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Coroner Says Soldier of Fortune Died of an Accidental Overdose

January 22, 1987

A self-styled soldier of fortune who was to have testified about arms shipments to Nicaraguan contras died of an accidental cocaine overdose, the county coroner's office said Wednesday.

The man, Steven Paul Carr, 27, died Dec. 13 in a driveway outside the Panorama City town house where he rented a room. Three times the lethal dosage of cocaine was in his blood, authorities said.

An investigation uncovered no evidence of foul play, coroner's spokesman Dean Gilmour said.

Carr was "known to have been using cocaine continuously during the three days prior to this death," Gilmour said.

Carr had told FBI investigators looking into allegations of wrongdoing by the right-wing Nicaraguan rebels and some of their American backers that he had helped deliver weapons to them.

He was to testify about the shipments in a civil suit in Miami and in a federal gun-running case in Miami.

Carr moved to Panorama City in mid-November. He told his landlord that he had received death threats in connection with the investigation.

But the coroner's spokesman said: "This was a pretty straightforward case. This guy was just strung out on cocaine."

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