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Mar 15, 2018

‘Di plane lan’ again; this time, one is held

The third suspected drug plane in two weeks was found deep in the farmlands of Blue Creek, Orange Walk around midnight on Wednesday. The area where the plane crash landed is called “Cuatros Lenguas.” It is believed its cargo had been removed and was transported across the Rio Hondo River to Mexico. Three vehicles were discovered where the plane landed and a man known as an employee of a Mennonite businessman was detained while leaving the remote area and is being questioned. The plane originated in Venezuela and is similar to other suspicious aircrafts found in February up north which goes to show that the drug trade is in full swing.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A private aircraft, retrofitted to transport illicit cargo, was found abandoned in a remote location behind the Mennonite community of Blue Creek, in the Orange Walk District.  The discovery was made by a joint patrol comprised of military and law enforcement personnel in the early hours of this morning.  What they observed upon arrival was a Beechcraft Super King Air still very much intact, despite an emergency landing in the area earlier that night.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head N.C.I.B

“Sometime shortly after midnight this morning, Orange Walk police received a call of an aircraft which had crash landed in a pasture somewhere in the Cuatro Lenguas area of Orange Walk which is a remote area behind Blue Creek Village.  A team of police and BDF responded to the area where they aircraft was located shortly before 2:30 a.m.  Upon inspection of the aircraft, it was found to have only two seats, which was the passenger seat and the pilot’s seat.”

 

The twin-engine turboprop, corporate travel and utility aircraft can carry up to half its weight in consignment, the equivalent of four thousand, one hundred and eighty-three pounds of payload.  While nothing was found inside its storage space, investigators believe that the plane was being used in the transshipment of narcotics to neighboring Mexico.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“The only thing [was] the entire cargo area of the plane was empty, with the exception of the two seats, as previously mentioned.  Upon inspection of the plane, there seem to have been some intention to set the plane on fire as well. The area that was damaged from the plane, I believe that was the same area that they attempted to set on fire.”

 

A short distance away from where the airplane had touched down, a delivery truck, the word Jefe etched on its engine cover, was also discovered.  In its pan were several containers, including four red drums, presumably carrying fuel.  Police have not confirmed whether the content was indeed aviation fuel or gasoline to torch the aircraft.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“That is still under investigation, but I am certain upon inspection of the plane that there was some attempt to set it on fire. I know that a search of the area, the police had also observed a white Ford pickup in the river on the Mexican side which seems to have been stuck in the river, on the Mexican side of the Rio Hondo River.”

 

One man remains in police custody after being found leaving the area.  It is unclear what, if any, was his involvement in the landing, unloading and attempt to light the aircraft on fire.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“One person was found who is detained that was found coming out of the area prior to the police’s discovery of the aircraft.  The police are currently on the ground conducting an intensive investigation.”

 

Interestingly, it appears that the pilot and his passenger may have been injured during the hard landing.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Traces of blood were found in the pilot’s seat area of the aircraft, as well as I believe that upon inspection of the pickup from a distance, the white pickup found on the Mexican side, were also traces of blood that were seen from a distance in the pickup as well.”

A Google search using the registration number indicates that images of the aircraft were uploaded from Venezuela on February twenty-third.

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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