More than 200 pounds of cocaine found in plane that landed at Ohio University
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SEARCH “NBC4 WX” IN THE APP STORE. MARK: TWO CANADIAN CITIZENS ARE BEING HELD BY U-S MARSHALS HERE IN COLUMBUS…AFTER THEIR PLANE LANDED UNEXPECTEDLY AT THE OHIO UNIVERSITY AIRPORT IN ATHENS COUNTY YESTERDAY. THEY WERE APPARENTLY HEADED FROM THE BAHAMAS TO WINDSOR CANADA, AND WHEN THEY LANDED HERE IN OHIO, INVESTIGATORS FOUND NEARLY 300-POUNDS OF COCAINE ON BOARD THE PLANE. MARK: NBC FOUR’S OLIVIA FECTEAU HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THIS STORY SINCE THE VERY BEGINNING, SHE IS LIVE AT THE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE DOWNTOWN…WHERE THOSE MEN APPEARED BEFORE A JUDGE THIS AFTERNOON. OLIVIA: 57-YEAR-OLD SYLVAIN DESJARDINS WAS THE PILOT OF THAT PLANE…HIS PASSENGER, 46-YEAR-OLD DAVID AYOTTE . BOTH MEN HAD THEIR FIRST COURT APPEARANCE THIS AFTERNOON, ON CHARGES OF POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE MORE THAN FIVE KILOGRAMS OF COCAINE. OLIVIA: ACCORDING TO FEDERAL COURT DOCUMENTS, THE TWO MEN ARE CANADIAN CITIZENS WITH PRIOR DRUG CONVICTIONS. WHEN THEIR PLANE LANDED UNEXPECTEDLY AT THE OHIO UNIVERSITY AIRPORT, CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL AGENTS SEARCHED INSIDE AND FOUND MORE THAN 130- KILOGRAMS OF COCAINE. THE FEDERAL PROSECUTOR SAID HE WASN’T SURE OF THE STREET VALUE. BENJAMIN C. GLASSMAN/U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO: “OH BOY. I’M NOT GOING TO EVEN HESITATE GUESS. A VERY LARGE AMOUNT. I WOULD SAY THIS IS ONE OF, IF NOT THE, LARGEST SINGLE SEIZURES IN THE HISTORY OF THIS DISTRICT.” THE TWO MEN APPEARED IN FEDERAL COURT THIS AFTERNOON…ALONGSIDE A FRENCH-SPEAKING INTERPRETER WHO TRANSLATED FOR ONE OF THEM. COURT DOCUMENTS SAY THE PLANE DEPARTED FROM THE BAHAMAS AND WAS ON ITS WAY TO WINDSOR, ONTARIO WHEN CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL IN CALIFORNIA BEGAN TRACKING ITS PATH. GLASSMAN: “IT’S THE SORT OF THING THAT CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL WOULD ROUTINELY MONITOR, YEAH.” THE PLANE LANDED IN ATHENS COUNTY AFTER AN APPARENT MECHANICAL PROBLEM…BUT INVESTIGATORS AND PROSECUTORS BELIEVE THAT WAS NOT ITS PLAN. GLASSMAN: “WELL I MEAN IT’S NOT UNCOMMON FOR DRUGS TO TRAVEL FROM THE CARIBBEAN TO OTHER COUNTRIES, WHETHER IT’S MEXICO, CANADA AND FROM THERE, FIND THEIR WAY THROUGH DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS TO THE UNITED STATES.” THE MEN NOW FACE THE MOST SERIOUS FEDERAL DRUG POSSESSION CHARGE…IF CONVICTED, THEY COULD BE SENTENCED TO TEN- YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON, PLUS FINES OF UP TO TEN-MILLION-DOLLARS. OLIVIA: THERE WILL BE A DETENTION HEARING MONDAY AFTERNOON TO DETERMINE WHETHER BAIL SHOULD BE SET. FOR NOW, BOTH MEN WILL STAY IN THE CUSTODY OF U-S MARSHALS. LIVE AT

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