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Homeland Security Seizes Cocaine After Emergency Landing

Drugs discovered after Canadian aircraft forced to come down at university airport

Two men accused of being international drug flyers are in custody after Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigators say they were caught with approximately 300 pounds of cocaine aboard their aircraft. Columbus, Ohio CBS Affiliate WBNS-TV reports the bust was discovered after the light aircraft was forced into an emergency landing at the Ohio University airport in Athens County, Ohio.

The two suspect pilots, identified as Sylvain Desjardins and David Ayotte, were flying from Canada to the Bahamas when the incident occurred on Wednesday, March 29. According to court documents obtained by the television station, the two were in American airspace when they experienced an issue with their aircraft. The pilot elected to land at the Ohio University Airport after declaring the emergency.

The airport was alerted about the landing by DHS officials shortly after the emergency was declared. Although the pilot successfully landed the aircraft without injury or aircraft damage, the airport does not serve as a port of entry into the United States. Because the two landed without authorization, the suspects and their aircraft were detained until federal authorities from DHS could respond.

Officers from U.S. Customs and Borders Protection, along with DHS investigators, responded to the landing incident. Assisted by Ohio University police officers, the authorities say they found just under 300 pounds of cocaine aboard the aircraft. Both pilots were arrested by DHS investigators on accusations of transporting the drugs.

According to flight records, the aircraft has taken several trips between the Bahamas and Canada flying over U.S. airspace. Investigators from DHS will take over the case, which will be heard in federal court.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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nd2010 April 1, 2017

At least toss the drugs overboard before landing