Genesis of John Knock Claude Duboc case In 1993 a man by the name of Clifton Brown was in San Francisco on a mission to purchase a boat from a young attorney named Matthew Martenyi. Mr Martenyi was a young man with a problem. He was in need of money to fund his life style. This was a perfect match for Clifton Brown who also had a bit of a problem. Mr. Brown had been a fugitive since the 70s. He was wanted in the state of Florida for importing. This meeting was to be very fortuitous for Clifton Brown, but was a nightmare for Mr. Martenyi.
Matthew Martenyi shared his office with Sonia Vacca. She had been a friend of John Knock in the 70s. During the course of Clifton Brown's negotiations with Matthew about the boat, he did some snooping in Sonia Vacca's office and decided that she was familiar with and perhaps had some involvement in drug smuggling. Actually she had acted as a money courier at some time in the past. The desperate Clifton Brown decided that he could perhaps clear up his legal problems in Florida by acting as a Confidential Informant for the DEA. The only problem was that neither Sonia Vacca or Matthew Martenyi were involved in any smuggling operation that he could see.
Upon contacting the Florida Prosecutor, Clifton Brown discovered that he would be aided by them and the DEA in a reverse sting that would involve Sonia Vacca and Matthew Martenyi and bring this case to Florida for venue. This was where Clifton neede to have venue to have his charges reduced.
If the Florida Prosecutors and DEA could find money here, Gainesville's local law enforcement, as well as DEA and Federal Prosecutors would receive a share of forfeited assets. There were conflicts between the government departments about where the forfeited assets would go. Clifton would have charges reduced and hoped to receive a % of the forfeiture.
Clifton Brown was introduced to the Federal Prosecutors in The Northern District of Florida who in turn introduced him to a DEA Agent by the name of Carl Lilley. Lilley was an agent who began his law enforcement career as a trooper. He had a rather cavalier attitude mixed with a little cowboy. Tall and lanky with a shock of blond hair, he could exude an air of recklessness. The plan these lawmen devised was daring and extravagant. Lilley would team up with a member of the Gainesville police department who could pass for someone from a Latin country. They would portray themselves as being related by marriage. Mr Brown was to go to San Francisco to Matthew Martenyi's office and begin to talk to Martenyi and Vacca about these individuals he met in Florida who would had access to loads of marijuana from Latin America. All they needed was on organization to do the shipping and off load the drugs. Implicit in this discussion was a request for help from Matthew Martenyi and Sonia Vacca.
Matthew Martenyi and Sonia Vacca were stunned. They were totally unfamiliar with the logistics of such an operation and didn't see how they could even entertain a discussion of it. Clifton Brown, Carl Lilley and Lilley's sidekick persisted and were determined to make it work. Martenyi and Vacca had in their past worked as money couriers, carrying suitcases of cash from Vancouver to Luxemburg and Singapore, but they had been in charge of nothing. They only had to show up, carry the cash and go back home and get paid.
As the plan progressed they tried to figure out how they could accommodate these "pot dealers" from Florida and perhaps make some extra money which they both desperately needed.