Blackwater founder Erik Prince has rebranded his fallen military empire into a beef company.
According to a Yahoo News report, Blackwater Beef sells every type of meat, from veal cheek to oxtail, and is already being supplied to restaurants throughout Maryland and Virginia.
After Blackwater private security contractors were involved in the 2007 Nisour Square massacre—in which 17 Iraqi civilians were killed—Prince rebranded his operations as Xe Services, before selling his company to new owners who changed the name to Academi. In 2010, Prince’s consulting company Blackwater Worldwide was sold to investors, according to The New York Times.
Although Blackwater Beef retains the same name as Prince’s former paramilitary kingdom, and operates out of his estate in Middleburg, Virginia, the ex-Navy Seal is avoiding attaching his name too heavily to the business. The day-to-day cattle operations are ran by a rancher named Brett Miller, who described Prince in a cover story for Middleburg Life magazine as operating “a company in Africa building infrastructure there, trying to get water to communities to better the lives of the human race…”
In an interview with Yahoo, Miller admitted that he was struggling with “the subscription leg of the business,” but has had luck with Blackwater beef jerky and food truck operations.
“People taste the meat and they’re like, ‘Oh, well. Geez. Yeah. I want to get some more. I want to buy some more,'” reflected the rancher. “And same thing with the beef sticks and jerky. It’s like they taste it and they’re like, ‘Well, what else you got?'”
“We’ve had our own debates whether it helps or hurts,” continued Miller on the Blackwater name. “But I think it helps immensely.”
In addition to his shadowy history of mercenary warfare, Prince has spent the Trump era dogged by investigators and lawmakers over question of Russian collusion. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and House Democrats are both interested in a meeting in the Seychelles between Prince and Russian business magnate Kirill Dmitriev.