Private plane filled with drugs busted at Double Eagle

Posted at: 05/14/2013 6:30 PM | Updated at: 05/14/2013 6:37 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4


A small, private plane was stopped on the tarmac at Albuquerque's Double Eagle Airport Tuesday, after Albuquerque Police and federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations found it filled with drugs.

Flying in from California, Albuquerque Police Commander, Eric Garcia, of the department's special investigations division, said, 54-year-old Steven Acton most likely stopped at Double Eagle Monday night to refuel, when he was instead questioned and arrested.

Packed inside suitcases in the back of the plane, HSI federal agents found 41 pounds of very high-grade marijuana.

Garcia said this type of marijuana is not typically grown in New Mexico.

It has an estimated street value of $5,000 a pound.  On board the plane was about $205,000 worth.

Smuggling drugs by plane is something that is happening more often through small airports, Garcia said.

"It's a little harder to detect, for law enforcement to detect, because you're right, they're small airports, they just come in, sometimes no one is here,” he said. “We are trying to crackdown on the freeways, they're looking for alternative methods to bring them into New Mexico and transport them to other parts of the country as well.”

Acton did not have a valid pilot's license, his plane registration was expired and his flight plan was fake, according to HSI federal agents.

At this time it is not clear where Acton's final destination was going to be.


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