Thompson Adviser Busted for Drug Dealing

GOP candidate uses jet of pal once nabbed for cocaine trafficking
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2007 6:40 AM CST
Republican Presidential hopeful, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson gestures while speaking at a fundraiser in Las Vegas, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – GOP White House contender Sen. Fred Thompson has been traveling to campaign stops around the nation on the private jet of his close adviser, fundraiser and pal Philip Martin, a former drug dealer with a criminal record. Campaign officials insist Thompson was unaware of convictions for marijuana and cocaine trafficking of the man dubbed "the head of Thompson's Air Force," reports the Washington Post.

Martin pleaded guilty in 1979 to selling 11 pounds of marijuana to an undercover cop, and no contest in 1983 to cocaine trafficking and conspiracy. He didn't serve any jail time for the charges. No campaign can "research every one of its supporters going back 20 years," said a Thompson spokeswoman, who added that the candidate and Martin have been friends only since the mid-90s.