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Austin Pilot Sentenced to 3 Years for Drug Smuggling Flight

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Doug Menuez, ThinkStock

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas pilot whose suspicious flight pattern from Oregon to Arizona drew law enforcement attention must serve three years in federal prison for the drug-smuggling trip.

Wayne Douglas Brunet in June pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The 65-year-old Austin man was sentenced Friday, plus must forfeit his 1969 Piper Comanche and pay a $5,000 fine.

Investigators say Brunet had more than 200 pounds of marijuana in the single-engine plane when he was arrested in March after a late-night landing at Llano (LAH’-no) Municipal Airport, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) northwest of Austin.

Authorities had tracked Brunet’s plane from Medford, Oregon, then to Holbrook, Arizona, to refuel. Brunet briefly landed or tried to land at two other small Texas airports, but officers were present and he took off.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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