Cessna 172 Had Landed Shortly After Midnight With Contraband On Board, Two Arrested
Two men have been arrested and an airplane seized in Fulton, MO, after the Cessna 172 landed at Hensley Memorial Airport in Fulton (KFFT) with a reported $450,000 worth of marijuana on board.
Fulton Police arrested the pilot, 56-year-old Russell Hansen of Wynantskill, NY, and a passenger, 21-year-old Jacob M. Beaty-Martinez from Bakersfield, CA.
The police received a call from the FAA about 0030 CST Friday concerning an airplane it had tracked on radar with its transponder turned off that had landed at the airport. The airplane had been NORDO, adding to the FAA's suspicions.
According to a report appearing in the Fulton Sun newspaper, Beaty-Martinez consented to a search of the airplane after admitting there was pot on board. Police found two duffel bags containing about 31 pounds of hydroponically-grown plants on board the airplane.
The bust was one of the biggest in the town's history, according to Fulton Police Major Roger Rice, but less than an amount confiscated at the airport about seven years ago. In that arrest, Rice said the entire back of the airplane was full of marijuana.
Police Chief Steve Myers said that he did not think the pot was going to be sold in Fulton, but that the two landed there transporting the contraband across the country. The airport has a self-service fuel station, allowing the men possibly hoping to avoid detection to buy fuel late at night unassisted using a credit card.