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Fri, Dec 20, 2013

Authorities Seize Marijuana From Airplane In Pennsylvania

Airplane Had Attempted To Fly 'Under The Radar' To Avoid Detection

The pilot of a single-engine Cessna from Utah found himself on the wrong side of the law last Friday when he landed at New Castle Airport (KUCP) in western Pennsylvania north of Pittsburgh.

The pilot, identified as Ken Barton Burrows of Orem, UT made a refueling stop at the municipal airport. His flight, which according to court documents had originated at a small airport in northern California, had caught the attention of Homeland Security as he hopscotched across the country without filing a flight plan from small airport to small airport, avoiding areas where he would be tracked by radar. DHS began following Burrows with a Black Hawk helicopter, and when he landed at KUCP about 6:30 last Friday, he was detained by DHS and the airplane was searched.

The Ellwood City Ledger reports that the plane, which had dark-tinted windows, was found to contain about 240 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $1.2 million.

DHS determined that Burrows was not a threat to national security and handed the case off to local authorities.

Burrows' plane, which he said he had bought in 2012 for $165,000, was immediately seized, according to Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa. Federal authorities flew the plane on to its intended destination in Rhode Island, where the dealer expecting delivery of the pot was also arrested. He was not identified.

Burrows faces multiple charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. He is being held in Pennsylvania in lieu of $250,000 bond.

FMI: www.co.lawrence.pa.us/courts

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