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Narcotics
09/22/2017

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San Antonio pilot sentenced to more than 3 years in federal prison for transporting marijuana in his plane

AUSTIN, Texas — A San Antonio man was sentenced Friday to more than three years in federal prison following his conviction for possession with intent to distribute between 50 to 100 kilograms of marijuana.

This sentence 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 U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Air and Marine (AMOC).   

Wayne Douglas Burnet, 64, from San Antonio, was sentenced Sept. 22 by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks who ordered Burnet to serve 37 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence. Judge Sparks also ordered Brunet to forfeit his 1969 Piper PA-30 Comanche aircraft, $5,400 in U.S. currency, and about $3,000 worth of prepaid cards seized by law enforcement.

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 aboard 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, he aborted his landing as he did in Bulverde when encountered by law enforcement. Brunet then proceeded to the Llano Municipal Airport where he landed at 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 pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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

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

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/25/2017