential pardon, leaving his criminal record intact but restoring the rights he lost as a convicted felon. As KIRO-7 reported it:

Dyer began a prison ministry while at McNeil Island, and visited other prisons once he was released. "It's an opportunity for me to tell people how Jesus Christ saved my life," he said.

On Friday, Dyer went to the Regional Justice Center in Kent where he received his pardon over a camera feed. "Now, to hear from the President of the United States, 'We forgive you,' -- it's an honor," he said.

Dyer told KOMO 4 he has volunteered behind bars for 30 years. For security reasons, authorities frequently checked up on the ex-con and interviewed his friends and associates. He stood the test of time, finally earning President Obama's blessing. "It's better to have a good name than great riches," said Dyer. "And my name means something."

He joins an eclectic group of pardonees, including a man who sold American alligator hides and another who stole cable TV signals. They brought to 17 the number of pardons granted in about 2 1/2 years by Obama, compared to the two-term totals of 200 for George W. Bush and 459 for Bill Clinton.

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