An Austin-area pilot now faces up to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana he's accused of transporting in his aircraft.
According to a press release obtained from the Department of Justice, 64-year-old Wayne Douglas Brunet was arrested on March 20 at the Llano Municipal Airport when he landed and authorities discovered approximately 206 pounds of marijuana onboard is aircraft.
The release states that the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operation Center began tracking the single-engine plane after observing its suspicious flight pattern from Medford, Oregon, to Texas and the plane landed only once in Holbrook, Arizona, to refuel.
Court records state that Homeland Security Investigations agents were prepared to interdict Brunet as he attempted to land at an unmanned airport in Bulverde, Texas, but departed again after he appeared to spot authorities on the ground. He reportedly proceeded to an airport in Lago Vista, but again aborted his landing.
The Department of Justice said Brunet eventually landed at the Llano Municipal Airport at approximately midnight. After bringing the plane to a stop, Brunet reportedly fled on food but was apprehended on the tarmac by the Texas Department of Public Safety Air Unit.
According to the press release, authorities discovered 15 duffle bags filled with marijuana along with approximately $5,400
Brunet remains in federal custody while he awaits sentencing.