Tom Cruise Movie Based On Life Of Mena Man

MENA (KFSM) -- The movie American Made starring Tom Cruise opens in theaters Friday (Sept. 29).

The movie depicts the life of Berry Seal in the 1980s after he was arrested for drug smuggling.

Seal moved to the small town of Mena, Arkansas and ran an operation out of a hangar at the Mena Airport.

Seal ran drugs for the Medellín cartel out of Colombia, which was founded by Pablo Escobar and several others.

The hangar still exists today. Though, people who live in Mena said it looks different than it did in the 80s.

Documented reports state that Seal may have worked with the CIA to gather intelligence on the drug cartel in South America.

"We travel around the country and you would be amazed at how many people when we say 'Mena, we're a small town' but they say 'oh Mena that airport,'" Andy Ayres said.

To watch footage from 1980s as 5NEWS spoke with witnesses and the then Polk county sheriff, click here. Investigators tried to uncover Seal's activities, but they ran into a few road blocks due to government involvement.