LLANO, Texas (KXAN) — A pilot with hundreds of pounds of marijuana on his plane aborted multiple landings in the Hill Country overnight as he tried to evade law enforcement trying to arrest him on the ground.
Wayne Douglas Brunet, 64, has been charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.
Homeland Security’s Air and Marine Operation Center began tracking the single-engine plane Sunday night as they noticed a suspicious flight pattern taking from Medford, Oregon to Texas, with one landing in Holbrook, Arizona to refuel.
Federal agents first tried to arrest Brunet as he tried to land at an unmanned airport in Bulverde, Texas, north of San Antonio. He took off from the airport after seeing authorities on the ground.
He then flew to the Lago Vista airport but aborted another landing after encountering law enforcement. Officials say Brunet finally made his way to the Llano Municipal Airport where he landed at around midnight.
Authorities say he tried to run away from the plane — throwing a large duffel bag and a cellphone into the grass as he ran — but was caught on the tarmac by DPS’ Air Unit. Inside his plane, police found 15 duffel bags filled with vacuum-sealed packages of hydroponic marijuana along with around $6,000 in cash.
Brunet faces between five and 40 years in federal prison and remains in federal custody. He will go before a federal judge in Austin for a hearing scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Thursday.