A 53-year-old Utah man was arrested while refueling his plane in Pennsylvania, after being caught allegedly trying to transport $1.2 million worth of marijuana across the country.
The New Castle News reported on Wednesday that Ken Barton Burrows was charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and intent to possess a controlled substance after his plane was intercepted at the New Castle Airport on Dec. 13 by Homeland Security officials.
Authorities had been monitoring Burrows’ plane since it left from California bound for Rhode Island, using a zig-zag flight pattern at low altitudes to avoid both radar and larger airports. The New Castle airport was one of several smaller airfields where Burrows reportedly stopped to refuel along the way.
The suspect refused to allow local and federal officials to search his aircraft, but a drug-sniffing police dog confirmed the presence of the drug, enabling them to obtain a search warrant. WTAE-TV reported that they found 242 pounds of marijuana onboard, enough so that Burrows was not able to fit anything else on the single-engine Cessna airplane. Burrows reportedly bought the plane for $165,000 in cash a year ago.
After being arraigned on $250,000 bail, Burrows was allowed to complete his flight path to Rhode Island. Authorities subsequently arrested the alleged intended recipient for his delivery there. The suspect is due back in court on Thursday.
Watch a report on Burrows’ run-in with the law, as aired on WTAE on Wednesday, below.