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Contraband
06/28/2017

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San Antonio pilot pleads guilty to transporting more than 200 pounds of hydroponic marijuana from Oregon to Texas on his plane

AUSTIN, Texas — A San Antonio man pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession with intent to distribute between 50 and 100 kilograms of marijuana.   

This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney, Richard Durbin, Western District of Texas. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Air and Marine Operation Center (AMOC).

Wayne Douglas Burnet, 64, from San Antonio pleaded guilty June 28 before a U.S. District judge in Austin to possession with intent to distribute between 50 to 100 kilograms of marijuana.  

According to court documents, on March 20, 2017, state authorities arrested Brunet at the Llano (Texas) Municipal Airport after discovering 206 pounds of hydroponic marijuana on board his aircraft.  HSI special agents were prepared to interdict Brunet as he attempted to land at an unmanned airport in Bulverde, Texas. CBP AMOC began tracking his single-engine plane after observing that it had a suspicious flight pattern from Medford, Oregon, to Texas and had landed only once in Holbrook, Arizona, to refuel.

Brunet landed at the unmanned airport in Bulverde, but departed again after spotting authorities on the ground. Brunet then proceeded to the Lago Vista (Texas) airport, but again, aborted his landing as he did in Bulverde when encountered by law enforcement. Brunet then proceeded to the Llano Municipal Airport where he landed about midnight. After bringing the aircraft to a stop, Brunet attempted to flee on foot, but was apprehended on the tarmac by the Texas Department of Public Safety Air Unit. Authorities recovered 15 duffle bags filled with vacuum-sealed packages of marijuana along with about $5,400 in U.S. currency.

Brunet remains in federal custody awaiting sentencing. No date has been set yet.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Air Unit and Llano County Sheriff’s Office also participated in this investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Matthew Devlin, Western District of Texas, prosecuted this case.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/29/2017