Austin pilot sentenced for transporting marijuana in his plane

Plane with 230 lbs. of marijuana in Llano (Courtesy/The Picayune)
Plane with 206 lbs. of marijuana in Llano (Courtesy/The Picayune)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin pilot will have to spend 37 months in federal prison and pay a fine after he tried to distribute marijuana using his plane.

Wayne Douglas Brunet, 65, was sentenced Friday on a charge of possession with intent to distribute between 50 and 100 kilograms of marijuana.

Authorities arrested Brunet March 20 at the Llano Municipal Airport after they found $5,400 and about 206 pounds of hydroponic marijuana inside 15 duffel bags in his plane. According to a statement from the U.S. States Attorney’s Office, officials became suspicious after they noticed his flight pattern from Oregon to Texas.

They tried to arrest him at two other airports, but both times he spotted authorities on the ground and didn’t land. He tried to run when he landed in Llano, but officials caught him.

Brunet pleaded guilty to a drug trafficking charge June 28. 

Along with serving time in prison, he must pay a $5,000 fine and be on supervised release for three years after he gets out of prison. The judge also said he had to forfeit his 1969 Piper PA-30 as well as the $5,400 in cash and $3,000 in prepaid cards found inside it.

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